Amber Turner on Dec 5, 2016
This soap is fantastic! My husband appreciates that the scent isn't too "flowery". I love that it isn't drying to my skin. Also, no palm oil is used to make it!
Amber Turner on Dec 5, 2016
This is my favorite soap! I love the scent. It smells clean, natural and refreshing. It rinses off without leaving and residue. And it's not drying to my skin. Also I appreciate that palm oil isn't used in this soap!
Spinner, Farmer, Soapmaker
I've loved working with fiber for most of my life. I learned to crochet and sew at a young age, and later on I taught myself how to knit and then to spin on both a drop spindle and wheel. I now have 10 years of spinning experience under my belt. Since I started out as a knitter and crocheter, I design my yarns with practicality in mind - even my craziest art yarns are sturdy and meant to be used. I love to process my own fiber from raw wool, and am always amazed by the sometimes magical transformation from fiber to yarn. I became more and more interested in the animals that grow my fibers and I now own a small farm with a few miniature fiber goats (pygoras) and am thinking of adding some miniature sheep soon. My miniature dairy goats produce the milk used in my goats milk soaps.
I am very conscious about the fibers I use in my yarns. It's important to me to know exactly where everything comes from, what went into making and processing it, and how the animals were treated. I currently avoid most silk (except for recycled sari silk threads and mill end/recycled/byproduct silk), cashmere and angora (except for recycled versions of these fibers or angora produced by local bunny owners) and most commercially processed wool. I try to buy as much wool from small local farms as possible, and I am lucky to live in an area with a huge variety of sheep farms, including some rare breeds. I like supporting small local businesses, and when I buy directly from the farmers, they get a much fairer price for their wool than if they sold it to the local wool pool. Plus it allows me to control exactly what goes into my fiber and keep the entire process eco-friendly - most of the wool and mohair that I use in my yarns I get raw, right off the animal, and I wash, dye, and card it myself. Our farmhouse has a septic tank, so I make extra sure that no dyes or residues go down the drain - all my dyes are low-impact, the dye water is exhausted and re-used, and I use biodegradable soap for washing fleeces so the wash water can be dumped outside.
My processed Falkland/merino cross wool top comes from the DHF farm in the Falkland islands. They don't use any herbicides, pesticides, dips, footbaths or regular injections on their sheep, and no bleach or other chemicals in the processing of the wool - so it is, according to them, some of the purest, cleanest wool you will find on the planet. It's also extremely soft and fine, with the loftiness of merino but a longer staple length so the yarn is stronger and doesn't pill as easily.
I also use mill end fibers, which are leftovers from large spinning mills. They end up with lots of 'waste' fibers that don't make it all the way through the carding & spinning process that would otherwise be thrown out if they didn't sell them to handspinners. There are also some types of fiber that are a by-product of making other things, like tussah silk noil and recycled sari silk threads. The fibers are top quality, they just tend to take more prep time as they often need to be sorted and re-carded. Any fiber labeled as "recycled" in my yarns, like recycled BFL wool or recycled bamboo rayon, is probably a mill end fiber.
I used to spin a lot of vegan fibers, mainly organic cotton, but I've stopped since moving to the farm because the fiber reactive dyes needed to dye plant fibers produce far too much waste water and dye runoff, even the nicest professional dyes. I have experimented with other dyes but haven't found any that are permanent and colorfast enough for me to be comfortable selling fiber dyed with them.
My yarn is in a book! "Knit One, Embellish Too: Hats, Mittens, and Scarves With a Twist" by Cosette Cornelius-Bates (aka http://cosyknitsliterally.etsy.com ). Check out pages 88 & 100 for a sweet bonnet pattern and some lovely stripey mittens knit with my handspun yarn.
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