These handspun yarns are truly unique. Their textures leave the rules of the hand-spinning world behind. The color combinations create a garden party mood. The names of the colorways of each yarn resemble the inspiration for that individual yarn. ”Snowy Birch” is a natural gray wool spun and plied with white mohair locks; reminiscent of a birch tree on a snowy day. Often, the yarn is named for the sheep that grew the fleece. The fleece from a sheep named Puff became known as “Puff’s Magic” which is a white wool with streaks of brightly colorful mohair pastels spun into it.
All of the yarns are handspun by Juaquetta. The wool she uses is only the softest; freshly shorn from sheep raised by her shepherdess friends. They tend carefully to their flocks to keep the fleeces free of vegetable matter. Some even put jackets on their sheep! These are called covered fleeces and results in wool relatively clean of straw, weeds and burrs. After being shorn from the sheep, the raw wool is hand washed in Orvus or Tide and allowed to dry or immediately dyed with Gaywool dyes or Kool-Aid. Usually, the only processing done before spinning is picking the fibers with a Pat Green triple picker. This allows the yarn to spin up with lots of texture and allows the colors to show. A seven to ten-pound colorway of yarn can take over a week to produce; from start to finish. Most yarns also contain the softest kid mohair and sometimes other luxury fibers such as alpaca, angora bunny, camel down, silk, fine wools, linen and dog hair brushings are spun in as well. Many unusual, textured yarns are created by plying a strand of handspun yarn with chenille or boucle yarns.
Most yarns knit up at a bulky gauge. Knitting with a size 8 needle will give a firmer mitten type fabric, while knitting with a size 17 needle will create a flowing, easy-to-drape shawl fabric. Juaquetta has written her own patterns for these bulky yarns. They are simple designs that allow the beauty of the yarn to be the focus.
These handspun yarns are blends of different fleeces and colors resulting in one-of-a-kind, uniquely textured yarns, which are impossible to duplicate. Even the same sheep’s fleece will vary from one year to the next. Your project of handspun yarn will be truly one of a kind.
The Yarn Creation Process
It also lets the natural formation of the locks to remain for spinning. The mohair for Fireside yarn is being picked.