Tag Archives: merino wool tops

M is for Merino Wool

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MThanks to the A-Z challenge, I would never have known what a merino sheep looked like if I hadn’t needed to write about something beginning with M!

Merino wool is the most popular wool fibre used by spinners, as it is consistently good quality.  The sheep are bred from an original Portuguese strain, and are mostly farmed in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the USA.

This is short video made for the WoolMark Company following a “single piece of fleece in pursuit of its family. From the shearing sheds of the Australian outback, to the ancient weaving mills of Yorkshire, discover how modern technologies and age-old techniques combine to transform fleece into fashion.”

 

 

pure white merino wool fibres for spinning - otherwise known as 'tops' or 'roving'

pure white merino wool fibres for spinning – otherwise known as ‘tops’ or ‘roving’

Of course, I sell merino wool fibres for spinning, you can find my listing both HERE on etsy and HERE on ebay – both listings are current at the time of writing, but may not be current if you are reading this a few weeks from now, altho’ they will be relisted.

creamy white merino pre-felt

creamy white merino pre-felt

I also sell some beautiful white and black pure merino pre-felt, which can be used for felting projects, both for pictures and 3-D items like hats.

 

Merino wool is becoming very fashionable for sports clothing, as it holds the moisture without being uncomfortable, and at the same time provides insulation for cold weather.  I have nothing to do with the Woolpower company, but I was impressed that they gave a full page over to talking about Merino Wool, so if you want to learn more, this is their link – and for more technical information on merino wool this is the wikipedia link.

 

SHOW & TELL NO 3: SPINNING BY ROSEMARY FROM PRESCOT, MERSEYSIDE

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ROSEMARY not only spins at home, but is part of a Tudor re-enactment group – which I found out about by chance when she sent me a message thro’ ebay, asking for fast delivery, so that she could use them in her display last weekend.

“By the way the amber and carders will be used next weekend when we are doing some spinning etc. demos in Elizabethan dress. I put the amber inside replica pomanders (pomander actually means in French an apple of amber).”

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“As promised here I am in two different guises spinning and using your tops. In fact can you see the necklace have on when I am an Elizabethan that’s a pomander and it is full of your amber.”

Thanks very much Rosemary for sending the photos so quickly – the Elizabethan costume looks very comfortable!  Feel free to leave a comment for Rosemary in the comment box (at the end of the blog)

You can find the amber resin she mentions HERE on ebay, or HERE for etsy customers – you can use it as a solid perfume to rub on your wrists, or put it a pomander as Rosemary has. It is a totally natural product and has a warm exotic fragrance.  If you look through my other listings on these sites, you will find merino wool tops for spinning as well as other related items.

SHOW & TELL (Click orange text to go to the original blog)  is open to all my customers who have bought from me at any time over the years. Please send in photos of your work, it can be in any craft or other media, with a brief description, to show (off) to others and hopefully inspire all of us.  If you’re not a customer, and would like to take part, just buy something, however small – from either ebay or etsy .  To my see current stock, please click on the links on the right hand side of this blog.

I will publish all contributions, and please don’t worry if you are just starting up, its just nice to see what people are doing!

Currently, the opportunity will be open until the END OF JUNE, altho I am always happy to see what my customers are doing, and will have other SHOW & TELL SESSIONS , so please send in photos of your work at any time to julz@julzweaving.plus.com.

Look forward to hearing from you!

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of postage, sealing wax and other things….silk “hankies” & white merino roving back in stock

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original chart-brochure page

NB: please click on the links for my ebay listings or etsy shop just under the  photo on the right hand column, for prices and postage rates – smile!

As most of you will know by now,  Royal Mail, in their bid to make more money, have put up the postage rates, and not even the local post offices I use know what to do with them!

I seem to spend a lot of time peering at the new rate card, which amazingly, wasn’t available to anyone, until the day AFTER the rates went up – because they went up on 1 April, which was Easter Monday, and apparently, so they tell me at the post office I use most, there were instructions NOT to put the leaflets out until then.

elements chart -brochure pageMy local post office are sticklers for the rules, so they wouldn’t even give me an advance copy, knowing full well that I needed the new rates to change the postage on my ebay & etsy listings – and altho I’d looked them up on line, I couldn’t really make sense of them.

I still can’t.  On the one hand, for small & medium parcels – the new categories – you can now post up to 1 kg for the same rate – but on the other hand – you now have to measure the size of the parcels, and there seems to be no practical reason for setting these sizes.  I have asked.  They don’t seem to make any real difference to the way the parcels are sorted.

white merinoThe difference they do make is that, with the old rates, I could send a sack full of wool, fibres, rovings, stuffing etc for the same price as the small elephant trinket boxes – now it has to be squeezed into a ball small enough to fit into these odd sample white boxes they’ve all got – 16 cm cubes.  I watched yesterday whilst the ‘postmaster’ tried to fit the very squeezed wool stuffing into one, and whilst I had tried my hardest, it was about 0.1 cm larger, and he wouldn’t budge – I had to pay the higher medium parcel rate, which I hand’t charged for!

