News From The Bellwether ...

The Name the Newsletter contest is wrapping up, these are the final days! I'll be at the Whidbey Island Spin-In March 31-April 1, so the winner will be announced in the newsletter that I'll post on-or-around April 4th.

The Camp Burton Spin-In was a blast! (spindles to the left, fiber to the right) We had about 60+ people staying and on Saturday there must have been closer to 80 people in the room.

It does mean I haven't gotten many new things on the website, so here's a reminder of useful things we already have ...

Wool Scour -- it's the time of year when you get raw fleece, from your own sheep, a local flock, or your favorite wool festival (Shepherd's Extravaganza in Puyallup, anyone? It's coming up!). I have several different wool scours in stock, though it's almost gone ...

Fiber Master -- great for tough messes, I save this for "rescueing" fleeces as it is the most expensive per ounce.

Ultimate Fleece Cleaner -- great for medium wools without needed tons of hot water. You'll still need hot water with fine, high-lanolin fleeces

Eccoscour WA-305 -- this is the scour used at many small mills around the country. Does really well, as long as you keep the water hot (over 165 F -- so be careful!)

The other great new arrival are the
Yarn Control Cards made by VIP Fibers. These are great for knitters or spinners. Knitters can use them to help in making yarn substitutions in patterns. See Knit From Your Stash for guidelines and a collection of folks knitting from their stash in 2007.

Spinners use the control card to guide their spinning, you can determine your singles thickness and then keep them consistent as you go along. I find that usually my 2-ply is 1.5 * the thickness of my singles, and my three-ply is 2 times the thickness of my singles. But that isn't always true -- I recently made a cable, which uses 4 strands, and the cabled yarn was the same thickness as the underlying, balanced 2-ply (before over-twisting it for the cable). So, remember, sampling is good!

I'll be away at the Whidbey Island Spin-In this weekend, so email, website updates, and order confirmations/inquiries may not be possible until I return.

Thanks for reading -- feel free to post comments here, linkback with comments on your blog, or email me -- ask (at) the bellwether (dot) com.

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