This week, I corresponded with Cheri Jacobson of CJ Fibers. Her beautifully dyed, low micron braids and how-to dyeing videos have been making quite a splash in the Facebook community and I am so happy she agreed to a feature and an interview! Cheri likes the softer things in life–and who can blame her 🙂 You all know I am hooked on breed-specific wool, but over the past month or so, I have been enjoying the fruits of many indy-dyer’s labors. It’s been super fun to work with prepared top, and CJ Fibers is on my list of braids to try. I particularly like her merino/bamboo combo; but more than her fibers, I appreciate Cheri’s can-do attitude and the fact that her shop and endeavor is relatively new and growing! So, go check out what she has to offer–from ready to spin brands, to custom blends, to pretty, squishy yarns! And in the meantime, you can linger on the lovely photos Cheri sent along for me to share . . .
How did you catch the spinning bug?
It all started with the color blue. I couldn’t find a certain shade of blue I wanted. I searched on my wall of yarn, I searched online…no luck. So I found a similar color blue yarn in my stash but it was too thin. As I stood there tossing the skein up and down in one hand and staring at my wall I thought, “I wish I could just make my own yarn.” I can’t explain the feeling that came over next…I felt excited, I felt an urge to follow this thought. I was already becoming obsessed with wool/natural yarns…my acrylic stash was slowly being sold to friends and given away to charities. A friend of mine had a spindle so I used it once, it whorled (pun intended, lol) me in! Sloppy yarn and all but it worked! I got my own spindle and used it a few times but I wanted to spin quicker. My husband encouraged me to buy a wheel and we found one 3 hrs away! What a lovely trip that was, for my whole family! They got a nice tour of the farm and I got a 1/2 hour spinning lesson! After that I was hooked! The bug was quite snug inside of me!
What kinds of fiber do you spin most and why?
Oh I love anything soft! I have learned that anything higher than 24 micron seems rough to me and even though I can spin it I am quite unhappy doing so. I guess if it is soft I will spin it! Merino is probably the one I spin most because it is easy to find, affordable AND soft! But I also use a lot of polwarth and I have many lbs of raw rambouillet wool!
What’s your best piece of advice for new spinners?
Please don’t give up on yourself! We all look like an awkward octopus when we start spinning! Practice treadling, once you can treadle slow without stopping then try some nice roving/top. When you first start spinning it is good to understand drafting, predrafting is a good way to learn your staple length and teaches you the basics of drafting. Also strip your roving top to thin strips so you have more roving to play with. It is okay to park and draft to start with. Patience my friends, believe in yourself and be patient!
What is on your wheel/spindle at the moment?
On one of my spindles I have yummy hand combed targhee, on my turkish I have a lovely dyed merino. I don’t play with my spindles very often right now but I love them! On my wheel I have a fractal spin in the works, I am half way there! Can’t wait to ply this beauty! Honestly almost all of my bobbins have a project on them. On another bobbin I have a grey alpaca, on small bobbin I have a rambouillet and alpaca blend and lastly on a jumbo bobbin I have a very thin spin targhee.
What is your dream yarn? What kinds of yarn do you sell?
My dream yarn? Oh my so many! I love dk weight the most, not too thick, not too thin. I love anything soft, right now I love rambouillet, it is very dreamy. Maybe I am bias to this breed because it was the first raw fleece I ever bought but it has lovely structure, length, color, and function as a yarn! Also I like that it is unique, I don’t hear a lot of people talk about it yet it is just so lovely! So in a sense my dream has come true 😉 I would love to add some mulberry silk to some rambouillet for that nice sheen. I would also love to try qiviut, cashmere…baby camel…I don’t know if I would like any of those so I can’t say they are my dream but I would love to try them! I sell a lot of variety, anything soft! For roving I have merino and merino blends (with silk, bamboo, and/or tencel), polwarth, targhee, and once in awhile when I find a new blend I throw it in the mix!
How can interested buyers get in touch with you?
As I grow I hope to have my own website but you can find me on fb: https://www.facebook.com/cjfibers and zibbet: https://www.zibbet.com/cj-fibers Also my email is cjfibers@yahoo,com , email me any time ^_^