The Homestead Hobbyist

| Sunday, August 24, 2014

Hello 'Readers,' I am thrilled this week to share with you a fiber artist that has a stunning eye for color and fiber blending. 

This is 'Ken', the Dyer behind "The Homestead Hobbyist"!!!!
I started crocheting when I was 5--my mother gave me my own crochet hook and yarn so I would stop cutting her working yarn off a blanket she had been working on for years. I never did much more than crocheted hats. About 15 years later, I learned the basics of knitting--and just a year and a half ago, a friend taught me how to spin the cotton I grew in my garden plot, which really geared up my fiber adventures. I started spinning anything and everything on all sorts of spinning tools (supported spindles, drop spindles, and my wheel), and I started ramping up my knitting, making sweaters, shawls, gloves, and more. Ever since I got that tahkli and carded cotton cloud in my hands, I’ve been sliding down the slippery slope of the fiber rabbit hole. Upon the gentle nudging of Ravelry friends, I opened my Etsy shop in March, just 5 months ago, and I have enjoyed that just as much as spinning and knitting.
I’m inspired by a variety of sources, but with my background in biology (mostly microbial ecology and plant biology) and long history of gardening and garden blogging, specific plants are often the inspiration for my dyeing. Sometimes, my friends send me photos or nudge me toward thinking about incorporating certain colours (for example, Pink! I’m not a pink kind of guy, but several friends love pink, so I continuously push myself to figure out how to use pink). Other times, I just go a little wild and see where the mood takes me, and figure out what I dyed after the fact.
I have a lot of favourite fibers--anything with yak is high up on my list of awesomeness. Yak makes me swoon! The yak/silk blend I have looks like molten silver, and when it’s dyed, it seems to glow. It’s absolutely gorgeous. But I also love Rambouillet--it’s like Merino, but I enjoy spinning it more. It’s so soft and floofy! I like Falkland as another good general-purpose fiber, too, and it takes dye very well. I just ordered a custom blend of Polwarth/yak/silk--I’m excited to see how it dyes and spins! And if we’re talking raw fleece… Well, I have a ton of favourites: Rambouillet, Cormo, Romney, Shetland, and Finnsheep, especially ones that are any shade of grey or brown. I love buying local, naturally coloured fleece. I enjoy supporting my local farms and hand-selecting fleece to process (either for my personal use or processing it at a local mill for the shop).
When I’m not spinning, knitting on the bus, or dyeing fiber, I’m at work at a communications office just outside Washington, DC. My background is in microbiology, but I decided the lab wasn’t for me and spent some time working at a science newsmagazine and in a communications office in Saudi Arabia.
Now that you know Ken and his fiber story, don't you just feel like you could be coffee/spinning buddies!!!  I would buy the guy a cup of joe and pick his brain any day.  If  I'm ever in the area, consider it done.
Ok so on to the beauty Ken has sent for me to share with you 'My Readers.'


This bundle of goodness is appropriately named, 'Silver Pops.'  It is a Falkland wood and is generously weighing in at 4.3oz. 

As you can see the sheer base color of silver is sprinkled with pops of cotton candy pink, lavender, and hot pink.  Such a great blend of color that once spun up will be stunning.  I think this is going to be a 2-ply chain spin just to see how unique it turns out. 

The fiber prep is so soft and squishy, I just want to keep touching it.  Lets hope I don't start felting it with my love for the feel of
I greatly appreciate that his 4oz brads of fiber are slightly over.  It goes a long way when you are mid spin and you have just a few more ounces to be on the safe side.

You all know I am such a sucker for good packaging, Ken has left out no detail.  Cleanly packaged and labeled to perfection.
I love the fact that Ken is new this year to selling his fiber and I would really like to support his fiber efforts.  Make sure you all go over to his shop and take a good look at all the many fiber bases he has to offer not to mention the stunning colors he has created!!
 I highly recommend his fibers to all of you, with my utmost approval!!!
The Homestead Hobbyist  receive a 5 Needle Review Rating!
Thank you again for all your Beautiful fibers!!!
Just remember;
“Anything can happen when you put on a pair of Hot Pink Socks”
One of you lucky 'Readers' will win the featured fiber!!!!!
In order to enter the Give Away you must
As always:
1. Make sure you are a follower of my Blog or a Ravelry Group Member
2. Tell me what your favorite colorway and fiber is from The Homestead Hobbyist.
The winner(s) of the drawing will be announced on September 1st.


{ JKH51 } at: August 24, 2014 at 9:55 PM said...

I like the Goldfish colorway in Hand-Dyed Top.

JKnits51 on Ravelry

{ Claudie } at: August 24, 2014 at 9:56 PM said...

I really like the colorway shown, but I think my favorite on his shop might be Riparian Entertainments @ Midnight. It's gorgeous!

{ Betsy } at: August 28, 2014 at 10:26 AM said...

I like the toxic waste colorway.

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