NewsFeed for Wool2Dye4

The best way to keep current with Wool2Dye4

Archive for the ‘Yarn Information’ Category

Retail 5 pack event!

Our retail 5 pack event starts on Monday the 24th until Sunday the 30th of April.

This event happens twice yearly. Its a great opportunity to test out bases in smaller quantities, you can order 5 skeins of any type at the standard retail price, allowing you to test something out first before you commit.


Label Correction: BFL Donegal Sock

Due to the sharp eye of one of our BFL customers, we have just discovered that the most recent shipment of BFL Donegal Sock has an error on the shipping label generated at the mill.  Can you spot the error?

In the fiber description, the main fiber shows as Merino instead of British Bluefaced Leicester.

Your yarn DOES, in fact, have British BFL … not merino, and we will try to catch all outgoing kilos of this yarn and change to one of our in-office-generated labels before shipping.  If you see this label, just remember, it was a tiny glitch, and the yarn is BFL!

Label error

……………………….. OOPS! It’s really BFL!

Synthrapol? NO!

Today I had my hands on a skein of yarn dyed by a customer who should have known better.  Two things … the skein smelled of vinegar … and … it had been scoured.  One screams that they dyer didn’t do enough, the other that they did too much!

When dyeing protein fibers such as the yarns from Wool2Dye4, I use white distilled vinegar to set my depot, and have never had a skein smell like it.  It’s simple:  Yarn will smell bad if you use too much vinegar.  That is the simple truth.  Use a lighter hand when you add distilled vinegar to your depot and then wash every skein with a gentle wool wash, like Eucalan.  That is all that is needed, and if your yarn has the smell of vinegar, then it is screaming that you did not take the time to do it right.  Do you consider yourself a professional?  Take a sniff at your packaged skeins to be sure.

Why do we say not to scour our yarns or use a stripper such as Synthrapol? Two reasons:  Scouring agents are meant for cellulose fibers, not protein fibers.  The second reason is that our yarns are steamed as an extra step at the mill. That extra step strips away any lingering lanolin or machine oil which dyers who scour say they are taking care of.   No!   The skein I had today had been given a soak in something like Synthrapol, and it feels like straw.  Nothing I did could bring it back to life, and what a shame.  I say this because I know that dyers are selling yarns where they have scoured our yarns and there is absolutely no reason for it.

With our yarns, there is absolutely no reason to overdo either of these two harsh chemicals.  Maybe with other mills, but not with the yarns you buy from Wool2Dye4 because our mill performs that extra step of steaming.  There reason to use distilled is because it serves as the acid required to set acid dyes designed for protein (e.g., wool) fibers.   There is absolutely no reason to use a stripper or scouring agent such as Synthrapol.  In fact, they are counter-indicated for protein fibers, because they  slowly eat away at the wool fibers and erode them.

Scouring agents are used in dyeing cellulose fibers, such as cotton.  Not wool

After dyeing, give your skeins a nice bath with a stay-in wool wash, and hang to dry.

Arrived Feb 4, 2016 Platinum DK … and 3 mini-20 gram sock yarns!

Note:  Arrived and in stock on the website now!  Feb 4, 2016

Platinum Sock has a new member of the family … Platinum DK

Continuing the lasting popularity of our best selling yarn, Platinum Sock, we are about to introduce the same fiber blend in a heavier weight.  Welcome Platinum DK to our lineup.   We expect it to be an immediate success with the same lovely twist as our DK-115.  The differences between the two superwash merino DK yarns is in skein weight (Platinum DK on 100-gram skeins, and DK-115 on 115-gram skeins) and fiber content (Platinum DK at 75% Superwash Merino/25% nylon and DK-115 at 100% superwash merino).

Sticking with the plan of naming yarns of  similar fiber combinations with an extension to designate weight, we try to keep the idea of each ‘line’clear.

Yarn Names and what they mean

(there are a few differences here and there within a name/line to make it a special addition to a line, but this is a general guideline below.  Here are some suggestions of how to find our yarns by doing a search on the names below.)

