Monday, May 11, 2009


I finally took the time to check out a soon-to-be gone local mill. John Wilde & Brother has been in Philadelphia for about 125 years, predominantly offering carpet wools, though in more recent years, had started carrying products for hand-knitters and spinners. I say had because Wilde is no longer producing yarns, though they have some stock in their retail shop (hours by appointment or luck). I called sometime last week to see about stopping by on Thursday. I spent 30 minutes milling (har har, fiber pun) about, looking at the odd lots and the rummage bags (25 cents each!), examining a mohair fleece, and fondling the cones before settling on a large fiber-festival sized bag of goods:

wilde haul
From the top, clockwise: 4,800 yards of laceweight singles, 480 yards of bulky singles, a peek of the 2lbs carded wool, bits and bobs from the rummage bags (red, orange, blue), 1,400 yards 3-ply down in front, and a white bag full of 1 or 2 lbs mohair fleece.

I won't even tell you how much I paid for it all because that would make me seem obscene. And possibly dishonest - you will not believe how little I paid. In fact, I will just say this: the carded wool, the 2 lbs of it? Cost nearly 50% more than EVERYTHING ELSE on that chair, together.

wilde tag
Love the tags on the bulky singles.

I spent Saturday night and Sunday morning skeining up the big hanks - the 3-ply was portioned out in 110 yard skeins (with the intention of pairing them for 220 yard lots) while the laceweight singles were skeined a couple of ways - I had 8 hanks of 250 each and 5 hanks of 500 each and a leftover hank of 300 yards. I do not recommend winding hanks by hand, though I will say that my Fricke skein winder was absolutely the only thing that kept me sane whilst winding at midnight on Saturday. Or is that Sunday? It doesn't matter - it was all a blur.

I did all of this winding off and tying up in preparation for dyeing on Sunday. The original plan was for my dear friend Anj to come up to the Falls and we'd spend the day dyeing al fresco. But, poor Mike was just as sick as he's been all year, so I went to South Philly instead. I packed up my suitcase full of yarn and fiber and trundled on down. I managed to only get about half of the yarn dyed, much to my disappointment, but have made a somewhat firm date for more dyeing to take place in the near future, much to my delight.

Most of the yarn should be dry now (I started with the laceweight) while the carded wool is still lurking about in Anj's basement, dripping itself dry. Eventually, everything will go up on the shop, but for now, here's a wee sneak:

wilde singles preview rainbow
Two hanks, fraternally dyed for your knitting pleasure.

wilde singles preview greens

These two and the rest of what I dyed yesterday will go up on Etsy the beginning of June. Then, by mid-June, I hope to have the 3-ply dyed and ready to go, along with a few other things. Check my Flickr for preview photos, or subscribe to SparkCrafted's RSS feed to keep up with new listings.


Anonymous said...

I NEED some of that bulky!!!!!

Jessica said...

Oh, I'm loving both of those dye jobs.