Introducing Vintage No. 2

Sophistication assumes the slightest touch of rustic.

Vintage No. 2 contains deluxe long-staple fibers from a few hand-selected fleeces with an added touch of cultured silk. The resulting blend balances a shimmering-soft hand with surprising strength. The yarn is loosely spun with a subtle thick-and-thin texture, yet it knits up into a durable fabric with crisp stitch definition and lovely drape. It is perfect for both cables and lace work.

This blend comprises 40% Cormo x Merino lamb’s wool, 35% superfine Shetland, 15% prime alpaca, and 10% cultivated silk. The Cormo x Merino superfine lamb’s wool comes from Marshall, a lamb hand-raised in the Hudson Valley. As with all Vintage fleeces, it was hand-selected as the best of its kind and for the unique qualities it contributes to the final blend of fibers. Marshall’s wool is sleek but sturdy, with long fibers that are extremely soft but resistant to pilling. The Shetland fleeces are even softer, providing phenomenally light and warm fiber that assures both body and drape. The prime alpaca fleece comes from Angel, and won Best in Show at the 2016 Garden State Sheep Breeders Fleece Show.

Small quantities of Vintage No. 2 have been hand-dyed in soft, complementary colors. It is pre-washed, but swatching and blocking are always recommended.

From left to right:
CIRRUS (variegated) – charcoal and blue grey
BRACKEN (variegated) moss green with tints of rust
PERSIMMON* (semi-solid) – cool orange
POOL (semi-solid) – clear pale blue
APPLE WOOD* (solid) – muted chartreuse
*PERSIMMON and APPLE WOOD derive their base colors from botanical natural dyes (brazilwood and apple bark, respectively), and the final colors are achieved with tints of primary acid dyes. As with all natural dyes, minimal amounts of dye run-off may occur when washed.

Gauge: 20 – 23 sts = 4″ (10 cm)
Weight / Yardage: 2 oz /140 yds (56 g / 128 m)

November 29, 2016

Introducing Vintage No. 1

Middle Brook Fiberworks presents Vintage No. 1. This artisanal yarn is a sumptuous blend of hand-selected fleeces from Shetland and CVM (California Variegated Mutant) sheep, raised by small independent farmers. The natural brown, warm grey, and ivory tones of the wool are enhanced by a glimmer of silk: golden muga for the Chestnut and Beech, and creamy tussah for the Almond. The colors evoke winter landscapes, sharp cold days warmed by afternoon light.

Vintage No. 1 embodies the characteristics of a woolen spun yarn with its airy and lightweight handle and minor variation in thickness. It retains all the bounce, loft, and crispness of the highest quality wool fleeces and yields an elegant fabric with excellent body and refined finish.

Farms of origin: Marushka Farms in Danville, PA and Ewe Can Do It Farm in Ottsville, PA. Processed by Gurdy Run Mill in Halifax, PA.

September 12, 2016

Begin to Spin Class & Studio Tour

Let’s make yarn! I’ll provide all the materials and equipment for the beginning handspinner as we explore the transformation of fleece into yarn. We’ll start with a washing a raw fleece and learn the technical details of fiber preparation. At the wheel, we see how twist and ply affect a finished yarn, and we’ll experiment with a variety of fibers, from breed-specific roving, to camelids and silks. No experience necessary. Class size limited to 6.

After the class, the studio will be open to the public from 3-5 p.m. I’ll be demonstrating Eco-print natural dyeing with botanicals on silk scarves in the studio, and my pet Shetland sheep will be thrilled to show off their tricks (eating grass and, well, eating grass).

If you’re not able to make it this weekend, learn more about and register for these upcoming fall and winter classes at the Middle Brook Fiberworks website:

Thursday, November 10 – Dyeing for Yarn
Sunday, November 13 – Begin to Spin
Thursday, January 26 – Spinning for Texture
Thursday, February 23 – Eco-print Silk Scarves

Where Fiber and Imagination Come to Play

Middle Brook Fiberworks, housed in a restored 1800s barn amidst the scenic horse farms and historic estates Bedminster, N.J., is making its debut with the A Plied Yarn Lab, a two-day comprehensive fleece-to-yarn experience.

The two-day workshop, held on May 28 and 29, will include instruction on washing a fleece, preparing locks, and spinning. Along the way, we’ll investigate traditional methods of fleece preparation and spinning, and consider how breed, twist, and ply affect the character of a finished yarn. We’ll then apply our knowledge to explore innovative spinning techniques. We’ll card art batts that incorporate non-traditional elements such as locks, sparkle, various silks and exotic fibers, to craft art yarn with puffs, tails, beehives, and coils.

Laura Spinner, of Rainbow Twist Fibers, will make her first East Coast engagement at A Plied Yarn. On Sunday, Laura will be joined by Ginny Tullock, of Fat Cat Knits, for an exciting day of creative yarn artistry.

All materials, lunch and refreshments, along with a Middle Brook Fiberworks gift tote with fiber samples and other treats, will be included in the $350 cost. Click here for more details.