Well, my friends, this has been an awfully long time in the works.
Since Home Row’s inception in late 2016, I’ve had plans to dye yarn. That’s why I added “Fiber Company” to the name, after all. For years I’ve been studying, practicing different techniques, evolving my personal preferences, researching yarn manufacturers and perhaps, most importantly, learning to acknowledge and work with my disability.
If yarn dyeing was very easy more people would do it, and honestly, I ran into a lot of challenges regarding my skin disorder (Lamellar Ichthyosis) and the process of creating hand-dyed yarn. It’s been a humbling and sometimes discouraging journey, but I haven’t given up on my dream of offering yarn alongside my handmade bags. It’s true when they say “where there’s a will, there’s a way” – but sometimes it takes a lot longer to figure out the way that works best for YOU.
But here it is! March 2020 marks the soft launch of my handcrafted yarn which finally brings the Home Row brand full circle. Can you see it now? The storytelling, the play on the term ‘home row’, and my muses: folktales/fables/magic/alchemy/epic fantasy novels all rolled into one? Each colorway is its own little story that I can’t wait for you to read.
Funny fact: I absolutely LOVE the show Murder, She Wrote. Like, love love. J.B. Fletcher’s typewriter, plus her beautiful home with that perfect garden and quaint picket fence (and her sweaters!!), were all inspirations for the Home Row brand on top of the obvious “wool and wood magic” theme. I actually have the same model of typewriter that Jessica uses in the show and even that has magic!
As far as dyeing technique goes I was mainly inspired by my beloved kids, Lucille and Nancy (a brindle-butt Pit Bull and brazen Blue Tabby respectively). This variegated “brindle-dyed” yarn (or tabby-dyed, if you like!) knits up in painterly stripes of varying contrast, just like the fur of my favorite familiar beasts. When working with my yarn, look forward to ribbons of alternating hues, beautiful color pooling, and whimsical resist marks.
Though I dye my yarn in small matching batches, no two skeins will be exactly the same …that’s also true for every animal I’ve known and loved.
The organic fingering weight base I use for dyeing comes from free-range, non-mulesed, USDA certified organic Merino sheep from South America. Organic means a higher standard for the environment and for the sheep. No harmful chemicals, heavy metals, chemical fertilizers or toxic pesticides are used to produce organic wool.
From South America, the fiber then travels to the United States where it is spun and prepared for dyeing here on the East Coast. Unlike traditional “superwashing” methods, this yarn is pre-treated with organic compounds (like biodegradable soaps and vegetable-based spinning oils) to prevent felting in the wash.
Please note: The dyes I use are not organic. However, I consciously work with the earth in mind, re-using water whenever possible and saving any drop of leftover dye stock for my one-of-a-kind Drabble batches. **EDIT: As of July 2020 the new dyes I use are heavy-metal-free and meet organic standards!**
I love this yarn for shawls, scarves, and hats!
The BFL 75/25 sock base I use for dyeing is made with non-mulesed, pasture-raised British wool sourced from small farms across the United Kingdom, purchased through the British Wool Marketing Board. The wool is shorn, scoured, and superwash-treated in the UK in accordance with the highest possible environmental standards and animal welfare. Bluefaced Leicester (blue-faced less-ter) has a beautiful sheen, superior drape, and a longer staple length than Merino with comparable softness and increased strength. The nylon content in this blend adds an extra level of durability that will help extend the life of your knits.
This yarn is great for socks and basically everything else! It’s plenty soft enough for sweaters, too.
The DK base I use for dyeing is a beautiful blend of baby alpaca (also called a Cria!) combed together with linen and silk. Alpaca is a light yet warm fiber with a wonderful softness and a slight fuzzy halo. If you are sensitive to the lanolin oil in wool, try Alpaca instead! This is considered a “luxury” fiber blend so be sure to handwash what you handknit with this yarn.
If you’re looking for a really special all-season sweater or scarf, try this yarn!
Thank you for going on this journey with me! Your support of Home Row along the way has been one of my greatest and most fulfilling experiences. I sincerely thank you for that support.