FAQs about Purple Lamb Fiber Arts

  • I've never used hand-dyed yarn before. What do I need to know?
    The most important thing to remember is that hand-dyed yarn is like anything handmade--each skein will be a little bit different even within the same dye batch. If you are making something that takes more than one skein and you want your project to have a more homogeneous look, it's a good idea to switch skeins every few rows so the differences are very gradual.

    Also, your yarn will come as a hank, which is basically a big loop. That's the best way to store it until you're ready to use it, but it needs to be turned into a ball before you start using it. There's more about how to do that (or have me do it for you) below.

  • What are the numbers in parentheses after the yarn base in your menu?
    Those are the numbers given by the Craft Yarn Council to different yarn weights.

  • What is the difference between sock-weight yarn and fingering-weight yarn?
    The basic answer is that there isn't any difference. Depending on where you live, that weight of yarn may be called sock-weight yarn, fingering-weight yarn, or 4-ply yarn regardless of the number of actual plies. Here in The United States, a lot of people refer to yarn with nylon as sock yarn and yarn without nylon as fingering-weight yarn.

    I have opted to call all yarn of that weight sock-weight yarn regardless of whether it is good for actual socks or not. That's because it's the term most widely used around the world. If you are looking for yarn to knit actual socks, I recommend using Sock Perfection for good, hard-wearing socks. For extra-soft socks that are a treat for your feet, I recommend using either So Silky Sock. So Silky Sock does not have nylon, but silk is every bit as strong as nylon if not stronger.

    All of my yarn bases will work beautifully for shawls, hats, sweaters, and more.
  • Tell me about your studio.
    My studio is smoke-free but dog-friendly. Our dog is not at all interested in the fiber or yarn, but it is always possible for a stray dog hair to get into the yarn or fiber.

  • Tell me about the wool you use.
    All of our wool comes from flocks where mulesing is NOT practiced. Where possible, I use organic wool. Our teeswater and kid mohair locks come from small flocks in The United States and Canada that are well cared for and well loved.
  • What kind of dyes do you use?
    I use professional-quality acid dyes. The term acid sounds a little scary, but all it means is that food-grade citric acid is used to make the dye bath a little acidic to make the dye permanent. I make sure to exhaust the dye, which means that it will be stably fixed to the yarn and won't go down the drain. I wash all my yarn and fiber using Dawn detergent after I dye it and hang it to dry.

  • Will my yarn bleed?
    The short answer is I do everything I can to ensure that it won't. I wash and rinse my yarn thoroughly, and I am not satisfied unless the water runs clear. That said, acid dyes are colorfast in cold water, but hot water could cause the yarn to bleed a bit. Also, different chemicals and pH of your water compared with mine could possibly cause a bit of bleeding. Because of that, it's always a good idea to wash dark colors separately the first time around. If your yarn does bleed, please contact me so I can help you with it.
  • How long will it take you to ship my yarn or fiber?
    • I ship all of my ready-to-ship yarn and fiber within 2-3 business days.
    • I ship art batts within 1 week.
    • I ship dyed-to-order yarn within 2-3 weeks.
    • For preorders, I state how long it will take in the listing.
  • Tell me about your flat-fee shipping.
    I offer $5 flat-fee shipping within The United States. I will ordinarily ship your order via USPS Ground Advantage. If you prefer, you may upgrade any order to Priority Mail when you check out. Either way you'll receive a tracking number when I ship it so you can know when to expect it.

    Outside The United States, I charge the actual shipping cost.

  • What happens if my package doesn't arrive?
    If the package does not arrive when it is expected, please let me know, and I will try to track it down. If it was lost in transit, I will offer you your choice of a refund or a gift card to my shop. However, if the delivery service (usually USPS) shows that it was delivered to your location, then your local post office will be the best resource for finding it. You can contact them and ask them to do a GPS search to see where it was delivered.
  • What kind of packaging do you use?
    I ship your yarn and fiber in boxes made in the USA. Inside the box, your yarn or hand-dyed top will be wrapped in tissue paper, and your art batts will be inside a reusable organza bag that keeps it free of dust until you are ready to use it.

  • Do you gift wrap?
    Yes and no. My goal is to make each package worthy of being a gift from me to you or your loved ones. Your yarn and fiber will come carefully packaged in a box with tissue paper, but I don't offer gift wrapping per se.

