Archive for March, 2008

Samples of Killara and Grafton

March 24, 2008



This hat was knit from hand dyed Grafton (Yak/Wool blend), in my very own pattern. If there is any demand for a basic hat pattern, I’ll write it up for our customers.  The yarn was kettle dyed using Ashford acid dyes (brown and green), and plenty of vinegar.  The yak fiber does not take up the dye quite as quickly as the wool does, and seems to require more vinegar in the dyeing process to exhaust the dye. The colours are somewhat more muted than would be achieved with pure wool, and after a rinse with some fabric softener, my husband pronounces it to be “without itch”.

Here is a shot showing the fit of the hat.




The samples of the Killara (silk/wool blend) were dyed in the  same batch as the Grafton yarn above.  You will notice the gorgeous saturated colours, and the very silky hand.  Bigger swatches will be posted in the forthcoming days.  The Killara took the dye beautifully – I think that this colourway looks like a chocolate mint. I tried to balance the colours in this yarn to make the pale green more dominant than in the hat (which was intended to resemble camouflage).



New Yarns! Introducing Grafton and Killara

March 21, 2008



Please welcome Grafton, our 50% yak/ 50% wool sport weight blend (14 wraps per inch, 3/15nM, 500 metres per 100 gram skein).  Grafton is super soft, and the loft of the yak hair makes for super soft, warm garments. The yarn is still in its spinning oil, and we recommend that it be washed in a tap water hot (60 degrees celsius) bath with a good squirt of hand dish washing detergent.  It can be left to soak for up to half an hour, and then rinsed and treated with a fabric  softener (eg Cuddly). It can be spun dry on a spin only cycle in a washing machine.

Here is a photo of the yarn where the unwashed skein is on the right, and the washed skein is on the left.


Dyed skeins and swatches will be posted in the next day.



Killara is our premium lace weight 55%  silk/ 45 % superwash wool blend (28 wraps per inch after washing, 3/28 nM, 933 metres per 100 gram skein).  It has a tremendous drape, and sheen, and is silky smooth with no itch whatsoever.  It will knit to the same gauge as Jaggerspun Zephyr 2/18, and it blocks like a dream.  The superwash wool will be forgiving in the dyeing process, but we do not recommend machine washing or drying for any finished garments. The yarn is lightly oiled on the cone, and will bloom very lightly after a soak in a bath of 60 degree celsious water with the addition of normal dish washing liquid.  Below you can see a photo of the yarn before washing (on the left) and after washing (on the right).


Once again, dyed skeins and swatches will be posted within the next day.

We have large quantities of both yarns, and have been able to source special air freight prices for orders of more than 35 kilos.  Unfortunately, the new sock yarns, merino yarns, and bamboo blends have been delayed, and we will not be able to ship orders of those yarns until mid April. Please contact me for wholesale prices.  Our wholesale prices apply for all orders over 5 kilos in total.


Madder Rib Socks

March 20, 2008


These socks were knit from our 75% Wool/25% Nylon Fingering weight yarn in the pattern “Madder Ribbed Sock” from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush. The yarn matches the gauge specified in the pattern, and no other alteration was made to the pattern except to knit them using the Magic Loop technique, and to make the leg 2.5 cm (1 inch) longer than specified in the pattern. They fit a US size 9 women’s foot, or a European 40. Over 25 grams of yarn (nearly one ounce!) was left over from a 100 gram skein.

The yarn was kettle dyed using Jacquard acid dyes in Sky Blue, Sapphire Blue, and Yellow Sun. White Vinegar was used as the fixative. I made a 30 inch skein, and soaked it a warm water with a good squirt of dish washing detergent.  Two dye solutions were made, one of a mixture of the blue dyes, and one of a mixture of Sapphire Blue with a little Yellow Sun (when combined this makes a brilliant emerald green). The green dye was added to the dye pot first, and half of the soaked skein was dipped in the pot until the dye seemed to be half exhausted.  Then the rest of the dye was added to the pot and all the yarn submerged.  The yarn was then left until all the dye was exhausted. This process gives a lovely subtly variegated yarn without the wrapping needed for other hand-painting methods.


We’ve been very happy with the durability of the socks made for our family from this yarn. It holds up very well to repeated washes in 40 degree celsius on the wool/delicate cycle, and air drying.


Overdyed Merino Laceweight

March 19, 2008


The photo above is of our Merino Laceweight that was originally dyed with Jacquard Acid Dyes in Fire Engine Red, and then overdyed with Ashford dye for Wool and Silk in Brown.  The whole skein had been immersion dyed, but I was after a more variegated effect, and chose to overdye it using the following method.


 The yarn was soaked with a good squirt of hand dishwashing liquid and cold water, and then the dye solution was added to the dye pot that had been filled with cold water. I then arranged the skeins so that they were partially immersed in the dye solution, and slowly raised the heat and simmered (no stirring because the Merino Laceweight can felt) until the dye bath was clear (about 20 minutes).


The resulting yarn is red with long flashes of deep burgundy brown.  Our Merino Laceweight is a perfect substitute for the recommended yarn in Juno Regina which is available for free from


In the next week, we expect to be listing wholesale quantities of Grafton, our 50% Yak/50% Wool sportweight yarn; and Killara, our smooth and very soft 50% silk/ 50% wool. Our deliveries of sock yarn and merino yarn are currently delayed, but hopefully will be received soon.