March 25, 2021

Sustainable, Durable, Fashionable: Vegetable Ivory Buttons

  • Ivory buttons scattered over blue fabric.

Buttons add functionality and style to every garment. Our vegetable ivory buttons do that while serving as a sustainable alternative to plastic buttons.

Each button is carved from tagua, a nut known for its resemblance to ivory both in look and feel. The nuts are produced by a type of palm tree native to rainforests in Central and South America and have long been used as an animal friendly substitute for ivory.

We offer two types of vegetable ivory buttons: Solid white and spotted. (The spotting is due to natural color variations found in the raw tagua material.) But if you fancy a different color, vegetable ivory is still a great choice. The tagua nut material is full of microscopic pores and will easily soak up dye.

Our buttons come in a pack of four and vary slightly in shape and size. In general, each one is about the size of a quarter.

Vegetable ivory’s good looks and durability made it a popular button material before plastics. Today, these buttons serve as a unique, environmentally friendly, and eye-catching choice!

Our buttons are made in a tagua workshop in Ecuador that primarily employs young women, allowing them to earn money while staying in school or supporting their families.

March 1, 2021

Roving Roundup + 10% Off

  • A ball of brown wool fiber.

Our yarn usually has the spotlight. But we’re dedicating this post to the material that makes yarn possible in the first place: roving!

Like our yarn, all of our roving is made from undyed, naturally colored fibers. We currently have five roving types in stock:

1. Cirrus – A pencil roving made from blended Jacob sheep & Shetland sheep wool. The fiber is different shades of stormy gray.

2. Coopworth – 100% Coopworth sheep wool. The fiber is a warm, variegated gray with shades of brown.

3. Navajo-Churro roving – 100% Navajo-Churro sheep wool. The roving is deep brown, with some white guard hairs. It is used to make our yarn Walnut.

4. Ultisol roving – A blend of cinnamon red Huacaya alpaca and Zwartbles sheep wool imported from the Netherlands. The roving is a a dynamic brown with red undertones. It is used to make our yarn Ultisol.

5. Jacob Sheep roving – 100% Jacob Sheep wool. The fiber is a heathered gray hue. (This fiber is Shave ‘Em to Save ‘Em eligible!)

One more thing: Take 10% off your order with the coupon code “gratitude.” The coupon marks the end of #fiberuary — a social media celebration of all things fiber. Check out our Instagram page to see all our Fiberuary posts!

February 15, 2021

New Pencil Roving: Cirrus

I’ve always been a fan of pencil roving. The pencil-width and delicate handle make it a joy to knit, as well as spin!

Our new pencil roving, Cirrus, has both these attributes. Add in its dappled gray hue, and it’s like crafting with a storm cloud!

Cirrus is 100% wool, and made from a blend of Jacob sheep and Shetland sheep fleece. There are no dyes or synthetic fibers, so both the color and the texture come directly from the sheep that grew it. The overall feel is a medium soft.

100% wool pencil roving is a versatile material. In addition to knitting and spinning, you can easily felt it. If you’re new to using it, here are a couple tips to keep in mind!

– If you’re knitting or crocheting, treat it like a delicate, single-ply worsted yarn.

– If you’re spinning, spin it counter-clockwise to help release some of its native twist and make it easier to draft.

– If you’re needle felting, take advantage of its narrow width and gauzy feel to add intricate details, or roll it up to create core forms.

Each bump of Cirrus pencil roving is approximately 4 oz and 150 yards.

January 31, 2021

Nature’s Rainbow: Adding Color With Alpaca

  • Cream yarn with pops of red.

True black. Cinnamon red. Stormy gray. Sunny fawn.

That’s just a small sample of the array of natural fleece colors produced by alpacas. According to the Alpaca Owner’s Association, the spectrum of colors can be sorted into 16 standard hues!

At Gothfarm Yarn, we often use alpaca fleece to add a pop of color to our yarns. As an added benefit, alpaca adds a delightfully soft handle, with alpaca having a smoother feel than wool fibers of a similar width.

We currently have four alpaca blend yarns:

1. Arkose: Cinnamon red alpaca + White Rambouillet Merino wool

2. Aswan: Cinnamon red alpaca + Jacob sheep wool

3. Carbonado: True black alpaca + Gotland sheep wool + East Friesian sheep wool

4. Ultisol: Cinnamon red alpaca + Zwartbles sheep wool (also available as a roving!)

We don’t use dyes or synthetic materials in our yarns. Instead, we opt for undyed fleeces – and embrace the natural colors and textures they offer. And we love drawing on the natural rainbow available in alpaca fleece. We’ll be releasing more alpaca yarn in more colors later this year, so stay tuned!

Interested in learning more about alpacas an their fleeces? Check out the Fauna section of our website for more information.

