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  • What types of yarn blends and bases do you offer and how do they differ from each other?
    My small range of yarn bases are carefully chosen to give a practical and affordable spectrum of pure wool and wool/nylon blends. Below are the key attributes of each. If you'd like to know more about whether a particular blend will work in your project, please do drop me a line. I'm always happy to help make sure you pick the right yarn for your needs, whether it's a sturdy sock or a luxurious shawl, and everything in between! All my yarn is non-mulesed and sourced from cruelty-free suppliers.
  • Where is your yarn sourced from; is it cruelty-free and eco-friendly?
    If you've had a chance to peek at my 'About Us' section, you already know that my roots run deep into sheep farming. This personal history fuels my dedication to ensuring the wool that becomes part of your projects is not just beautiful, but also respectful to the wonderful sheep that provide it. The yarn wholesalers I use are in turn committed to sourcing all their wool from farms which comply with high animal welfare standards. Most of my merino wool is sourced from the lush fields of Australia and certified mulesing-free. The rest comes from South America and South Africa, regions where mulesing isn't practiced. All of my wool is worsted spun, which means that the longest fibres are used to produce a strong and soft traditional spin. This in turn reduces pilling and improves durability. Plus, these long fibres can only be gathered through careful shearing, not dubious mechanical methods. My yarns are superwash treated, making them easy to care for and resistant to felting. They also hold the most vibrant colours, meaning you can enjoy bright and bold knits and easy maintenance. The Hercosett process used to achieve this sometimes raises environmental concerns, however the suppliers I use employ best current practices for water treatment and waste reduction, meeting strict environmental standards. The addition of man-made nylon in my sock blends increases durability and helps to ensure your knits last a lifetime - keeping clothes out of the landfill and in your wardrobe. Balancing ethics with practicality isn't always easy, but I believe in the magic of ethically produced wool. It's a sustainable material that keeps you warm in winter, cool in summer, and is naturally antibacterial. By choosing to craft with wool and wool blends, you're already supporting a tradition of care and carrying on the legacy of centuries.
  • How should I care for items made from hand-dyed yarn?
    Wool is a magical fibre that is naturally odour-repellent, so unless you have been particularly messy there is no need to wash wool garments as often as other fibres. Woolly jumpers can be freshened up simply by hanging on the line outside in the sunshine on a dry day, for a 'UV bath'. Even socks can be worn a few times before washing (I won't tell). Unless otherwise stated, all my yarn is 'superwash', which means it has been treated to make sure that it is a little more forgiving in the wash than traditional wool. It is more resistant to felting and shrinking. In theory it can be washed at 30C on a wool setting - I admit that's what I do with my socks! However, to maintain the best colour and condition of hand dyed yarn, it is best to handwash in cool water, squeeze out the majority of the moisture and leave it to dry flat. Never, ever tumble dry!
  • Will my yarn fade or bleed when washed? What about crocking?
    Crocking and bleeding sounds like something from an episode of Casualty, or a pair of East End gangsters. But they are actually two terms to describe unwanted colour transfer from dye-saturated yarns. I rinse every skein carefully in fresh water until it runs clear, but with particularly deep colours - I'm looking at you, cabernet red - there is a chance that a small amount of colour bleeding can still occur in initial washes, i.e. you may see a slight tint of colour in the water. This does not mean the dye has not set or that the yarn will fade - it is simply excess dye particles making a break for freedom and should lessen with future washes. Like when you buy a new pair of jeans. Just like the jeans, it is best not to wash your newly knitted socks with your white pants, at least for the first time! I have never had any reported issues with the much rarer 'crocking', but I will cover it just in case! This is where there is dye transfer from the dry yarn to your hands while you are working with it. Again, this is possible with very saturated colours and can depend on variables such as the PH of your skin, whether you have been using hand cream etc. If this does occur, the dye will wash off with ordinary soap and water. Hopefully you will encounter neither bleeding nor crocking (even if you are involved in a London heist), but if you have any concerns please do get in touch.
  • Is sock yarn just for socks?