The other way round it is to lay  rovings into long skeins as flat as possible, so the depth of the parcel is no more that 8 cm – which makes for a very floppy bag, and isn’t the best way to avoid tangles.

silk-hankiesI was awake in the middle of the night last week and turned on the TV, to find that apart from the BBC or SKY news channels, all there was was the shopping channels, which I normally avoid like the plague – but happened to hit on an ad for a vacuum pack machine, for food.  You know, for packaging food for the freezer, or so the ad said, to save leftovers in the fridge!

It occurred to me that it might work for the wool, so I bought one.

basket of dyesIts been sitting beside the weighing machine for a couple of days now, and I still haven’t tried it – but I promise I will do a few tests in the next few days, and see if it makes a difference.  If so, I may have to change all the postage rates on my listings again!

What’s really annoying about these rates is that whilst I used to tell you all that I would cap the postage for any parcel weighing up to 750 gm (the old rate), I can’t do the same for parcels up to 1 Kg on the new rate, and thus have to add incremental rates that don’t really work, because if you buy say 200 gms of white merino roving, you get charged extra, so that the 300 gm rate works.

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This blog is by way of a long apology for the fact that I’ve had to put the postage rates up, and that, as I try to remember to say on all my listings – PLEASE ASK FOR A REVISED INVOICE BEFORE YOU PAY – because very often I can give you a lower postage rate – whether you live in the UK, or overseas – but if you don’t ask, I’m afraid I can’t refund the difference, once you’ve already paid.

And, by the way – two of my most popular items – the white merino tops / rovings, and the silk “hankies” (for spinning and paper making) are back in stock!  And I have added some new colours to the landscape dye stock – but I still can’t manage to stock them all, so please check which ones are available!

And if anyone wants to buy the huge 1 Kg cones of Merino Wool, you can save the postage if you want to meet up at Wonderwool on 27 April!

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Some new BRITSH WOOLS……and an apology!

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herdwick wooljacob woolwensleydaleswaledale

I have just bought in some cones of Herdwick, Silver Jacob, Wensleydale & Swaledale Wool – all truly Pure British Wools from British Mills – suitable for weaving, both warp & weft, and of course for knitting.

To see the full details of these, please click on the links for either my ebay listings or my etsy shop just under my picture on the right of this blog.

The apology……in my previous blog – British Wools from British Mills, I was really pleased to have bought in some large cones of what I thought were British Wools from a British Mill.

It wasn’t until this week, when a prospective customer asked exactly what wools they were, that I went back to the British Mill, and asked them.   The way they advertised them gave me to understand that they were what I said they were.  However, it turned out that the wool is merino wool ie NOT FROM BRITAIN!  I feel like a total fool!

I have now changed the listings so that they are accurate!

bamboo feltOther new stock include some really soft and strong BAMBOO FELT (clicking on the red text will get you to the ebay listing).  This felt is made from 50% bamboo fibres and altho rather expensive, is unusual – it comes in 20 very bright colours – altho currently one was out of stock at the suppliers, so I only have 19 of them – do have a look at it, and tell me what you think, as I won’t be ordering any more unless people want it!

I have stocked up on both the standard sized & mini carders, and as the white merino rovings have sold out, I will be getting some more in soon – in the meantime, the ecru merino roving is a very good price!

New in is also some JUTE HESSIAN, and “DISHCLOTH COTTON” (click on the red text) both of which are useful for all sorts of crafts and also good for garden use!  And other odds & ends – again, to see the full range please click on the links beside my picture.

purple mini weave I have also been playing around with some bits of mini weaving – squares of only 1.5 x 1.5″ (40 mm x 40 mm) made on a tiny loom, that could be used for making into brooches, or added as decoration to tapestry, embroidery or felting projects – I’d be interested to know what you think – only listed on etsy HERE & HEREsmall weave

Just a reminder that the new Kromski stock is on sale – the warping sticks have sold out, and so have most of the Lazy Kates – there is one upright one left.  If you are buying a loom, please remember that the prices on the listings necessarily include the selling fees on the sites and that if you do want to buy one, email me first, at  julz@julzweaving.plus.com, and I will give you a discount if you buy direct! (see info on the About Julz Page)

I can also order in any particular items you want – including spinning wheels – so please ask if you don’t see what you need.

That’s all for now

All the best

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FELTED SOAP – A CHRISTMAS GIFT IDEA FOR YOU TO MAKE

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It’s even nearer Christmas, and Xmas Trees are now going up – a brief reference to my last post, the special offer about adding some sparkle is still on, so have a look.

If you’d like to try your hand at creating a few really individual gifts that don’t take too long to make, and don’t break the bank, why not have a go at felted soap?

         

Its really easy, and you can use any soap you like – whether scented or not, commercially made and bought from the supermarket, or handmade – or even a combination of small ends of bars!  You can also get the kids to help and turn it into a play workshop.

Felting soap is also a very practical way to use soap – the felt cover will shrink to fit the soap as it is used, and keeps the soap clean as it absorbs all those sticky bits left after use – as well as adding a soft but slightly exfoliating surface.

