Sunday, August 28, 2011

Really, Really Cool Things

The lot of yarn I had made up at Stonehedge Mill has been washing up beautifully and I've been making plans to properly market it starting at the upcoming Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival.  Besides getting the equipment to handle that amount of yarn efficiently, the next order of business was designing a label. 

One of the chief components of a label I discovered is the listing of technical info.  How technical can yarn be, you ask?  Apparently, plenty technical.  Having ever bought only 2 skeins of yarn in the last 20 years (really) I did not remember what was on the labels.  Lo and behold, included there is washing instructions, fiber content, country of origin, physical address and website of producer, stitches and rows per inch in a given swatch, suggested needle and crochet hook size, skein weight and length in both English and metric measures, color and dye lot!  My friend Carolyn, talented and versatile fiber artist that she is, agreed to test drive the different yarns and give me her professional opinion on the swatching and tool selection numbers.  (Thanks again, Carolyn.  I'm too inexperienced to know if it's wrong - I just forge ahead and make. it. work. )

Armed with all that info, I hired the services of an ad designer and we did the whole back-and-forth of creating it by email. The things you can do nowadays! I had a basic idea or two and she whipped them onto paper, added a few of her own ideas for me to consider, made changes as I asked, and ta-daaaa!  Here they are, three to a page, fresh from their birth at Staples.  I have a page for each yarn weight.

Golden Sheep Yarn labels

Since this is 100% Cotswold wool yarn and Cotswolds are known as 'the golden fleece breed' (due to the wool's value in Britain a few hundred years ago.......) I tilted the idea just a little and came up with Golden Sheep Yarn.  I don't know if it's horribly clever, but I like it :-)

So.  We have yarn.  We have labels.  Now to show off the yarn to best advantage so knitters will know what it can do - lift the hood and rev the motor a little, so to speak.  In steps another friend, Caroline, who offers to knit 'a little something' for each weight.  (Do I have cool friends, or what?)  In my mind, 'a little something' is a 4 by 4 inch swatch of garter stitch, with maybe a ribbing border.  "Yes, please," I say. "That would be lovely and much appreciated."

This is what she did................

Hat with 2 buttons from Bulky 2-ply

Eyelet lace baby sweater from the worsted weight singles


A second sweater with little leaves from the 3-ply worsted weight

Close up of eyelet lace

Close up of leaves

I plan to dye some of each type of yarn and also have the natural white available too.  I love it and really, really hope the yarn is well-received by knitters, but here's my conclusion so far........

Raising the sheep, milling the wool, designing a label........... many hundreds of dollars.

Friends like these.......PRICELESS !


  1. you are so talented! birthing the lambs, feeding the sheep, caring for them night and day, harvesting their food and fleece, that is the gift that makes the knitting part so easy.
    i love the 'golden sheep yarns' name and labels. i can truely attest that it is golden to work with. the yarn is soft with a wonderful 'body'. the yarn knit easily with none of that splitty business that can occur. the end products were really a testiment to your endless time and nurturing. love it all!! (especially diplayed in the pines :)

  2. Oh. How. Lovely! And what a good friend. The yarn is beautiful and the finished products gorgeous! I love, love, love the leaves!