Yarn plug

Yarn plug

Post by WoolyGool » Fri, 05 Jan 2007 12:23:03



Full disclosure:  I don't know the man, never met him, likely never
will.

If you're in the market for a sweater-sized quantity of absolutely
unbelievable yarn find "alpacabuyer" on Ebay.  He's offering 100% BFL
yarn in Aran and DK, and he occasionally offers a hank fo sock yarn as
well.

I received my packet today.  The "charcoal" DK is absolutely
scrumptious, and is nearly the same color as my handspun feather-fan
cardigan (off my own sheep, mind).  The "anthracite" sock yarn is
begging me to start a pair of socks, but I've got two sweaters going
and a spinning project to finish, plus three other things in the
queue.

Anyhow, excellent yarn, excellent prices even with overseas postage
from UK to the US, very accomodating vendor.

 
 
 

Yarn plug

Post by Vintage Purl » Fri, 05 Jan 2007 12:48:36


It's interesting to see his prices. I'm not sure if living in New
Zealand I get a good deal on fibre or not (given that we have more
sheep than people I would have thought that prices would be okay).

For 20-25 micron alpaca I have to pay NZ$10 per 100grams (about US$7)
For fine merino NZ$4.50 per 100g (US$3.20)
Standard corriedale NZ$3.50 per 100g (US$2.50)

That's clean, carded and dyed fibre, I can obviously get it cheaper if
I am prepared to by in large quantities and do the prep work myself.

Does that compare favourably with costs in other countries or should I
consider exploring the possibility of buying off shore in future?

VP
http://www.vintagepurls.net.nz

 
 
 

Yarn plug

Post by WoolyGool » Fri, 05 Jan 2007 23:34:12




Quote:
>It's interesting to see his prices. I'm not sure if living in New
>Zealand I get a good deal on fibre or not (given that we have more
>sheep than people I would have thought that prices would be okay).

>For 20-25 micron alpaca I have to pay NZ$10 per 100grams (about US$7)
>For fine merino NZ$4.50 per 100g (US$3.20)
>Standard corriedale NZ$3.50 per 100g (US$2.50)

>That's clean, carded and dyed fibre, I can obviously get it cheaper if
>I am prepared to by in large quantities and do the prep work myself.

>Does that compare favourably with costs in other countries or should I
>consider exploring the possibility of buying off shore in future?

I think you will probably find that most commercial alpaca fiber comes
out of South American countries and will cost about the same amount no
matter where we buy it.  Alpaca farming has become de rigeur lately so
there is probably a growing amount of fiber coming out of places like
South Africa but I don't think that will affect the average world
price.

I pay about $2/oz US for superfine white alpaca, about $2.50
Australian.  Fine white Merino is about $1.40/oz US, $1.80 Australian.
White Corrie is $0.85/oz US, $1.10 Australian.

An ounce is ~28g, so multiplying my per-ounce prices by four for
approximate equivalent costs:

$10 Australian for superfine alpaca 100g
$7.20 Australian for fine white Merino 100g
$4.40 Australian for white Corrie 100g

Not terribly different.

I find that I actually pay more for raw fiber than I do for processed
in most cases.  Shepherds in the US who raise fiber for handspinners
are typicall working with small flocks and cannot realize economy of
scale in their operations.  They charge accordingly!  A Romney ewe
fleece, covered during hay season, professionally shorn and skirted,
can run as much as $25 PER POUND and will usually be sold as a whole
fleece only.  

Having owned a sheep and boarded him out (initially in exchange for
labor on the farm, later for the cost of his consumables after I had
an accident and couldn't do the heavy work anymore) I understand where
these prices come from.  Annual upkeep on my sheep was about $200 for
feed and hay.

If I send the fleece out for processing (likely, I'm getting lazy)
I'll likely pay about $6/lb for processing (scouring, picking, carding
up as roving or pulling as tops), plus shipping from the shepherd to
the processor and from the processor to me.

But.