December 24, 2020

Navajo-Churro sweater kit

  • A colorwork sweater in neutrals.

The relationship between the Navajo people (who call themselves the Diné) and Navajo-Churro sheep has lasted for centuries, with the wool primarily used to create beautiful woven items. Our sweater adaption, the “Diné Motif Design,” brings traditional Diné weaving motifs into a new realm — sweater knitting — while maintaining traditional materials and centering the design of a contemporary Diné weaver.

The design is an adaption of of the “Rug” sweater, a beloved pattern by knitwear designer Junko Okamoto. The “Diné Motif Design” is the latest in a longline of adaptations and a collaboration between Gothfarm Yarn and Kevin Aspaas, a Diné weaver.

The adaption changes the original design in two ways:
– It replaces the colorwork sections with an original design by Aspaas.
– And it replaces the suggested yarn with 100% Navajo-Churro yarn from Gothfarm Yarn. Like all our yarn, the Churro yarn is made from naturally colored, undyed wool.

Navajo-Churro is a rugged, hardwearing wool! It’s not your typical garment yarn — especially in our age of superwash Merino and acrylic blends. But wearing it is easy if you just keep a couple things in mind.

-Wear a thick, long-sleeved shirt under the sweater.
-Remember that the Rug pattern has a wide neck, which keeps the wool clear from sensitive neck skin.

That’s it!

The “Diné Motif Design” adaption pattern is available as a FREE download on our website. The “Rug” pattern by Junko Okamoto must be downloaded to knit this adaption. It is currently free on Ravelry.

The kit — which includes the yarn and a high-quality hard copy of the adaption — is also available on our website.

Get some Churro on those needles!

November 19, 2020

Check Out Our Churro Yarn + Support Navajo Weavers

  • Cream-colored yarn.

Navajo-Churro sheep are a distinct and beautiful breed. They come in an array of natural colors; have a heavy dual-coated fleece made up of a hairy overcoat and downy undercoat; and heads crowned with impressive, curved horns.

While most other domestic sheep breeds have been selected for white and soft fleeces, the Churro is valued for its diversity. There are breed standards. But they make room for diversity in fleece color and fleece texture. This is largely due to the influence of the Navajo/Diné people, who developed the breed over centuries and continue to do so to this day, prizing the hardy colored wool for weaving.

We’re big fans of color and texture, too, at Gothfarm Yarn. That’s why we are so excited to have 100% Navajo-Churro wool yarn in four natural and undyed colors.

Bone – a natural white, DK-weight yarn

Slate – a natural gray, DK-weight yarn

Apricot – a natural beige, worsted-weight yarn

Walnut – a natural brown, worsted-weight yarn (also available as a roving)

Each yarn is spun up in single-ply that blends both coats together.

The yarn and roving are “Shave ‘em to Save ‘em” eligible. Plus, for all of November, we’re donating 10% of each Navajo-Churro skein and roving sale to Diné be’ iiná, a non-profit that supports Navajo shepherds, weavers and wool workers.

On another note, “National Knit Your Own Sweater Month” is still going strong! Get 25% your entire order of six skeins or more (excluding the Churro yarn) with the checkout code “STOCKUP.” The offer expires midnight on Nov. 30.

October 28, 2020

Socktober Special: Buy One Sock Yarn, Get Another 40% Off

  • Natural colored socks.

The days are getting shorter. The nights are getting cooler. The couch is getting cozier. It must be… SOCKTOBER!

We want to help you get some wool socks on those needles before the month is done!

For all of October, we’ve been offering a sock special: Buy one sock yarn, get another skein 40% off! Just enter the coupon code “sockz” at checkout.

Like all our yarns, our sock yarns are made from blends of undyed, naturally colored fibers. They are as follows:

MUSKEG: A soil brown yarn made from a blend of naturally colored Rambouillet Merino wool mixed with amber mohair hair locks. Sport weight.

ARKOSE: A blushing white yarn made from a blend of Rambouillet Merino wool, mohair locks and just a hint of cinnamon red Huacaya Alpaca fleece. Sport weight.

NEBELUNG: A matte gray yarn with warm undertones. The yarn owes its hue to colored Coopworth sheep wool blended with carbonized bamboo, a processed plant fiber with a natural steel gray hue. Fingering weight.

The socks pictured here are Woolfield’s Terracotta Socks knitted up from two skeins of Arkose.

The Socktober special ends at 11:59 p.m. CST on Oct. 31 — less than a week away! To be the first in the know about offers like this, sign up for our mailing list: http://eepurl.com/dPulFf

That’s all for now! We hope you have a happy Halloween with tricks, treats & warm, cozy feet.

September 27, 2020

Palettes for Making Undyed Yarns Pop!

  • A brown knitted square with a circle of gray.

