How can I get gobsmacked yarn? I sell most of my yarn right here, through monthly updates on this website. I also participate in fibre arts festivals and shows, primarily in New Brunswick and other Atlantic provinces. For announcements of upcoming events, join my mailing list.
I want your yarn! Why can't you make more of it? I wish I could! I dye gobsmackers with a special technique that creates unique, lively gradients; unfortunately, it’s also a really labour-intensive process, so my production is limited. I have dedicated studio space and equipment (like a motorized ball winder), which has helped me dye more– but, at the end of the day, the supply will always be limited.
I love that one gradient that you made. Can you make me another one just like it? Unfortunately, no. I dye my gradients with an unusual cake-dyeing technique that creates uniquely beautiful results– but there are so many variables that I can’t control them all. In fact, gobsmacked gradients work best when I let the magic happen in the dye pot, rather than trying to control everything too tightly. However, I can dye you something wonderful in the colours that you love, and can dye multiple matching cakes in the same dye pot, at the same time. For more information, see special requests.
I’m running out of yarn for my project! Will you dye me some matching end yardage? All of my gradients are one-of-a-kind, so I’m not able to dye to match existing cakes. If you’re planning a project and think that you might need more yardage, please contact me ahead of time and I’ll see if I can dye you a gradient of the right length.
Does your yarn have knots or flaws? My superwash and specialty yarns are almost always free of knots, slubs, or flaws. And I handle every inch of every skein during the dye process, so I usually find any issues as I’m working. If a superwash or specialty yarn contains multiple knots, I will note that in the listing and provide a small discount.
The untreated yarns, like Manitoulin Island, do have knots-- possibly as many as two or three per 100g. This is a natural part of woolen-spun yarns created on vintage and antique equipment. The knots are pretty easy to deal with, as the yarn is grippy and easy to spit-splice. A knot or flaw will never interrupt the flow of the gradient. Manitoulin Island yarn also includes some vegetable matter, which is easy to pick out as you work with your yarn.
How do you dye your yarn? Are your colours fast? I use professional-quality acid dyes, fixed with citric acid. I choose my specific dyes with an eye toward great colours that have good light- and wash-fastness. Some colours are more vulnerable to fading than others, though, so it’s always a good idea to treat your hand knits gently.
How should I wash my finished shawl/ hat/ sweater? I recommend washing your handmades in room-temperature water with wool wash, then laying them flat to dry out of direct sunlight. Untreated (non-superwash) yarns will felt if they are agitated or if they are subjected to rapidly changing water temperatures. Please handle items made with untreated yarn with care!
Superwash yarns have been specially treated to stand up to a certain amount of rough handling, so you can treat them with less caution. Still, there’s no drawback to protecting your hand-dyed handknits by treating them gently, so that’s what I recommend.
Some colour is coming off of my yarn! What do I do? It’s rare to run into dye problems with gobsmackers, as I’m constantly handling the yarn so can spot and fix any issues before each skein leaves the studio. There is always a possibility, though, that differences in the chemistry of my tap water and yours might cause properly fixed dyes to bleed a bit. If you're using yarn for colourwork, I encourage you to wash all of your skeins first, just to be on the safe side. If you do find some colour coming off of your gobsmacked yarn, please contact me so I can advise you on how to proceed.
Do you use any scented products on your yarn? No. I’m pretty sensitive to perfumes and strong scents, so I avoid them entirely. I dye my yarn using high-quality professional acid dyes and citric acid, which doesn’t have any noticeable smell; the final rinse is with unscented Soak wool wash.
I have allergies. Do I need to worry about your yarn? I do have a dog, Fennel the Toothless Wonder, and two cats. The pets don’t have anything to do with the yarn or the dyeing process and are not allowed in the studio. Still, there’s always a chance that a stray strand of dog or cat hair could get caked up with the yarn; if you have any allergy concerns, please get in touch and we’ll try to figure things out.
I have really sensitive skin. Will I be able to enjoy your yarn? Yes-- but you'll want to read the description of the specific yarn base (see Yarn details in the menu bar) carefully to decide if it's for you. My superwash merino wool bases are extremely soft and free of lanolin (which can irritate some individuals' skin), so they're next-to-skin for almost everyone. Bases that have BFL wool or alpaca tend to be a little prickly for really sensitive folks. As for my untreated Manitoulin Island yarn? It's an absolutely delightful sheepy wool, but I don't recommend it if you know that itching is a concern for you.