A Brief History of Spincycle Yarns
We are Kate and Rachel, and we began as a handspinnery back in 2004, the two of us kettle dyeing and spinning all of our yarn in small batches and selling at our local farmers’ market. When, in 2012, a little fiber mill opened its doors just south of our Bellingham studio and dye house, we partnered with them to begin production of a mill spun yarn that would maintain the look of our handspun, but which could be produced at a much faster pace.
Turns out that was a pretty good idea. In the summer of 2017, we bought that mill and moved the whole operation up to Bellingham and under one roof. We now dye, spin, design, package and ship everything from our little warehouse on Queen Street.
Can I come for a mill tour?
Unfortunately, we are not able to offer mill tours or visits. We are not set up for retail sales on-site, and it would be unsafe to allow folks near the milling/dyeing equipment. We do throw the very occasional open house, or trunk show, or pop-up (when we're not in the midst of a pandemic, of course) so follow us on Instagram for to find out when we can welcome you back!
Where is your wool from?
All of our wool is grown, processed, dyed and spun in the USA. The only part of the process we don't do ourselves is the scouring and combing. We don't have the capacity to scour and comb the six-eight tons of wool that we move through our mill each year, so that part is done for us at Chargeurs mill in South Carolina.
The non-superwashed wool that we use Versus is a blend of Corriedale, Rambouillet and Columbia breeds, from sheep raised in Wyoming and Colorado. Our superwashed wool blend, used for Dyed In The Wool and Dream State, consists of Rambouillet, Targhee and Merino breeds, raised primarily in South Dakota and Wyoming. Wilder is Wyoming raised Rambouillet.
The sheep that supply us with our wool are 100% non-mulesed.
I ordered the same colorway on separate occasions but my skeins don't look alike. Is this a mistake?
When we pull the yarns for your online order, skeins from the same colorway will be a good match to one another. However, lots - and even skeins within lots - vary pretty wildly! We recommend that you purchase all skeins for a project at once so that we can make sure they match well. Should you need to match an existing skein with a new purchase, feel free to email a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be happy to help make the best match possible from on-hand stock.
What does “dyed in the wool” mean?
A “dyed in the wool” yarn is one that is dyed as fiber, before it’s spun into yarn. Because we kettle dye in this way, our yarns are saturated through with color. No need to worry about your sweater fading over time! With our variegated yarns, this process is the reason that the colors shift slowly and dramatically. It’s also the reason that no two skeins are alike!
I found a slub or splice in my skein. What’s up with that?
Our mill is very tiny, as mills go. And the process is still very hands on, very human. No skein is perfect! Though we aim high, idiosyncrasies happen. If you run into a slub, it can usually be teased out gently. Splices aren't common in our skeins, but do occur when we need to join and end from one bobbin to an end from another to wind off a full yardage skein. We use a mechanical, compressed air splicer to ensure a very firm splice that will not pull apart, and we make sure to join yarns at matching color sections.
Please contact us if you feel you’ve received a skein that has slipped past quality control and is too irregular.
Why don’t you list weight on your labels?
Our yarns all have a bit of a thick & thin texture. This can cause the weights to vary a little, and we can’t really control for that. What we can control is the yardage of each skein. Rest assured that the yardage is always accurate.
How should I care for my knitted items?
For high contrast colorwork, we recommend steam blocking to avoid color transfer. Some dye colors are notoriously difficult to set, and may exhaust some color even after our final wash. Please keep this in mind if you are combining any hand dyed yarn with a light color in the same project. If you plan to combine a hand dyed yarn, especially a very saturated colorway, with a lighter yarn, we suggest you test your darker skeins for possible color transfer by soaking them first. To wash your knitwear, a quick cold water dip with a no-rinse wool wash is recommended.
Can I get a discount?
We seldom offer discounts or sales. The reason for keeping our pricing constant is that we don't want to undercut our stockists. We do our best to respect all of the work that yarn shops put into this industry.
But your yarn is expensive, so can you please hook it up??
Unfortunately, still no. We have a staff of twenty highly trained people making your yarn. They have each undertaken a huge amount of on-the-job training to learn to mill yarn and to maintain and fix machinery. It is really important to us that working at Spincycle Yarns be a viable career for everyone who works here, so we provide healthcare, retirement benefits, livable wages, sick and holiday pay, and a safe and clean work environment. When you purchase Spincycle Yarns, you make all of this possible. Thank you!
Can I add to an existing order placed on the website?
If your order is not already being processed, it is possible to add to an order. Email email@example.com to inquire. We are no longer, however, able to combine multiple orders and refund shipping.
I see you're out of stock on an item. Will you be making more? Can you email me when it's in stock?
If the colorway or item you want is not in stock, you can sign up to receive a restock notification by email. Look for the EMAIL WHEN AVAILABLE option available on any out-of-stock item. All of the restock notifications go out at the same time, the moment we add the inventory to the website. Once you have been notified, our site assumes that you have had the opportunity to buy it, so if you pass on it, or miss the item's availability, you'll need to sign back up to be notified a second time. If you receive a restock notification, only to click through and find out that it's out of stock, this isn't a glitch. It probably means that many people had signed up to be notified about the same item, and they just got to it first!
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