Thursday, November 27, 2008

Site Review: Little Barn

If you haven't been to Little Barn yet, you'll want to go there. Lewis White and staff are really helpful if you need advice about your fiber project. My favorite items that they carry are the silk offerings, both the silk spinning fiber and the silk yarn. Tussah silk is really great for spinning. I like to buy a couple of pounds at a time, as it's more economical to ship, but I'll warn you, a little silk goes a long way! The tussah silk that Little Barn carries is a fine, soft fiber, really easy to spin. I usually don't spin it plain, though, as I've had the experience of hopelessly losing my end on the bobbin too many times. What happens is that you are spinning away, and suddenly, you lose hold of the fiber, and your end slides through the orifice and gets buried in the fiber. Usually, with wool, you can find it again. However, if you are spinning really fine silk yarn, you can have trouble. I do the following two things with Tussah silk: I hold a long rope of roving, and a single of wool or angora yarn, and ply in the silk as I go (counterclockwise). In other words, you don't have to go to the trouble of spinning a silk single. You can ply it directly from the roving. Try the Bombyx or tussah roving from Little Barn, it is nice and you'll be glad you did!

Secondly, I like to blend silk roving with other wools and fibers on my drum carder. It makes a nice strong shiny batt. You can also use silk noil, if you want a nubby tweed effect. Generally, I dye the silk (especially the noil) a different contrasting color, and then blend it with my drum carder. I love silk. Little Barn carries both. I want to order some of the silk waste they offer and throw spritzes of that on my batts. The silk dyes easily too.

I also want to order some of their silk yarn to use for warp in weaving scarves. I can imagine buying some plain white yarn from Little Barn, and dyeing it various purples, aquas and magenta and weaving some beautiful scarves.

If economy is important, have a look at their web exclusives page. It changes every so often, but there are always some lovely fibers at great prices.

If I was not already buried in wool, I'm sure I'd buy some of the various wool offerings from them too. You really ought to visit and I'll bet you won't leave their site without finding something you'll have to buy! The link is:

Monday, November 24, 2008

Site reviews Hayden Loom

It's time to talk about some of my favorite sites. As some of you know, I've been dithering around trying to learn how to weave Navajo rugs. If you look at a woven rug, it doesn't look that hard to do, but believe me, there are many ways to go wrong.

Anyway, I received succinct and useful advice from Randall Hayden at Hayden Loom and Ainadamar Weaving , who has a website about his business: Navajo Style Looms, Tools, Instruction and Weavings.

If you are at all interested in Navajo weaving, you really should visit his site, because he makes looms for weaving Navajo rugs, both for students and for proficient weavers. He teaches Navajo weaving. What a joy it would be to sign up for his class. Too bad it's so far from Ohio. He lives in Southern California. He also offers other equipment and a book pertinent to Navajo rug weaving called Navajo Weaving Way The Path from Fleece to Rug . You can buy it directly from his website, and it would make an excellent Christmas gift, especially if you are thinking of what to send me.

He also does spinning wheel refurbishing and repair.

My second Navajo rug is turning out a little better than the first. Still I am using my two harness rug loom, which is not the best thing to use if you are making Navajo rugs, because it is really hard to pack in the weft firmly enough, and you can't get the tension tight enough on the warp. So you end up breaking a lot of warp strings, as you try packing in the weft by hand, and you are constantly going to the back of the loom to tighten up your warp. Overall, it's very frustrating and takes forever. You'd be wiser and do better to buy a Navajo rug weaving loom from Randall Hayden at Hayden Loom.

Right now, I don't know if I'll ever have time to be serious about making Navajo rugs, but if more time is found, you may be sure that I'll buy a loom for Navajo rugs, probably from Randall Hayden at Hayden Loom and Ainadamar Weaving.

(Once a little "damage control" is done. I'll post pictures of my second Navajo rug. --I have to go in and try to fix some broken warp strings, and tidy up my selvedges. )

Saturday, November 8, 2008

100 % angora bunny fur yarn

white angora

blue angora


yellow angora

pink angora

gray angora

lavender angora

Most people don't know that there are both angora goats and angora rabbits that produce fiber used in yarn. Both types of fiber yarns can be described as angora yarn. However, most of the time, people who sell exotic yarns know enough to label the angora goat hair yarn as "mohair" and the angora rabbit fur yarn as "angora." Generally speaking, angora rabbit fur yarn is softer than angora goat hair yarn, mohair, though I have felt some angora goat hair yarn--kid mohair, that is so soft, it could be mistaken for pure angora rabbit fur yarn, especially when dyed. I make and sell both types of angora yarn: angora rabbit fur yarn, and mohair-- angora goat hair yarn. My favorite yarn is the angora rabbit fur yarn. The following are my favorite colors: pale blue, natural white, pale pink, pale yellow, light gray, and pale lavendar. I sell a lot of 100 % angora rabbit fur yarn. It is offered at $ 15. per 35 yds. skein, double ply, approximately a fingering weight. Shipping is $3 per skein, but if you want more, let me know how many and I will invoice you through PayPal and adjust the shipping. You can always reach me at: If you buy at least $150 worth, I will ship it free to US locations. If you need other colors of one hundred percent angora rabbit fur yarn, let me know.