Sunday, February 28, 2010

Custom Yarn Spinning

An interview with Sarah of Handmade Sunshine,
an Etsy shop dedicated to selling handspun and recycled yarns.

Did you know that we have a team member who will custom spin yarn for you? Handmade Sunshine is an Etsy shop run by spinning whiz Sarah, who is happy to whip up a skein of yarn in the fiber of your choice.

In her shop, Sarah uses yarns that are mill ends and would otherwise have been discarded. She takes the waste fiber left over from changing “bumps” of wool and dyes the wool
and then spins it.

Why does Sarah spin? Here are her own words:

“When I spin, it's a very personal thing. No two yarns are the same, even a batch of yarn may differ from beginning to end a certain small amount. It all depends on my mood that day, how much stress I'm under, how humid it is, how fast I peddle...really a myriad of things. That is why hand spun yarn is so unique. It has a wonderful texture and whimsy that is lacking in commercial yarn. It tells a story about the person who spun it if you know how to read it.”

If you’d like to add some custom-spun yarn to your stash, Sarah will need a bit of information:. What kind of fiber? How much yardage and what weight? How many ounces will it take to get that amount of yarn? Where is the fiber coming from? When does it need to be done?

Sarah asks for half of the cost up front and half when it's done. She charges per ounce of fiber spun, not usually for the time it takes since that is hard to know because she starts and stops so many times.

If you are buying hand spun yarn for the first time, Sarah has a few suggestions. If you only buy one skein, if you don't mind pooling, just work with it as you would any other skein. To help keep pooling to a minimum, work from both ends of the skein at the same time, alternating rows, and it will help blend the colors more and keep any thinner or thicker areas from happening. If you buy 2 skeins, work with them both at the same time alternating rows.
Also another thing to keep in mind, the fatter the ply, the more apt it is to pill. If the ply is thin, it will resist pills better because more twist is holding the ends of the fibers into the yarn. The last thing is, follow the washing directions on the label for a long wearing, beautiful finished object.

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