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How is Yarn made? Interview with Mallory Chapin whose homespun yarn I recently had the pleasure of working with.

Have you ever found incredible yarn and just wonder how it's made? What exactly is your average yarn made out of and how is it made? Did you know that the production of yarn was one of the first processes to be industrialized in America? I recently got my hands on some fun homespun yarn and had a chat with Mallory Chapin of Griffin Family Crafts. She is located in San Bernardino county, CA and spins from her home when she is not attending college, keeping house and taking care of her Darling 2 year old.
I wanted to share with you all what I made with her yarn and a few questions I asked her......
This is an example of a spinning wheel many people use today, this one will cost you over $5,000!

Tell us a little about yourself, What makes Mallory, Mallory?
Yarn spun by Mallory
Whether it's fiber arts or food, I have always loved being able to make things from scratch. If I had the space I would homestead, but for now I'll keep busy with hand-dying and spinning my own yarn.
 How long have you been into the fiber arts? Which do you prefer crochet or knit and why?
 My mom taught me how to crochet 13 years ago, after a few years I taught myself to knit, and then spin. Knitting is definitely my favorite. When I crochet it's all about the finished product, but when I knit I enjoy the product as well as the process.

How did you get started with making your own yarn?
When I was in elementary school my aunt brought her drop spindle to a family gathering. I just sat and watched her, I loved watching her turn this ball of fluff into yarn. For years after that I had wanted to learn but just kept putting it off. Then my step-dad died unexpectedly so I decided to stop putting things off. Within a week I had my first drop spindle and was (badly) spinning.
What is roving? Do you use roving that 100% American? Does it come dyed or do you hand dye it?
Example of hand-dyed roving

Roving is fiber that has been prepared to be spun. It's been washed and carded (brushed) already. While most of the roving I buy is grown and processed in America, sometimes I have to look at sellers across the pond for special breeds that just aren't raised here. When I started out I bought only dyed roving. Now I've begun to do all the dying myself and I'm really excited about it.
 How long does it take to make a 2 oz ball of fine yarn v.s a ball of chunky?
Hmmm... This is a tough one because I've never timed it. I know I can get 2oz of worsted or chunky weight yarn spun and plied while my son takes a nap, but fine yarn takes significantly longer. Depending on how fine (lace vs sport weight) it could take 2 or 3 naps.
 There are some people out there  ( me most of the time) that don't like to spend more than $5.00 a ball, what would you say to them about the pros of homespun yarn?
I understand not wanting to spend much on yarn. I used to only buy yarn with a 40-50% off coupon at Joann's. But there's something about handspun yarn that I love. The varieties are endless. The colors, weights, plies, etc. That's something you just can't get from commercially manufactured yarns. Besides that I love supporting other work at home moms. It's amazing that I can buy roving from a fellow WAHM, and in turn sell the yarn I spin from that to another mom who'll sell a finished product that she made from it.

 Do you do custom orders? For example if I was a artsy yarn with Teal and Brown that is a 5 or chunky weight, could you/ would you do that(One of my favorite color combos btw)?
 Yes to both. I'm happy to do special orders as long as it is something I'm able to do. There are some types of art yarn that I'm still practicing with, such as coils, and I wouldn't take a special order for that until I'm completely confident that I'd be able to deliver exactly what the customer wanted. As for your teal and brown chunky weight, definitely.
8) What is your favorite yarn to make and where can your yarn be purchased?
My go to is a worsted or chunky slightly thick and thin yarn.My mom and I have an etsy store where I sell handspun and she sells purses and quilts:       Griffin Family Crafts
Yarn available for sale right now

I of course decided that I had to try her yarn so I can tell you all how AWESOME or NOT her Homespun yarn is.
Mallory took this superfine merino, silk, bamboo, and firestar.
and turned it into his is a thick and thin yarn with glow in the dark thread! I wish I knew how to photo graph this for you glowing because it glows great!!!

 I wasn't sure what I wanted to make and just really wanted to see what it looked like once I hooked a little....
I made a cute and simple cup cozy! Now before you get mad about the Styrofoam.... I actually didn't have a cup to take the photo with and grabbed this from my roommates car LOL! I keep this cozy in my purse and I love that it glows without it being the pale green/ whitish color most glow in the dark things are. This stands out and glows at the bottom of my purse, so it's easy to find when I am getting my coffee fix at a local coffee shop!!! I enjoyed crocheting this yarn I didn't have a problem with kinks or it tangling. I hate it when I am working on a project and there are knots in the yarn!! This yarn was soft really glided around the hook nice. The thick and thin yarn I think would be great for beginners too because it would HIDE imperfect stitches, not that we Chiq Hookers ever make a mistake or two!
This ball of yarn cost me $14.00 so that is a bit of a price jump from RedHeart and there are no 40% off coupons with home spun yarn. However I like the idea of helping out another mom or just person in the fiberart industry. I like that was NOT mass produced which will give me a more unique finish product. I like that I know for a fact none was exploited in the process of making this yarn. I also try to but things locally. another thing to look at is your budget for the project you are working on.... I couldn't afford to make a blanket with this yarn... Plain and simple I use my redheart all the way with my coupons, however there is nothing stopping me from making flower accents for a blanket with it. Also I don't mind spending $14 dollars on a hat so I do plan on making a hat with this yarn and I think it will come out wonderful! Bottom line if you can afford just one ball try it out you could fall in love and there are lots of projects you can do with just one ball! 

Are there any well known brands you would like me to review? Please leave a comment below!


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