I tend to buy fiber locally when possible.  I've learned who the good
shepherds are within about a half day's drive, and I'll buy several
fleeces at once.  When I have 6-8 fleeces stockpiled I stuff them into
a bag and send them off for processing, then I have more spinning
fiber than I know what to do with for the next several years :D  When
I do this I end up paying an average of about $14/lb for purchasing,
round-trip shipping and processing.

And of course, if I do the processing myself I can calculate the cost
of my hot water, my detergent, my time, the wear and tear on my
carding equipment, etc etc etc.  I figure that each of my two handspun
sweaters have an equivalent value of about $1500 when I factor in
fiber production cost, fiber cost, shearing, processing, spinning and
knitting time.

 
 
 

Yarn plug

Post by Mary Fishe » Sat, 06 Jan 2007 01:25:36



Quote:


>>It's interesting to see his prices. I'm not sure if living in New
>>Zealand I get a good deal on fibre or not (given that we have more
>>sheep than people I would have thought that prices would be okay).

>>For 20-25 micron alpaca I have to pay NZ$10 per 100grams (about US$7)
>>For fine merino NZ$4.50 per 100g (US$3.20)
>>Standard corriedale NZ$3.50 per 100g (US$2.50)

>>That's clean, carded and dyed fibre, I can obviously get it cheaper if
>>I am prepared to by in large quantities and do the prep work myself.

>>Does that compare favourably with costs in other countries or should I
>>consider exploring the possibility of buying off shore in future?

> I think you will probably find that most commercial alpaca fiber comes
> out of South American countries and will cost about the same amount no
> matter where we buy it.  Alpaca farming has become de rigeur lately so
> there is probably a growing amount of fiber coming out of places like
> South Africa but I don't think that will affect the average world
> price.

> I pay about $2/oz US for superfine white alpaca, about $2.50
> Australian.  Fine white Merino is about $1.40/oz US, $1.80 Australian.
> White Corrie is $0.85/oz US, $1.10 Australian.

> An ounce is ~28g, so multiplying my per-ounce prices by four for
> approximate equivalent costs:

> $10 Australian for superfine alpaca 100g
> $7.20 Australian for fine white Merino 100g
> $4.40 Australian for white Corrie 100g

> Not terribly different.

> I find that I actually pay more for raw fiber than I do for processed
> in most cases.  Shepherds in the US who raise fiber for handspinners
> are typicall working with small flocks and cannot realize economy of
> scale in their operations.  They charge accordingly!  A Romney ewe
> fleece, covered during hay season, professionally shorn and skirted,
> can run as much as $25 PER POUND and will usually be sold as a whole
> fleece only.

Good Heavens! A daughter in Wales has rare breed sheep of several colours
and including Ryelands. She can't sell her fleeces economically, nor has she
time to spin all of them so many are composted. It's such a shame. Luckily
she has a good market for the meat because they're 100% grass fed or fed
with their own hay - it's an organic farm.

Mary

 
 
 

Yarn plug

Post by hesir » Sat, 06 Jan 2007 02:10:38


Are there many sheep farmers in your area, Wooly?  I thought you lived
in a fairly warm place.  I know around here, there are zero sheep.  I
don't think I've ever seen a sheep in this state.  I've begun to wonder
if the zoos shear the alpacas and llamas in the late spring.  If so, I
wonder what they do with the fleece.

Hmm.

Hesira

Quote:



> >It's interesting to see his prices. I'm not sure if living in New
> >Zealand I get a good deal on fibre or not (given that we have more
> >sheep than people I would have thought that prices would be okay).

> >For 20-25 micron alpaca I have to pay NZ$10 per 100grams (about US$7)
> >For fine merino NZ$4.50 per 100g (US$3.20)
> >Standard corriedale NZ$3.50 per 100g (US$2.50)

> >That's clean, carded and dyed fibre, I can obviously get it cheaper if
> >I am prepared to by in large quantities and do the prep work myself.

> >Does that compare favourably with costs in other countries or should I
> >consider exploring the possibility of buying off shore in future?

