Squishymail from Inglenook Fibers

My first package of spinning fiber from Inglenook Fibers has arrived! This is a new vendor for me, so I thought I’d share my first impressions.

Inglenook is run by a couple of Greek Orthodox nuns in the Boston area, not far from where I grew up. The sisters make a lot of other handcrafted items, but their hand-dyed and hand-carded spinning fiber is what interests me most. Pricing is about the same as other indie dyers and not at all unreasonable. As with many other small hand-dyeing operations, their production is very limited and you have to catch the web store right when it updates to grab anything in stock. They do have a mailing list that sends out friendly notifications so you can plan your purchase.

In addition to hand-dyed fiber, Inglenook also offers a custom milled sock blend (at a very reasonable $16/4oz) that is pretty much always in stock. I ordered a sampler to try it out and really love all of the colors. The fiber content is 50% shetland wool, 25% BFL, and 25% bio-nylon for strength. This set contains about enough for one pair of stripey socks, if I can spin it fine enough.

As a bonus, they also sent me a tiny green sample of merino/silk/cashmere floof that is just adorable and ultra-soft!

The next item in my order is Sidewalk Chalk, a happy mix of fuchsia, turquoise, royal blue, and yellow balanced with light gray. The fiber content is 50/50 baby gray alpaca and tussah silk. The colors just happen to perfectly match the little hummingbird knife that I use to open packages, so I left it in the photo.

Last up: Two different braids in the delicious Biscotti colorway. It’s interesting to see them side by side as it shows the variances in the way different fibers take the dye. I’m thinking of spinning these up and then plying them together for a total of 11 ounces. It would take a while, but if I spin a fingering weight 2-ply I can probably get over 1000 yards of yarn. Might be a good candidate for spinning on the Daedalus Starling because her bobbins are so big.

Finally, I want to note that the Inglenook fiber is fairly…sheepy-smelling. I always expect fiber and yarn to smell a little bit like sheep up close, but this smell hit me right when I opened the bags. I normally enjoy the smell of wool and it’s not super offensive, but definitely more barnyard-y than most. It doesn’t seem to be limited to one kind of fiber or animal, although the milled sock blend smelled a little less intensely. I unbraided everything and hung them up outside in the brilliant Colorado sunshine for a while, and it helped a bit.

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