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Spinning Fiber Bases

Spinning Fiber Bases

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Dye to order fibers and yarns are currently on extended hiatus. FatCatKnits handpainted and kettle dyed yarns are dyed to order and usually ship within 1-2 weeks. All yarns are dyed by Ginny of FatCatKnits. Colorways are dyed according to recipes and processes developed to produce the most consistently repeatable colorways. That said, this is a HUMAN operation- please expect some degree of variation between batches, and even from skein to skein.

Please expect some degree of variation between batches, and even from braid to braid, as the yarn and fiber is , hand dyed by HAND by Ginny of FatCatKnits. Colorways are dyed according to recipes and processes developed to produce the most consistently repeatable colorways. Fiber bases are commercial combed top preparations. 

Superwash fibers are treated to resist felting, but if you run your finished items through the washer and dryer you will likely find they fuzz up and don't wear so well. Be kind to your precious handspun- handwash whenever possible and ALWAYS lay flat to dry. And no bleach!

Superwash (SW) bases: The colors will appear bright with distinct edges and some white.
Non-superwash single ingredient bases: (Falkland, Merino, Polwarth, BFL, Targhee, Corriedale Cross) The colors will have softer edges and blend slightly where they meet, with less or no white, depending on the colorway.
Silk blends: These will look much like their non-silk containing counterparts, but with a bit of extra delight (depth of color and sheen) where the silk fibers sparkle with color.
Variegated (or Swirled) bases: VBFL (variegated natural brown and ecru Bluefaced Leicester), vBFL/Linen Swirl, Shetland Swirl (natural black and ecru), Merino Swirl (brown and ecru) These bases allow for a lovely depth of color, with interesting heathering in your yarn. The heathering effect is more subtle with the BFL swirls, and stronger with the Shetland and Merino swirls
Linen Blends: Linen does not take the dye, so adds a soft, rustic, textural element to your yarn. It drafts wonderfully, but does not smooth as nicely as wool, so you can expect a bit of texture to remain in your yarn. Don't fight it :)
Panda (SW Merino/Bamboo/Nylon 60/30/10): The brightness and whiteness of superwash Merino, with the silvery streaks of bamboo. The nylon takes the dye really well, too, similarly to the SW Merino.
100% Silk: a lovely sheen, possibly lighter or darker colors, perhaps just a bit of white. Available by request.

BFL and Superwash BFL: Bluefaced Leicester has a somewhat longer staple than the Merino, polwarth, falkland-type wools, which can make it easier to spin. It has a delicious luster and silky hand, and of all the long wools, this one is the most skin friendly. Customers often comment with surprise on how much their yarn poofed up- be prepared :)
Merino and Superwash Merino: soft, soft, soft! Poofy, too, and quite skin friendly.
Falkland: very white, takes dye fantastically, super easy to spin, fairly skin friendly. From the Falkland Island, off the coast of South America.
Polwarth: off-white, soft, with a bit of a silkiness to it. Lovely to spin, and fantastic to knit with.
Shetland: crispy and white, takes dye fantastically, easy to spin. If you are very sensitive you will not want this right against your skin.
Corriedale Cross: I have no idea what the cross is, but I suspect Romney, because that is very much what this fiber is like. Easy to dye (dark, rich colors), easy to spin, somewhat crispy and coarse.
Targhee and Superwash Targhee: these two tops are produced entirely withing the USA, from raising of the sheep, to mill processing, through the wholesaler and on to me (allowing for a lower carbon footprint than most wool tops). Targhee is a fantastic fiber- skin friendly while maintaining a full bodied texture. It is easy to spin, and likes to be thin or chunky. Dye just glows on this lovely fiber, and you better plan ahead for the amazing poof that happens as soon as you bathe your yarn.

SPECIAL BLENDS: Available periodically, check here if you are looking for a base not offered in the regular listings.
Merino Swirl: a gorgeous blend of 23 micron ecru Merino and 25 micron brown Merino. It is not the softest Merino, but is still pretty skin friendly. And it is a blast to dye! The colors are very rich on this blend. The spinning is easy-peasy, even if you are not a Merino person. And the resulting yarn has loft and bounce, and a lovely heathered effect from the two tones of Merino.
86/14 vBFL/Linen Swirl: I had the mill blend brown and ecru Bluefaced Leicester with a touch of bleached linen. This blend is open and drafts easily, but you must allow for the bits of vegetation- they are not so easy to smooth as wool is. The linen does not take up the dyes I use on the wool, so it adds a soft, textural interest, which is wonderful, especially when in conjunction with the tweediness you get from the brown and ecru BFL. The resulting yarn is amazingly poofy, with an interesting, almost spongy hand. The linen receeds, allowing the wooly BFL to grab the spotlight.
66/34 BFL/Liinen: this blend is ecru BFL combed with natural gray flax/linen. The resulting top is a beige color, and takes dye in a muted and beautiful way. it is easy to spin, but the resulting yarn very much has the characteristics of the linen- little to no elasticity, a bit stiff (softens with manipulation) and a lovely drape.
80/20 Superwash BFL and 80/20 Superwash Merino: just like their single ingredient superwash counterparts, but with the addition of nylon for added strength in your yarn.
80/20 Superwash Merino/Trilobal Nylon Sparkle: sweet, soft superwash Merino, with the addition of fine sparkle! Not Angelina, not poly glitz, this is softer and more pliant, and accepts the dyes I use on the wool. Fun stuff!!
75/25 Polwarth/Mulberry Silk: Sooooo soft! That sweet Polwarth spinning experience, with the addition of sheen and silky hand. A favorite.
63/12/25 Polwarth/Mulberry Silk/Trilobal Nylon Sparkle: a stunning blend, featuring super soft Polwarth wool, enhanced with shiny Mulberry silk, and topped off with the fun trilobal nylon sparkle. Well-blended, easy spinning, for a yarn that grabs the eye.
80/20 Polwarth/Black Alpaca Swirl (discontinued): More of the delicious, super soft Polwarth, blended with a bit of natural black Alpaca. Blended just a bit more than the Merino Swirl blend, as i did not want the alpaca texture to stand out too much. It has thinner but distinct strands of black through the ecru Polwarth, and overdyes in a delightful way. You will not be able to stop touching and stroking your braid of this blend :)
Camel/Merino/Silk: a delicious, luxurious blend of 40% off-white camel down, 40% 21 micron soft Merino and 20% Mulberry silk. Well blended, super soft. Available in limited quantities.
62/25/13 Superwash Merino/Kid Mohair/Nylon: my version of a popular sock yarn base, interpreted in spinning fiber. Excellent for sock yarn. Sweet spinning, and takes color quite well.
62/25/13 BFL/Bamboo/Nylon: a BFL version of the popular 'Panda' blend. Easier to spin, great for sock yarn. A different hand, the BFL is very evident in this blend.
75/25 Shetland/Mulberry Silk (discontinued): well blended, with the crispness we expect from Shetland, and a lovely sheen from the silk. Takes color marvelously, easy to spin.
Shetland Swirl (discontinued): a top made from natural dark brown and ecru Shetland wools combed separately, then together on the last two runs through the machinery. Not very well blended, to allow for the gorgeous heathering which results when this blend is spun. Overdyes exquisitely, and is easy to spin. Crunchy.



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