> I think you will probably find that most commercial alpaca fiber comes
> out of South American countries and will cost about the same amount no
> matter where we buy it.  Alpaca farming has become de rigeur lately so
> there is probably a growing amount of fiber coming out of places like
> South Africa but I don't think that will affect the average world
> price.

> I pay about $2/oz US for superfine white alpaca, about $2.50
> Australian.  Fine white Merino is about $1.40/oz US, $1.80 Australian.
> White Corrie is $0.85/oz US, $1.10 Australian.

> An ounce is ~28g, so multiplying my per-ounce prices by four for
> approximate equivalent costs:

> $10 Australian for superfine alpaca 100g
> $7.20 Australian for fine white Merino 100g
> $4.40 Australian for white Corrie 100g

> Not terribly different.

> I find that I actually pay more for raw fiber than I do for processed
> in most cases.  Shepherds in the US who raise fiber for handspinners
> are typicall working with small flocks and cannot realize economy of
> scale in their operations.  They charge accordingly!  A Romney ewe
> fleece, covered during hay season, professionally shorn and skirted,
> can run as much as $25 PER POUND and will usually be sold as a whole
> fleece only.

> Having owned a sheep and boarded him out (initially in exchange for
> labor on the farm, later for the cost of his consumables after I had
> an accident and couldn't do the heavy work anymore) I understand where
> these prices come from.  Annual upkeep on my sheep was about $200 for
> feed and hay.

> If I send the fleece out for processing (likely, I'm getting lazy)
> I'll likely pay about $6/lb for processing (scouring, picking, carding
> up as roving or pulling as tops), plus shipping from the shepherd to
> the processor and from the processor to me.

> But.

> I tend to buy fiber locally when possible.  I've learned who the good
> shepherds are within about a half day's drive, and I'll buy several
> fleeces at once.  When I have 6-8 fleeces stockpiled I stuff them into
> a bag and send them off for processing, then I have more spinning
> fiber than I know what to do with for the next several years :D  When
> I do this I end up paying an average of about $14/lb for purchasing,
> round-trip shipping and processing.

> And of course, if I do the processing myself I can calculate the cost
> of my hot water, my detergent, my time, the wear and tear on my
> carding equipment, etc etc etc.  I figure that each of my two handspun
> sweaters have an equivalent value of about $1500 when I factor in
> fiber production cost, fiber cost, shearing, processing, spinning and
> knitting time.

 
 
 

Yarn plug

Post by WoolyGool » Sat, 06 Jan 2007 02:30:25



Quote:
>Are there many sheep farmers in your area, Wooly?  I thought you lived
>in a fairly warm place.  I know around here, there are zero sheep.  I
>don't think I've ever seen a sheep in this state.  I've begun to wonder
>if the zoos shear the alpacas and llamas in the late spring.  If so, I
>wonder what they do with the fleece.

Texas was at some time in the past one of the top  three
wool-producing states in the country.  It still holds the top spot for
mohair production.  Angora goats are popular with people on
"ranchettes", as they survive on poor forage and still meet
requirements for an ag exemption on property taxes.

We don't have lots of sheep, but there are a fair number, meat sheep
more than anything.  Ramboulliet are popular but since they're bred
mostly for meat most of the time the wool really sucks for
handspinners; the big operations shear out of necessity and for no
other reason, all the sheep are range sheep and full of stickers and
other ***I'd rather not deal with.  

 
 
 

Yarn plug

Post by Vintage Purl » Sat, 06 Jan 2007 05:22:39


Quote:

> I think you will probably find that most commercial alpaca fiber comes
> out of South American countries and will cost about the same amount no
> matter where we buy it.

The Alpaca I get is definitely locally grown (well the supplier I buy
of anyway) - it's beautiful stuff too, so I'm prepared to pay a
reasonable sum for it.

Quote:
> I figure that each of my two handspun
> sweaters have an equivalent value of about $1500 when I factor in
> fiber production cost, fiber cost, shearing, processing, spinning and
> knitting time.

