Bison Fiber Last Post

One of my fall projects was carding the 100% bison fiber I bought in South Dakota last fall. It seemed a little scratchy, so I carded it again, blending in some wool I had on hand. The result was softer and more like what I am used to spinning.

I had been thinking about making something felted with this yarn, so I googled to find out whether bison fiber will felt. One source said it would. My friend suggested knitting up a swatch and attempting to felt that, to see how it behaved. In the following photo you can see the bobbin of “singles” (1-ply) bison/wool fiber, and the swatch I knitted from that, measuring about 4.5″ square.

4.5″ swatch after knitting on size 10 needles

I tossed the swatch in with three different loads of laundry in the washing machine and dryer. It shrank to about 3.5″ square, but it was quite stretchy and only partially felted. Not what I was expecting. I know that wool felts, so that means that for some reason the bison fibers did not.

3.5″ after 2 passes through the washing machine and dryer

I went ahead and spun the rest of the fiber, ending up with one small skein of singles (1-ply) yarn, and one larger skein of 2-ply yarn. Following you can see photos of the yarn after spinning, plying, and washing. The smaller skein is the singles yarn, the larger skein is the 2-ply.

Singles yarn and 2 ply yarn

I could have found something to make by knitting and felting this blended fiber, where shrunken and stretchy was the intended result, but I was not feeling inspired.

The other bison/alpaca/wool blend yarn I had spun, and wrote about here (https://yarnsfromthelake.com/2020/08/22/bison-fiber-part-2/ ), sold almost immediately on my new ETSY shop, so I decided to post this yarn for sale also. It generated much more interest than my other skeins of yarn or the knitted items for sale, with 24 views and two people marking it as a favorite. Apparently people are looking for bison yarn.

The following photo was on the ETSY listing. One of the hardest things about doing this blog, as well as posting items on ETSY, is finding settings for photography so that the lighting is right without shadows, and the colors show accurately. On top of that, colors look differently depending on what device you are using. The colors look much more bright on my phone than on my laptop, and sometimes they look like a totally different color.

The photos shared here were taken outside only a few weeks ago. Since then fall came and went. We enjoyed some beautiful fall colors, followed by several days of 40 mile per hour winds blowing all the leaves off, and then there were three snow events. After that it was below freezing for days. Not ideal for taking outdoor photographs. Since then the snow has melted, but the trees are brown and ready for winter.

Last week someone purchased this latest yarn on my ETSY shop (you can find a link to the ETSY shop in the menu above or click here https://www.etsy.com/shop/LakesCountryHandmade ). Shortly after that a friend in Minneapolis purchased a hat. Woo hoo!

Published by Meg Hanson

Hello. I am a recently retired empty nester. My husband and I moved to Jewett Lake in Otter Tail County, Minnesota, after living most of our lives in the Minneapolis area. I have no trouble keeping busy with knitting and spinning of wool, selling yarn and handmade goods, reading, walking, watching movies, surfing on the internet, traveling, doing bookkeeping for our family cabin, and spending time with family.

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