At Gothfarm Yarn, we love our neutral shades. After all, our last Indie Untangled blog post showcased our array of gray yarn and roving!

But working with our undyed yarn doesn’t have to mean projects in muted colors. Check out four color palette ideas to make striking knits with our undyed, naturally-colored fibers! Each palette photo is posted in the same order as the list below.

#1. Harmonious
This palette uses three yarns in earthy hues. The colors work together; one doesn’t dominate over another. Our two brown yarns — Aswan and Ultisol — form a marled background. The gray yarn — Gabbro –creates a solid foreground shape. Aswan’s subtle gray tweed helps strengthen the color harmony.

Yarn guide:
Light brown: Aswan
Dark brown: Ultisol
Gray: Gabbro

#2. Dye Collider
There’s no reason why undyed yarns and indie-dyed yarns should live in different worlds!* In fact, undyed yarns can create a neutral canvas that can make indie-dyed yarns pop! In this palette, our white yarn — Bone — is combined with hand-spun dyed yarn from Hedgehog Fibres. An added bonus: Bone’s fuzzy halo helps blend it all together.

*as long as the dye is well-set, and the finished product is gently hand washed in cool water.

Yarn guide:
White: Bone
Colored yarn: Hedgehog Fibres hand-spun (personal stash)

#3 Marled Metallics
Our golden, lace-weight yarn – Aten – can add shine and class to any project. Simply hold it together with your main yarn to create a marled metallic look. We paired it here with our matte-gray yarn Nebelung.

Yarn guide:
Gold: Aten
Gray: Nebelung

#4 High contrast
Undyed yarn is known for complex, rich neutrals. You can make neutrals pop by choosing a high-contrast colorwork motif. A classic example of that is Houndstooth. We did our own take on it based on the tooth shape of the Crab eater seal. The pattern chart is free on Ravelry! https://www.ravelry.com/projects/GothfarmYarn/crabeater-seal-teeth-motif

Yarn guide:
Black: Carbonado
White: Kaolin
Gray: Gabbro

August 14, 2020

Shades of Gray at Gothfarm Yarn

  • A closeup of gray rustic yarn.

We love gray at Gothfarm Yarn.

It’s one of the most common fleece colors; sheep, goats and alpacas all come in shades of gray. Since all our yarn is made from undyed, naturally colored fibers, that means a great, gray color palette that we blend to produce some of our most popular yarns.

There’s Gabbro, a mottled, tweedy blend of Jacob Sheep wool and black mohair; Nebelung, a matte-steel blend of carbonized bamboo and Coopworth sheep locks; and Carbonado, a tri-blend yarn with silver gray halo from Gotland sheep fleece. (The yarn’s primary black hue comes from a blend of true black alpaca and East Friesian wool.)

The different fibers give each yarn a different look and feel, so make sure to visit our website for more information on each one. Our mini-skein set, pictured here in the aptly named Grayscale, is also a great way to sample the yarn.

Our gray fibers extend to roving, too. Handspinners, needle felters, weavers and fiber artists: Check out out Jacob Sheep wool roving and Coopworth sheep wool roving to add some great, gray raw materials to your stash.

June 27, 2020

Blush & Brown: Meet Arkose and Muskeg

  • A twisted hank of rustic cream-colored yarn.

The last few months have been big for us in terms of new yarns. Last month we debuted Aswan, our golden Muga silk, lace weight yarn (pictured here in the last two images). This month we introduced two more yarns into the mix: Arkose and Muskeg.

Like all our yarns, Arkose and Muskeg are made from blends of undyed, naturally colored fibers. Arkose is a blushing sport-weight yarn — white with just a hint of warmth. This hue comes from blending white Rambouillet Merino and shiny white mohair locks with just a hint of red Huacaya alpaca fleece. The yarn gets its name from Arkose sandstone, a variety of rock known for its range of red tints.

Muskeg is a rich natural brown, DK-weight yarn. It’s made from a mix of amber mohair locks and dark brown Rambouillet Merino wool. The yarn is the color of soil, with a soft feel and full body.

We debuted both Arkose and Muskeg at the Virtu-Wool Fiber Festival earlier this month, a fiber fest where vendors shared their wares entirely on Facebook Live. Announcing a new yarn over Facebook Live was a new experience for us. But it was fun to connect with a whole new audience of fiber enthusiasts! We’re taking part in another fiber fest this weekend, the virtual edition of the Houston Fiber Fest. To make the whole occasion feel a bit more normal, we’re offering free U.S. shipping this entire weekend, June 27-29. There are no coupon codes and no minimums. Just select free shipping at checkout.

We know it’s not the same thing as walking away from a booth with an armful of yarn… but just give it a good squeeze when it shows up in your mailbox. 🙂