I had someone ask me recently about paying to have some vintage
patterns made up for them - I tried to explain that if you paid a
reasonable hourly rate for a handmade jersey the finished product would
be outrageously expensive.

VP

 
 
 

Yarn plug

Post by WoolyGool » Sat, 06 Jan 2007 11:30:29




Quote:


>> I think you will probably find that most commercial alpaca fiber comes
>> out of South American countries and will cost about the same amount no
>> matter where we buy it.

>The Alpaca I get is definitely locally grown (well the supplier I buy
>of anyway) - it's beautiful stuff too, so I'm prepared to pay a
>reasonable sum for it.

Yeah, but I'm talking about the commercial tops for sale everywhere.
Everybody who sells alpaca tops has white, gray, and black, plus maybe
cinnamon.  

Quote:
>I had someone ask me recently about paying to have some vintage
>patterns made up for them - I tried to explain that if you paid a
>reasonable hourly rate for a handmade jersey the finished product would
>be outrageously expensive.

*nod*

My son attends private school.  This year I donated a custom-fitted
handknitted sweater to the silent auction that'll be held at the
charity ball in a couple of weeks.

When I turned in the fancy certificate I hacked up in Photoshop along
with the information sheet the principal (who happens to be the
organizer for the silent auction) asked me if I had added an extra
zero by mistake, or perhaps misplaced my decimal in my recommended
minimum bid.

My recommended minimum is $1500.  I told the principal he is welcome
to not offer the item at the silent auction but I won't honor the sale
if it goes for less than my minimum.  He blinked and agreed to put it
out as suggested, so we'll see.

I'm just hoping somebody skinny buys it!

 
 
 

Yarn plug

Post by enigm » Sat, 06 Jan 2007 11:40:56




Quote:
> Are there many sheep farmers in your area, Wooly?  I
> thought you lived in a fairly warm place.  I know around
> here, there are zero sheep.  I don't think I've ever seen a
> sheep in this state.  I've begun to wonder if the zoos
> shear the alpacas and llamas in the late spring.  If so, I
> wonder what they do with the fleece.

 if you live in a warm climate, they probably do shear in
spring. they also probably compost the fiber. unless their
llamas are very used to handling & are brushed & blown out
frequently, that's about all the fiber is good for. i don't
know if the same hold for alpaca fiber. i don't raise them.
lee <watching the llamas roll in the ashes of the New Year's
bonfire>
--
Question with boldness even the existence of god; because if
there be
one, he must more approve the homage of reason than that of
blindfolded
fear. - Thomas Jefferson
 
 
 

Yarn plug

Post by Shillelag » Sat, 06 Jan 2007 15:46:36



Quote:

> My recommended minimum is $1500.  I told the principal he is welcome
> to not offer the item at the silent auction but I won't honor the sale
> if it goes for less than my minimum.  He blinked and agreed to put it
> out as suggested, so we'll see.

> I'm just hoping somebody skinny buys it!

Heh, heh.  I was at the Ram Wools sale in Winnipeg today (more on that
later), and happened upon a lovely sight in the sock yarn aisle.  There was
a pair of long hand knit socks (of course) in muted shades of broad stripes
which were NOT variegated or striping yarn.  The stripes were done by hand.
The finished socks were priced at $95.00, and althought I grinned at the
price, I fully understood why.

Shelagh

 
 
 

Yarn plug

Post by Aliso » Sat, 06 Jan 2007 22:04:11


Quote:



>> My recommended minimum is $1500.  I told the principal he is welcome
>> to not offer the item at the silent auction but I won't honor the sale
>> if it goes for less than my minimum.  He blinked and agreed to put it
>> out as suggested, so we'll see.

>> I'm just hoping somebody skinny buys it!

>Heh, heh.  I was at the Ram Wools sale in Winnipeg today (more on that
>later), and happened upon a lovely sight in the sock yarn aisle.  There was
>a pair of long hand knit socks (of course) in muted shades of broad stripes
>which were NOT variegated or striping yarn.  The stripes were done by hand.
>The finished socks were priced at $95.00, and althought I grinned at the
>price, I fully understood why.