— In Platinum (75% Merino-SW/25% nylon), there will now be two yarns:  Platinum Sock, Platinum DK

— In Gold (80% Merino-SW/20% nylon):  Sheila’s Gold, BRB Gold (a bulky weight)

— Cash MCN (80% Merino-SW/10% Cashmere/10% Nylon):  Cash Sock MCN, Cash DK MCN, Cash Aran MCN

— MCN HT (also 80% Merino-SW/10% Cashmere/10% Nylon) the difference is in the twist:  MCN HT 100 gram skeins, or MCN HT on 150 gram skeins

— Angel (70% alpaca/20% Silk/10% Cashmere) Angel Lace, Angel Select, Angel Delight Fingering, Angel Delightful

— Wool2Dye4 Merino (100% merino) W2D4 Merino Sport, W2D4 Merino Sport Gold, W2D4 Merino DK-SW, W2D4 Merino Worsted-SW, W2D4 Merino Worsted Improved, W2D4 Merino Bulky-SW.  Of course there are other 100% merino yarns such as Sheila’s Sock and Merino Traditional Aran.

— Sheila’s … This line is all about the twist of the yarn, a 2-Ply twist that is perfectly suited to our springy superwash merino at sock weight.  It was Sheila’s favorite twist and she bugged everyone at the mill until the Eureka! moment.  Now we have Sheila’s Sock, Sheila’s Gold, Sheila’s Sparkle, Sheila’s Glitter … all in my favorite twist!  This is also the twist in MCN HT and BFL HT, the ‘HT’ meaning ‘high twist,’ which also describes Sheila’s favorite twist.

— Select is a descriptor we began to use with the laces with 875 yds/100 grams to differentiate them from the very thin laces, when we carried both weights.  Now, because very few of our customers use the thinner,higher yardage laces, we only stock the ‘Select’ weight.  It is a totally made-up description that means nothing outside our little Wool2Dye4 world.

–Sock.  Now, we know that most of our customers dye yarn for socks, but there actually is no yarn weight known as ‘sock weight’ in the fiber arts world.  We use the term because our customers use it!  The true weight is Fingering.


Knots? Watch this video!

Knots are usually not true knots, but joins of the sources of fibers which are used to spin and ply yarns.  Here is a terrific video from the YouTube channel called ‘The Crochet Crowd’ which every fiber artist should consider.

Knots are a part of the process.  During the spinning process, new cones or bumps of raw fiber must be joined to what’s already being spun from time to time.  Most of the time, the join is not even noticed, but sometimes there is a visible join.  You can either trim the bumpy bits from the join, or cut it out and do a hand little join that is demonstrated in this terrific little video.

I cannot tell you how many newbie dyers write to me to tell me about one knot in an entire kilo of yarn.  99% percent of the time, they are talking about a join.   There is actually an industry standard which allows something like 8 or ten joins per per 100 gram skein, and you will never see near that amount in our yarns.

One of the things I love about this video is that it uses a commercial knitting yarn as an example.  Our yarn is manufactured to at least the standards of commercial knitting yarns, and actually higher standards in many cases.  Take a look, and let your understanding of the fiber process expand to include the joining of new source materials to an existing spin.  And, please take note of the environmental impact information of the effects of cutting out all joins!  It is an astounding figure.




Ultra Select laceweight, clarification of yardage values

The correct yardage for Ultra Select is 931 yards per 100 grams.  There is an incorrect series of labels which we pasted all over this yarn over the past couple of years and that label quotes yardage at 875 yards.  This is my error and I apologize for it.

This is the only one of the Select laceweight category that is a 100% superwash merino, and it had to be twisted a little tighter than the other Select yarns so that the fibers would hold together well.  When it was first introduced, I missed this info in the description from the mill, and saw ‘Select’ weight and immediately translated that, in print as it turns out, to 875 yards.  Wrong!

I’ll say it again:
There are 931 yards per 100 gram skein of Ultra Select.

