Our New Gradient Yarn


Over the summer of 2012, in the gorgeous sunny city of San Diego, I daydreamed about making more colors with our yarn.  Could I push the envelope…..instead of making one “ideal” pokeberry red, could I make 5?  Would  a variety of blues look lovely together?  Could the various ways to dye apple bark be controlled?

So with the rest of my summer and into the fall, I began to experiment….first with the Woolpaca yarn (50% alpaca, 50% wool), then later with the Meritime (50% merino, 50% tencil.)  Here is the former, in Raspberry Reds and Winter Sky blues.





It was very interesting figuring out how to control the natural process, and what percentages to use.  With the pokeweed, it’s a matter of cooking time as well as percentages….quite tricky.  But the black beans are not entirely predictable either.  When I tried the same technique on the Meritime yarn, the percentages were different. So there were some mistakes, some dye-overs.  Sometimes you have to throw out mistakes; other times you can re-dye.  But I wanted to figure it out, so I kept going.

Next, Rebecca asked me to make a gradient set with the Meritime in our Nectar color (shown first).  That was challenging because it involves both madder root and turmeric.  Though difficult, it made a beautiful color and I was glad I tried it…such a pretty color for the summer I was inspired to make a “Summer Scarf” out of this color for our sample.  (see end of post.)  We hope Rebecca will eventually design something too!  My mom’s favorite color is Peach Orchard, which is the madder root by itself.




Peach Orchard

After baby Naomi was born, I got very involved with her care…..so time slipped by.  I knew the Sheep and Wool Festival was coming, but I kept pushing it to the back of my priorities.  Finally, in March, Rebecca sent me the forms from Cloverhill Yarn shop.  It was time to commit to doing this or not!!  Yes, I decided.  I wanted to follow through on my vision.  So over the next month, in between trips to Pittsburgh, I knocked out 19 more  gradient sets in 9 different color-ways.  Each set has 545 yards (500m) of worsted weight yarn.  Here are the other colors, shown in Meritime:


Golden Delicious


Purple Pizzazz


Groovy Green


Sprout Sage


Raspberry Rouge (in Merritime)


Winter Sky (in Merritime)


Cool Pansies (new….needed 6 colors for the transition from green to blue to purple.)

Finally is my sample.  It was inspired by Rebecca’s love of Nectar, and my teacher at “All About Yarn”, Cindy, who is stretching my lace skills.






The pattern is free with the purchase of a set of gradients in any color, which is enough to make the scarf.  All these yarns (9 color-ways in both Meritime and Woolpaca) are now available from Osborn Fiber Studio, and soon we will set up a “store” on the website for them.  If you need 2 or more sets in one color, I will be sure to dye them together so they are in the same lot and match perfectly.

Until then, you may order one or more sets by emailing us: osbornfiber at gmail dot com.    

Woolpaca sets:  $45 each in all color-ways except “Cool Pansies” which is $53 each. Meritime sets: $49 each in all color-ways except “Cool Pansies” which is $57 each.

For immediate purchase, they are at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival which begins tomorrow!!  I can’t wait.  Hope to see you there.






One thought on “Our New Gradient Yarn

  1. By the way, ALL our products: sweater kits, scarf kits, sock yarn, and worsted hanks, as well as the gradient yarn are at the Cloverhill yarn booth at the MD Sheep and Wool Festival. Cloverhill’s booth is the first one on the right in the main exhibition hall.


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