    At Skeinhawk Yarns, I specialise in 4ply fingering weight yarn. This weight is commonly referred to in the UK as 'sock yarn' but don't let that fool you, you can make all sorts of things with this versatile weight! My aim is to make hand dyed yarn accessible, affordable and fun, and in my opinion fingering weight is a perfect jumping-off point for single skein projects or to use as a pop of colour in a larger piece. It's great for experienced knitters or those looking for a beginner project. You can even hold two or more strands together to create a thicker yarn, if that's what your pattern requires. That said, socks are a brilliant way of using a single special skein of variegated yarn. For this I would advise choosing the Classic or Luxury sock bases, as the added nylon means they will be hard wearing to give you years of cosy toes. So whether you can only afford one skein, or are on a buying bonanza, there's no need to invest in sweater quantities to still make something special. ​ Certain of my colourways are also available in DK, which is also a wonderfully versatile weight - and yes, you can use it for socks too!
  • How do I prepare a skein of yarn for knitting or crocheting?
    My yarns arrive in a twisted loop known as a skein. This is a good way to store yarn, and also helps to show the distribution of colours, so you can see what you're getting at a glance. But hold up! Before diving into your knitting or crochet project, this skein needs a bit of prep to transform into a knitter-friendly format, or you'll get yourself into a whole world of tangles. 1. Untwist and Organise: Begin by gently untwisting your skein - now you've got a loop, or 'hank' of yarn. You’ll need to put this loop across something to hold it opened out with a bit of tension - a yarn swift is perfect, but a chair back or even the helpful hands of a friend will do the trick. 2. Cut the ties and find the ends: Look for the ties securing the skein - there's usually between two and four, and they may be made from the same yarn or a different type of thread. One of them will have the two loose ends included - leave this one till last! Carefully snip or untie the others, making sure not to cut the yarn itself. When you get to the final one, make sure you don't lose the ends! 3. Wind it Up!: Choose the most accessible end and start winding. You can use a yarn winder for a quick and easy centre-pull cake, or embrace the rhythm of hand winding, starting with a loop around your fingers and building to a lovely cartoon ball of yarn. Kind of zen, isn't it? Feeling a bit impatient or simply eager to cast on? No worries! I offer a convenient Yarn Winding Service for a small addition of £1.50 to your purchase. Opt for this service, and your yarn will arrive wound into a neat cake, ready for your needles the moment it arrives at your doorstep.
  • What is the yarn dyeing process?
    All my yarn is dyed in small batches of four or five skeins at once using professional grade powdered acid dyes. These are so called because they require a mild acid in order to bind to the fibres, in my case food-grade citric acid (the same as found in lemons). I use a variety of dye application methods to create all the different styles of yarn - from watercolour swirls to speckles to dipped ombres. The dye is set with heat, and once it's cooled down I hand-rinse every skein and hang it up to air dry. Drying can take anything between 24-72 hours, then I hand wind and label each one ready for its new home.
  • Are all skeins within the same colourway identical?
    No! Because of the hand-dyed nature of my yarn there will always be variation between skeins. I always list batches that have been dyed together, but even then the dye placement will vary even within one pan. This is part of the joy of hand-dyed yarn as opposed to commercially produced fibre. If you are using more than one skein in a project, it's a good idea to alternate skeins every few rows to blend them together.
  • What defines a semisolid yarn?
    When hand dyeing yarn in one 'solid' colour, there will by nature always be a little variation throughout the skein. I dye in small batches to minimise inconsistency, but as this is an artistic process you may get areas that are slightly lighter or darker than others. This is why plain colours are named 'semi-solid', and it is part of what brings extra life to hand-dyed yarn compared to commercial brands. Skeinhawk's range of semi-solids are specially designed to complement my variegated colourways to make your project truly unique through and through.
  • How do gift cards work?
