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Northwest Yarns

  • Know Your Fiber: Eri Silk

    Posted on July 02 2021

       Eri silk comes from the ailanthus moth (Samia cynthia ricini), a native to South Asia, and is one of only two domesticated species of silk moths in the world. It...

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  • Know Your Fiber: American Karakul Wool

    Posted on March 01 2021

       Named for a village in what is today Turkmenistan, Karakul sheep originated in Central Asia and only arrived relatively recently on North American shores. North American farmers in early...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Tunis Wool

    Posted on December 01 2020

       Tunis sheep are one of a handful of the oldest sheep breeds in the United States and were a particularly popular breed right up through the mid-1800s. Today they...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Swaledale Wool

    Posted on October 01 2020

       Curving horns, elegant black faces with white muzzles, and a woolen coat perfectly adapted to a rainy environment – meet the Swaledale! These adorable sheep can be found around...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Cheviot Wool

    Posted on July 01 2020

       The Cheviot Hills are located in English Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. Home to a variety of livestock since Neolithic times, it is these hills from which the white...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Perendale Wool

    Posted on May 01 2020

       It is time for another New Zealand sheep breed – the Perendale! This sheep is a relatively recent addition to the flocks of the world, only appearing on breed...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Whitefaced Woodland Wool

    Posted on April 01 2020

       The Whitefaced Woodland is a rare sheep breed that was once very popular in Northern England, but now is among the threatened breeds of sheep. It is hard to...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Polwarth Wool

    Posted on December 01 2019

       An extremely popular wool breed in many parts of the world, the Polwarth began its development into the fixed breed we know today the 1880s in southeastern Australia, in...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Dorset Horn Wool

    Posted on September 30 2019

       Known for their rams’ dramatically spiraled horns and their close, springy fleece, Dorset Horn sheep are originally from the verdant hills and valleys of southwestern England. Although they have...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Manx Loaghtan

    Posted on March 31 2019

    Who has adorable horns (up to six!) and has made dramatic come-backs from the brink of extinction? Manx Loaghtan sheep from the Isle of Man, that’s who! These unique sheep...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Gotland Wool

    Posted on November 30 2018

      Gotland sheep from the Swedish island of Gotland are not only gosh-darn adorable, but they also produce a beautiful wool with long, lustrous locks.  Settle in, Know Your Fiber...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Bluefaced Leicester

    Posted on March 02 2018

       Named for their beautiful dark-blue skin underneath their lustrous wool, the story of Bluefaced Leicester sheep is also the story of how England contributed to a revolution in livestock...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Churro Wool

    Posted on February 01 2018

    Navajo-Churro sheep, are direct descendants of the Churra sheep brought in two waves to North America by the Spanish, a very old breed of sheep from the Castile and León...

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  • Know Your Fiber:  A (Very) Brief History of Wool



    Know Your Fiber: A (Very) Brief History of Wool

    Posted on January 02 2018

    Welcome to a (very) brief history of wool sheep! Wool is an amazing fiber, with qualities that make is unique among all other natural fibers – we’ll be discussing that...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Llama

    Posted on December 01 2017

    Long necked, big-eyed, fluffy animals from South America, llamas have fascinated many of us from North America. The availability of llama fiber has steadily been increasing in the yarn world,...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Mohair

    Posted on November 01 2017

    Let’s take a look at mohair! Mohair comes from Angora goats, and to look at their history, we have to go back to when humans first learned to keep goats...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Angora

    Posted on October 01 2017

    Angora bunnies! Just the words evoke visions of fluffy, cuddly rabbits. Or for fiber artists, visions of soft and amazingly cozy sweaters, hats, scarves, and gloves.How humans discovered and bred...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Silk

    Posted on September 02 2017

    The use of silk as a fiber is thought by most historians to have been developed in early China. Chinese legend has it that silk was discovered by Leizu, an empress...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Yak

    Posted on August 01 2017

    Yak is a relatively recent addition to the fibers easily available to the knitters, crocheters, spinners and weavers on this side of the world. The undercoat of the yak, known...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Cotton

    Posted on July 06 2017

    Cotton has been used for millennia. The earliest evidence of human use of cotton has been found on the Indian subcontinent, where cotton threads were found in copper beads dating...

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  • Know Your Fiber: Alpaca

    Posted on June 01 2017

    If you have spent any time at all in a yarn shop, you have probably seen alpaca and alpaca-blend yarns, and marveled at their softness.  Alpacas are in the camelid...

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