Caring for yarn
How to wash and block?
We recommend that all yarn, even superwash yarn, is washed by hand. This ensures it'll be beautiful for as long as possible and will wear well. When you've finished your project, dunk it in a sink of luke warm water - with a no rinse wool wash if that takes your fancy (we use Eucalan), leave it to saturate for a while, then roll it up in a towel to squeeze out excess water and pin out flat to dry.
As with all textiles and all yarn, sometimes colour can come out. It's frequently found with washing jeans and other denim items, and tends to happen with darker blues and reds. It can be caused by a difference in the water ph used to wash the item, detergents (some are really viscious on dye), or an over-saturation of dye that hasn't quite finished rinsing out.
All of our hand dyed yarn is rinsed by hand in the sink, and each batch is soaked in Eucalan, then individual skeins are rinsed to make sure no colour bleeds. This isn't foolproof though, and occassionally skeins in darker colours can bleed a little. Fortunately it is very rare for us, but in case it does happen you can do something about it - simply put your yarn or finished item in a pan (that you won't use for food), add water and a generous glug or vinegar or citric acid, and then slowly bring up to heat. It should be simmering but not boiling. Then turn the heat off, put a lid on the pan, and leave it - ideally overnight. You should find that the water is now clear, and all that remains is to rinse your yarn. If the water isn't quite clear, rinse it anyway - much like with hair dye, there can be excess dye which needs to run off.
We heartily recommend that for colourwork projects you make a tension square using all the colours and then wash and block it - not only to check your gauge/tension, but to make sure the colours work well together and any dark colours don't stain the lighter colours. It's rare, but if in doubt it's worth checking.
Skeins can have knots in - it's caused by the mill spinning onto a cone of a certain weight, then into skeins of smaller weights. If they didn't knot or splice the yarn together they'd end up wasting a lot of it. We look out for knots and our rule of thumb is that a skein should not have more than one knot in: we take out any that we spot.
Slubs are bits of fluff in your otherwise smooth yarn. In any yarn made with natural fibres, particularly wool, you can get the ocassional bit of fluff - this is not a defect. It's not ideal but it can happen - our yarns are made from natural fibres and although they are spun by a machine, those machines aren't always perfect and the combs can let the odd bit of fluff pass through. If we catch these bits whilst we're processing the yarn we will remove them ourselves but they can sometimes slip through the net - we're human after all and we process a huge volume of yarn. If you do find fluff in your yarn you can remove it by gently teasing it out. That will leave the yarn/knitting/crochet unaffected.