    "Knowing you're in love with me is the greatest gift of all", sang Dolly P and Kenny G. I disagree, it's yarn. But to give the gift of yarn without the agony of choice, why not send a Skeinhawk Yarns gift card? Simply choose your amount, enter your recipient's details and a personalised note, and when you checkout an email will be sent directly to them containing a special code. They can then visit the Skeinhawk Yarns website at their leisure (there is no expiry date), pile their purchases into their cart, and redeem their Gift Card code at checkout. Should they get carried away and spend more than the value of the card, the balance can be paid with another method.
  • What are the delivery costs and how long does it take?
    I personally hand-wrap every item in acid-free tissue paper and ship them from the UK via Royal Mail. I will always post as soon as possible but please allow 1-3 working days to pack and despatch an in-stock order. You will receive a confirmation email when your parcel is on its way. ​ Yarn club orders made by the 15th of the month are dyed to order and so will be dispatched by the end of that month. If you order anything else at the same time, it will be shipped along with the yarn club so please order separately if you need your other item(s) sooner. Similarly, anything ordered along with dyed-to-order items will be dispatched when the full order is ready. Please check individual shipping notes on products. ​ Orders within the UK Flat rate postage costs per order (unless otherwise stated): 2nd Class £3 (2-3 working days from despatch) ​ Generally, UK Orders are not tracked door to door, but I always retain a proof of postage which I can use to find out if a delivery has been attempted. In the unlikely event your item does not arrive within 15 working days of your dispatch confirmation, please do get in touch and I can investigate. International Orders (including EU) ​ Orders shipped outside the UK will be sent with Royal Mail's International Tracked service (where available). You will receive a tracking link with your order confirmation. Delivery times vary according to the region so please check current estimates with your local service. Please do bear in mind that there are often global and local factors that can delay the post once it's left these shores! Postage cost is automatically calculated by weight and can be viewed in your cart before you checkout. Please note this includes packaging, so a 100g skein of yarn will actually weigh a little more for shipping purposes. ​ IMPORTANT - CUSTOMS CHARGES AND FEES ​ Deliveries to regions outside the UK - now including the EU - may be subject to additional taxes, customs/handling charges and other fees levied by your government. These are NOT included and are the responsibility of the customer. Skeinhawk Yarns is not responsible for any delays at customs or items returned because of duties unpaid, so please ensure that you have checked your local import rules to avoid any nasty surprises!
  • What payment types do you accept?
    At checkout, you can choose to pay with debit or credit card, Apple Pay or with your Paypal account. All transactions are securely processed by specialist payment providers.
  • Do you ship worldwide?
    Yes! In fact I have many happy overseas customers in Australia, the US, Canada and beyond. If your country is not listed on the drop down selection at checkout, it may not be possible for me to ship there - please contact me in this case and I can investigate. Please note I am unable to collect VAT, customs or handling charges on your behalf, so please make sure to check your own region's import arrangements before purchasing. Any charges that may be levied in the country of delivery are out of my control and must be paid by you directly to the charging authorities. This includes the EU. I am not responsible for any delays or returned items due to unpaid charges. It is your responsibility to look out for any communications from your customs or import authorities.
  • Do you offer custom or wholesale yarn orders?
    Creating themed yarn is my speciality and if you have an idea for a particular colourway you'd love to see, I'd be delighted to discuss it. Custom dyes for corporate gifts, knitting clubs and even bridesmaid gifts are my pleasure. Minimum order quantities may apply, just get in touch and let's see what we can create! ​ If you are a LYS or retailer interested in stocking anything from the regular Skeinhawk Yarns range or collaborating in a custom dye, please drop me a line.
  • I have a problem with a purchase! How can I get in touch?
    I hope you'll always be pleased as punch with everything you purchase from Skeinhawk Yarns, but in the unlikely event that you're not absolutely happy please do get in touch asap via the contact form or by emailing me at naomi@skeinhawkyarns.co.uk and I will get on the case to find a resolution before you can say 'slip, slip, knit'.
  • Can I find Skeinhawk Yarns on the socials?
    Heck yeah! For yarn in the wild, updates, yarn club reveals, knitting chat and general banter, head over to @skeinhawkyarns on Instagram and Facebook. I'll put the kettle on.
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