>Shelagh

This is what bugs me about a friend of mine.  She asked me if I could
make a pair of orange and blue socks for her brother.  She said she'd
pay me.  I thought about it and finally said - pay for the yarn (a
special dye job) and take me out to dinner (because I didn't want to
charge her what it was worth.)  Finished the socks - her brother loves
them.  At various different times she has asked me to make her a pair
of socks; her a pair of mittens or fingerless gloves; and the latest
was a pair of socks for her mom.  (She says "I want to commission you
to...")  I just smile and hope she'll forget about it - I feel like I
can't do my own knitting.  Maybe if I tell her that there are as many
stitches in a pair of socks as in a sweater?

Alison

 
 
 

Yarn plug

Post by WoolyGool » Sat, 06 Jan 2007 23:42:12




Quote:
>This is what bugs me about a friend of mine.  She asked me if I could
>make a pair of orange and blue socks for her brother.  She said she'd
>pay me.  I thought about it and finally said - pay for the yarn (a
>special dye job) and take me out to dinner (because I didn't want to
>charge her what it was worth.)  Finished the socks - her brother loves
>them.  At various different times she has asked me to make her a pair
>of socks; her a pair of mittens or fingerless gloves; and the latest
>was a pair of socks for her mom.  (She says "I want to commission you
>to...")  I just smile and hope she'll forget about it - I feel like I
>can't do my own knitting.  Maybe if I tell her that there are as many
>stitches in a pair of socks as in a sweater?

Maybe you should explain to her the time required to make an item and
the equivalent cost of that time if she were paying any other skilled
labor such as a plumber or electrician.

One of my outlaws pestered me similarly to make things for her because
the "one pair of socks at Christmas" just wasn't adquate to satisfy
her lust for handknits.  I finally told her she could pay me $15/hr
plus materials, or I'd give her free knitting lessons so she could
learn to make her own stuff.

I haven't heard another word out of her about it either way.

 
 
 

Yarn plug

Post by Mary Fishe » Sun, 07 Jan 2007 02:03:54



Quote:



>>> My recommended minimum is $1500.  I told the principal he is welcome
>>> to not offer the item at the silent auction but I won't honor the sale
>>> if it goes for less than my minimum.  He blinked and agreed to put it
>>> out as suggested, so we'll see.

>>> I'm just hoping somebody skinny buys it!

>>Heh, heh.  I was at the Ram Wools sale in Winnipeg today (more on that
>>later), and happened upon a lovely sight in the sock yarn aisle.  There
>>was
>>a pair of long hand knit socks (of course) in muted shades of broad
>>stripes
>>which were NOT variegated or striping yarn.  The stripes were done by
>>hand.
>>The finished socks were priced at $95.00, and althought I grinned at the
>>price, I fully understood why.

>>Shelagh

> This is what bugs me about a friend of mine.  She asked me if I could
> make a pair of orange and blue socks for her brother.  She said she'd
> pay me.  I thought about it and finally said - pay for the yarn (a
> special dye job) and take me out to dinner (because I didn't want to
> charge her what it was worth.)  Finished the socks - her brother loves
> them.  At various different times she has asked me to make her a pair
> of socks; her a pair of mittens or fingerless gloves; and the latest
> was a pair of socks for her mom.  (She says "I want to commission you
> to...")  I just smile and hope she'll forget about it - I feel like I
> can't do my own knitting.  Maybe if I tell her that there are as many
> stitches in a pair of socks as in a sweater?

> Alison

Back in the sixties and seventies a friend and I advertising bespoke hand
knitted and crocheted garments. We didn't have many customers because prices
put them off, that didn't worry us because we liked the customers who
understood the value of hand-made, designed-to-fit-exactly, clothing. One
was very thin (still is!) and rich (no longer!) and she couldn't buy clothes
she liked to fit her anywhere. Her business went bust and her husband died
so she's now living on social security - but still a few doors away - and
I've offered to make her things but she won't because she can't afford to
pay a proper price.