You don’t need much wool fibre for each bar, and quite a few of you will have odds and ends that you have been looking to find a use for – all kinds of wool will felt, and you can mix them for this project.

However, if you do want to buy some merino tops to use – please do have a look at my listings on ebay – I  currently have a few auction lots starting at 99p that will end on sunday, (I may add a few more during the next few weeks) as well as plenty of reasonably priced cream merino top     that  you can find here.

As a club member I can offer you a pot luck 50p mix of coloured merino tops to use to decorate your felted soap with.  To claim this special offer, with any purchase you make from my ebay listings, please ask for the ‘pot luck 50p mix‘  before you pay, and I will send you an amended invoice.  All combined purchases you make on ebay are charged at a fixed rate of £2.50 (2nd class) & £3.50 (1st class) for packages that weigh up to 750 gm for UK customers, and I will also keep postage to a mimimum for overseas customers.

I was going to write my own instructions, but a quick search on the web came up with two really excellent links.

The first is a fully illustrated web page with step by step instructions for felting bars of soap, and gives you plenty of ideas – click here to have a look.

The second gives you instructions on how to make decorative felted pebbles of soap – click here for more ideas.

Talking of unusual soaps I also sell picture soaps and solid shampoo on ebay and am about to list a few more – like this frankincence scented dove slice.  2dove soap frank

I also have some very nicely packaged selections of silk and merino fibres that are suitable as gifts that are available on both ebay and my etsy shop.   Click on the names to get to them – you will find different selections of stock on each site.

If you want to put together an order that includes items from both sites, you are welcome to order them direct and I will even give you a discount if you do!  Just email me at julz@julzweaving.plus.com.

So happy felting, and don’t get too frazzled before christmas!

All the best

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IT’S COMING ON CHRISTMAS, THEY’RE CUTTING DOWN TREES….

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That’s a quote from an old Joni Mitchell song, which has been running thro’ my head in the last couple of days – and you really can’t miss the signs of  preparations for the festive period at the moment – not least the bombardment of pre-xmas emails encouraging you to buy … and I’ve just sent one out too ….. and hopefully you’ll find something among my craft stock that will catch your eye!

Please click on these links to see the full ranges – ebaymy etsy shop 

I don’t list everything on both sites, there is some overlap, but there is a different range on each site.   If you want to put together an order that includes items from both sites, you are welcome to order them direct and I will even give you a discount if you do!  Just email me at julz@julzweaving.plus.com.

I’ve bought in a job lot of mixed coloured merino tops – suitable for felting and spinning – these are just a couple of them   which I have put on as auction listings on ebay (85solway) – so go and have a look – they’re all starting at 99p – and if you win a few lots,  don’t worry about postage, because I always cap the postage at £2.50 for all packages that weigh up to 750 gms (2nd class UK only), so buy as many items as you want, from any of my listings, and make sure to ask me for a revised invoice so you don’t pay any more.

I also have some fixed price listings for merino & silk fibres.

HAVE  SOME SPARKLE ON ME!

As a special offer for Club members, anyone buying unpackaged fibres – there are also some lovely mixed selections packaged nicely enough to give as gifts–  will get a bit of sparkle to add to the mix – have a look at the listing for trilobal fibre which is a transparent nylon fibre that reflects back the light and gives a sparkle to any  yarn you spin, and can also be added to your felt or incorporated in paper making.  I will add a small amount into you package FREE!  (It goes a very long way!) Please ASK for this by quoting the title of this blog!

I have also put new items up on my etsy shop – if you’re getting into baking for xmas, there’s a range of silicone bakeware, including really great oven gloves and silicone baking mats, chocolate moulds etc.  The cake moulds can also be used for making soap. 

I’ve also added a new “About Julz” page so you know who you are buying from, and the Club Notice Board is available for any notices you want to put up, including adverts for xmas  fayres, or things you want to sell.

LAST POSTING DATES FOR XMAS – please keep in mind these are the dates that Royal Mail say they can guarantee that items will arrive before Xmas – there’s usually a bit of lee-way in them, and if you do order late, I will do my best to get stuff out quickly, as long as you pay 1st class postage.  If you are sending items on as Xmas presents, then please allow the corresponding extra time.

UK DATES:

2nd class & Recorded Delivery – Tues 18 December

1st class & Recorded Delivery – Thurs 20 December

Last Date for Special Delivery – Sat 22 December

Parcels – Thurs  13 December

INTERNATIONAL DATES:

Airmail to Asia, Australia, Far East & New Zealand – Wed 5 December

Airmail to Africa, Carribbean, Central & S America, Middle East – Fri 7 December

Eastern Europe, Canada, USA – Mon 10 December

Western Europe – Wed 12 December

I can also offer overseas customers a special service.  If you are buying a present for someone in the UK I will happily send it direct to their UK address, giving you the added advantage of only paying UK postage, and knowing it will get there more quickly than if you have to send it yourself.  I will also add a note in the package to say who its from and of course will not enclose the invoice!

I look forward to taking your orders – smile!

Don’t get too frazzled or overspend this year – just enjoy yourself!

all the best