  • Do you ship internationally?
    I am currently only shipping within The United States and to Canada. I used to ship worldwide, but within the last few years, two things have happened. Beginning with COVID, many packages were getting stuck in Customs for months, and that still has not resolved. Also, many countries have begun instituting very complex laws and regulations for companies shipping to them from other nations, and it is just more than a one-woman business can manage. I'm sorry!

  • I live outside The United States. If there are customs fees or tariffs associated with my package, who is responsible for paying them?
    Each country has its own laws in this regard. The person receiving the package (aka the customer) is responsible for paying all customs and tariffs.

  • What are these lavender felt balls you mention?
    With each order, I will happily include a lavender felt ball upon request. The lavender felt ball is a 1-inch felt ball that I have infused with lavender essential oil, which is a natural moth deterrent. If you would like me to include one, please mention which one you would like in the note to seller when you check out. I will only include it if you ask because some people are sensitive to smells. FYI, I do not store either of these with my yarn or fiber for the same reason.
  • What form will the yarn be in when I receive it?
    Your yarn will come as a hank. A hank is basically just a big loop of yarn. You cannot knit or weave or crochet from a hank. You have to ball it first, or you will end up with a tangled mess. The most efficient way to turn a hank into a ball is with a swift and a ball winder. However, if you don't have these, that's okay. You can put two dining chairs back to back and put the loop of yarn over the two. Then find the ties and the ends, cut them, and ball the yarn.

    If you plan to store the yarn for awhile before using it, it's best for the yarn to leave it in hank form.

  • How should I care for my yarn?
    Each skein of yarn comes with instructions for its care, but here is a basic rundown:
    • If it is made of mostly superwash wool, you can wash it in your washing machine on cold and lay it flat to dry. However, if you want it to last for years and years, I recommend washing it by hand if that is practical for you.
    • If it is a handspun yarn or any other yarn that is not superwash, you should wash it by hand and lay it flat to dry.
    • If you are washing by hand, feel free to use your favorite wool wash, but I personally just use a bit of original Dawn detergent. It's easy to get, effective, and economical. As I mentioned above, that is what I use to wash all my yarn and fiber when I dye it too.
    • Keep in mind that wool is naturally antimicrobial, so it won't necessarily need to be washed each time it is used. 

  • Where do you get your inspiration?
    From so many places, but I get most of my inspiration from great works of literature, art, and music as well as from the greatest work of all--the beauty of nature.

  • Do you wholesale?
    Yes, I do offer my yarn to yarn shops in The United States. If you own a yarn shop and are interested in opening a wholesale account with Purple Lamb, contact me here. Let me know a bit about your shop, and I will get back to you with more information. I'm pretty easy to work with. ;-)

  • I am a weaver. Which of your yarn bases are good for weaving?
    I'm a weaver too. As you know, pretty much anything can be used for weft. For warp, I especially recommend using Buttery Soft DK, So Silky Sock, and Sock Perfection. Super Sport, Squoosh DK, and Squoosh Worsted will work well too. While I have used Sparkly Merino Sock for warp, I have had individual strands break under tension now and then.

  • How do you get an art batt ready to use?
    Art batts are so much fun to use, but they can be a little intimidating. An art batt is a big rectangle of fibers. In my case, they always include a variety of different luxury fibers.

    There are many different ways to spin from an art batt, but my favorite way is to simply tear the art batt in half lengthwise and then tear the halves in half one more time. Now you have four lengths of something like roving from which to spin.

    If you prefer fewer joins you can tear lengthwise a couple inches from the edge but stop when you are 2" from the end of the batt and turn, basically turning your whole batt into roving in one piece.

    If you need more help getting started, feel free to contact me any time. I'm passionate about spinning and always happy to help.

  • Do you offer yarn support to designers?
    With joy! I love collaborating with indie designers! If you are an established designer and have a project idea you would like to work together on, please tell me about your business and what you have in mind. 

  • What is your return policy?
    I want you to love what you order from me. If you don't, I will happily accept returns on most items within 30 days for a full refund or a gift card--whichever one you choose.

    I accept returns for all in-stock yarn and fiber in its original condition. However, I don't accept returns for dyed-to-order yarn of a quantity larger than four skeins, and I don't ordinarily accept returns for my club colorways either.

  • I have another question for you.
    Feel free to contact me using the contact form here. You can expect a response within one business day.