I'd forgotten all about that until I read this thread! then I remembered
that during the war my mother made Fair-Isle berets with odd wools to sell
at the draper's shop at the bottom of our street. My mother was very clever
with a needle of any kind, she never picks one up now (in her nineties but
fit as a lop).

Mary

Mary

 
 
 

Yarn plug

Post by Mirjam Bruck-Coh » Sun, 07 Jan 2007 22:43:07


WOOLY You are my ***e of today
That is THE ANSWER
Quote:
>One of my outlaws pestered me similarly to make things for her because
>the "one pair of socks at Christmas" just wasn't adquate to satisfy
>her lust for handknits.  I finally told her she could pay me $15/hr
>plus materials, or I'd give her free knitting lessons so she could
>learn to make her own stuff.

>I haven't heard another word out of her about it either way.

Somebody kept nagging me after i made her a birthday FF Cellular bag,
now she felt for a hat a shawl and maybe a vest , since my work is so
nice, and she will [are you sitted NGers?] it will give me a good name
,,,,,,brrrrrr i hinted about the time ,,, she won`t pay it since "I am
enjoiying it so much -she does me a favour for asking to make her some
thing ? " i said she she at least do something in return , hour for
hour ,,,,,she doesn`t think so ,,, next birtday i will deffinitely BUY
something if at all .....
mirjam
 
 
 

Yarn plug

Post by Mirjam Bruck-Coh » Sun, 07 Jan 2007 22:46:42


In my student years i made money , sewing up [and `repairing` ] knits
people knitted but brought to the shop to be sewn up...
wasn`t much , but paid for my bus snd some breakfasts, and could be
done at my own timing.
mirjam
Quote:






>>>> My recommended minimum is $1500.  I told the principal he is welcome
>>>> to not offer the item at the silent auction but I won't honor the sale
>>>> if it goes for less than my minimum.  He blinked and agreed to put it
>>>> out as suggested, so we'll see.

>>>> I'm just hoping somebody skinny buys it!

>>>Heh, heh.  I was at the Ram Wools sale in Winnipeg today (more on that
>>>later), and happened upon a lovely sight in the sock yarn aisle.  There
>>>was
>>>a pair of long hand knit socks (of course) in muted shades of broad
>>>stripes
>>>which were NOT variegated or striping yarn.  The stripes were done by
>>>hand.
>>>The finished socks were priced at $95.00, and althought I grinned at the
>>>price, I fully understood why.

>>>Shelagh

>> This is what bugs me about a friend of mine.  She asked me if I could
>> make a pair of orange and blue socks for her brother.  She said she'd
>> pay me.  I thought about it and finally said - pay for the yarn (a
>> special dye job) and take me out to dinner (because I didn't want to
>> charge her what it was worth.)  Finished the socks - her brother loves
>> them.  At various different times she has asked me to make her a pair
>> of socks; her a pair of mittens or fingerless gloves; and the latest
>> was a pair of socks for her mom.  (She says "I want to commission you
>> to...")  I just smile and hope she'll forget about it - I feel like I
>> can't do my own knitting.  Maybe if I tell her that there are as many
>> stitches in a pair of socks as in a sweater?

>> Alison

>Back in the sixties and seventies a friend and I advertising bespoke hand
>knitted and crocheted garments. We didn't have many customers because prices
>put them off, that didn't worry us because we liked the customers who
>understood the value of hand-made, designed-to-fit-exactly, clothing. One
>was very thin (still is!) and rich (no longer!) and she couldn't buy clothes
>she liked to fit her anywhere. Her business went bust and her husband died
>so she's now living on social security - but still a few doors away - and
>I've offered to make her things but she won't because she can't afford to
>pay a proper price.

>I'd forgotten all about that until I read this thread! then I remembered
>that during the war my mother made Fair-Isle berets with odd wools to sell
>at the draper's shop at the bottom of our street. My mother was very clever
>with a needle of any kind, she never picks one up now (in her nineties but
>fit as a lop).

>Mary

>Mary