931 yards/100 gram skein

931 yards/100 gram skein

The Future of Sock Blanks at Wool2Dye4

In a word?  Bright.  

Ready for a packer to grab at a moment's notice!

Ready for a packer to grab at a moment’s notice!

Platinum Sock Blanks:

Our Platinum Sock Blank, single yarn thickness, is now on a constant rotating schedule of spinning at the merino mill.  When we introduced our Platinum Sock Blank, we were not prepared for the positive response and found ourselves looking at a big empty space where that stock had been oh, so briefly.  I knew with 24 hours that we needed an emergency re-stock, and the word ’emergency’ is a relative term when considering a busy mill’s schedule, raw materials availability, and going through the order process.  For blanks, this is a four-month process.  For yarn, it is a three-month process.

We are now on what we anticipate to be a good rotating spin schedule of the blanks, and we expect  consistent stock to be available.  That is our goal.  When we saw how quickly Platinum Sock Blanks were flying out the door, our customers were watching the inventory levels change, too.  They started to write to us, and as usual for yarnies, had a few suggestions in mind to offer freely.  There were two which stood out, and we put them into action.  Here they are:

Addition to our Blanks line, due Autumn 2014:

1.  Double yarn thickness of Platinum Sock Blanks.  Dyeing a double thickness means that you can dye two socks at the same time and the will be exact copies of each other.  Now, this requires a very important detail that will require attention, and that is that the double knit blank will need to be completely and thoroughly soaked before dyeing.  The dye will not penetrate both layers if there is not enough dampness to carry to color.  So, a long warm bath is advised for the double blank.

2.  Sparkle Blanks:  Yes!  Exciting news, and on the schedule as I write.  Sheila’s Sparkle will be knit into single thickness Sock Blanks.  This was the most popular request we received about the blanks, and we decided to listen and take the suggestion seriously.  For those who have not yet tried Sheila’s Sparkle sock weight yarn, this is our version of silver-toned sparkly sock weight yarn.  The sparkle comes from an Italian engineered nylon fiber called Stellina.  It does require a little extra attention when adding color to the dyepot.  If there is too much color to be absorbed, that is, too much color added to the amount of fiber vs water volume, then the Stellina will attract the extra color, and you will lose the sparkly effect.  If this is your first attempt at dyeing Sheila’s Sparkle, we advise you to start out with a light hand in adding color.  Watch and observe your dyepot for best results, and soon you will get the hang of it.

Good news, right?

How to Check Inventory Levels

Ever wonder how to check our inventory?  I know that many of our wholesale customers spend a lot of time planning ahead, and knowing when to buy is an important part of their plan.

Here’s how to check our inventory:

        • Search on the yarn name
        • Click on title in the Short Listing
        • Look for the Price
        • Locate the inventory on hand just below the Price

Practice on a sample link to one of our oldest and most popular yarns, Ultra Merino 3Ply.
Click on the link below, and then look for the inventory on hand figure.  See it?

Ultra Merino 3Ply

Now you have a tiny bit more understanding of how the website can help you plan ahead.

Sock Blanks’ Popularity Consumed the First Stocking

Update on arrival dates:  Mid August, then again mid-September

Wool2Dye4’s addition of Sock Blanks to our lineup created quite a buzz of interest, and our first load of Sock Blanks has now been almost completely consumed by eager dyers.  The very first day they were shown on the website, I realized that we were going to have a run on the stock, and so I placed an order for double the first one.  Since then, I have added another 100 kilos on for good measure.

Typically our orders to our merino mill take three months, but the knitting in quantity adds a full month onto delivery for Sock Blanks.  We expect the return of Sock Blanks around the end of August through mid-September.  Watch this NewsFeed and also the Wool2Dye4 newsletter for the announcement of the arrival date.

Wholesalers are invited to contact us to reserve through private order in quantities of a minimum of five kilos of blanks.  Since they are sold in packs of 5 blanks, that would be 10 packs of five to equal the five kilo minimum.

Our thanks to all who tried our Sock Blanks knit in a single layer from Platinum Sock!

Sheila / Wool2Dye4