FAQ

f r e q u e n t l y  – a s k e d –  q u e s t i o n s

who are the liedel’s and what is liedel fiber art?

We are a family of seven living intentionally in Ann Arbor, MI. We believe in consuming in a manner that cares for our family and those around us, as well as earth friendly, and animal friendly practices.

Our head dyer is Nancy, the mom and podcaster of the group. Her husband, Gene assists with dye set-up and the website. Their five boys ranging in age from 11 – 18, help as they can. Eugene packages and mails the yarn. Andres helps set the yarn up for dyeing with additional ties to prevent tangling and checking for knots. Zach assists with bookwork and colorway approval, as well as modeling all our men’s wear. He really is a handsome young man, we can say that because he is adopted and did not get our genes. Herne and JJapprove all colors, or at least they attempt to. Distraction happens. This is very much a family business and everyone has a role to play. We started our company to bring our family together with a goal of financial independence and fun. This is our collective dream and we are incredibly happy to be working towards our goals together.

All yarn is dyed in a studio we converted from our dining room. Pans, heating elements and yarn storage are all held in that room and although we have kitties, we don’t allow them in the room with the yarn. All yarn is dyed with professional quality acid and pre-metalized dyes with citric acid. Colors likely to run, are held in the acid bath longer, to promote a greater degree of wash-fastness. Colors are set in the yarn, although you may experience some minor bleeding when you first wash your garments. Always wash in cool water, with a very mild dish-soap, wool wash, such as Eucalid or S.O.A.K. you can even use a mild biodegradable dish detergent on your projects. We do, we wash all out projects in scented dish detergent that is earth friendly and biodegradable.   There is no need to use Woolite.  Please feel free to e-mail support@liedelfiber.com with any questions. We are here 9am to 5pm Eastern time, Monday – Friday for you. You can expect an answer the same day, if we get our mail before 5, the next business day on weekends and American holidays.

 

how do you dye your yarn?

We use a variety of techniques to achieve our colors here at Liedel Fiber Art. We do some kettle dyeing to start our skeins, then we overwash them, speckle some, re-twist and resist dye, you name it. We do a very limited amount of self-striping yarn, so look for that, but when it’s gone, it’s gone. We only do self-striping runs twice a year. We use many  techniques to dye our bases. The only thing you will not get is 100% even yarn, dyed in the same color without variations on the tone. We know you can get that elsewhere, and we are not out to reinvent the techniques others do so well, but to have our own aesthetic and appeal. Some of our colorways are bright and bold. Those are usually limited edition. We also dye semi-solids and tonals that are always in the pots. This gives us the most fun and you the best matching solids for variegated yarn.

Dyeing is not a secret process. It’s an involved process for us, that we developed slowly before we began to sell. We are ever-evolving, just like knitting, and crochet. Nothing should ever be set in stone. We like our processes to evolve as we do. In other words, Nancy is in the studio going insane and dyeing odd combinations at least once a week. It’s her jam. Can you have a, “jam,” in your fifties?

how about just dropping my finished projects in the washer? can I do that?

We hand wash all our hand knit and crochet garments, after the, “Great Felt,” of 1999.The husband washed, and dried a lace hat that now is too small for a cat. It’s a felted yarn bowl now. We ask you do the same, especially with non-superwash yarn. Lukewarm, not hot water and little agitation for that yarn. Roll your finished object in a towel and squeeze out excess moisture. Then, block as normal. We would love to give good blocking ideas for households with cats, but we have not found a way to keep the cats away from our garments while they are on the boards. There is no room in the dye studio and the cats get everywhere else. As soon as we have an answer for that question, or you give a suggestion, we will post it here. Usually, we suggest keeping items that are being blocked away from animals and small children.

where is the dye lot number? i need to match it later. I don’t see it on the tag.

We do all of our dyeing in small batches, and thus, do not supply lot numbers. If you are super stuck and need another skein e-mail us at support@liedelfiber.com and we can arrange for you to send us a high quality photo, or a small bit of what you have so we can match your yarn for you to the best of our ability. Sometimes we discontinue bases, please make sure we have that base in stock. We are also at the mercy of the sheep, alpaca and other factors, like our fabulous supplier, who is amazing and works hard to make us happy. While pretty awesome, they cannot anticipate when certain yarns will run out. Sometimes when we are out for now, we are out for the year. We will let you know about those sad events. We always do our best to predict what our market is doing, but there are many elements out of our control where the market is concerned.

As with all hand-dyed yarn, skeins of the same colorway are never exactly the same. We use the same dye formulas and techniques to achieve each colorway, shades and color placement on the yarn will vary from skein to skein. As always, when using multiple skeins for a project, please alternate skeins. A colorway on silk, will look close to, but not exact on other yarn bases, and non-superwash will not get the depth of color, a superwash yarn will. Please know that the unique properties in the bases, create different looks and feel on the yarn and that is a wonderful thing.

i really love your (x) colorway. can i purchase a sweater’s worth? is there a discount for buying in bulk?

Yes, we are happy to dye enough yarn for you to knit a sweater in one batch and even give you a discount! All yarn must be on the same base and in the same colorway, unless you are mixing two for one project. We are on the honor system here.

in most instances, we dye our yarn in batches of three – five skeins. If you need more, let us know at support@liedelfiber.com and we will dye for multiple skeins, or match what we have on hand.

will you wind my yarn for me?

YES! There is a $2.oo fee for the first skein and 1.00 for two or more, up to five. That means for three dollars you too can have the joy of a grumpy teen wind your yarn, while whining. Said teen is compensated with the charge for winding the yarn. All money is placed half into their college fund and half for personal use. This is good incentive for our boys and a great way to have your yarn wound for a cause, saving us money when they go to college. Everyone wins!! Just check the, “Wind my skein,” box on checkout and your yarn will come caked and ready, with a tie around the cake to hold it together. While these are wound as center-pull balls, on a lovely winder, we ask that you pull from the outside to avoid the dreaded yarn-barf syndrome.

If you wish to have a skein divided for socks into two fifty gram balls, there is also a fee of 2.00. Just check, “sock-wound,” before checkout and you will receive two fifty gram balls, rather than a one one-hundred gram ball for only 2.00. A perfect deal for those of you who knit your socks two at a time, or want exactly half the yarn placed into two cakes. We weigh our yarns carefully, to ensure each skein is halved. This also helps with math.

i have a latex allergy, do you use latex?

So do half the people in our family! We only use nitrile gloves and no latex in the house. Your yarn comes from a latex-free environment.

do you smoke?

No, and no one is allowed around the yarn that does. We have issues with two super-tasters in our family and cigarette smoke really bothers them. This is a non-smoking facility, and we will keep it that way.

what are ooak (one of a kind) colorways?

Sometimes colorways don’t dye up as expected, or I was just having fun, experimenting with different colors and techniques. The colorway is most likely non-repeatable but still perfect for knitting.

what in the world is the, “land of misfit color?”

Lovely yarn, dyed on our bases, these are colors that are not quite a good enough match to our colorways to be labeled as that colorway. We have some serious quality control and while you can expect variation from lot to lot, sometimes we make a lot and forget a step, there is confusion, or in general the colorway is off. These are lovely and wonderful to knit, or crochet with, but not a true match to the colorway intended. We still work hard to make wonderful skeins, and the yarn is lovely. It just is not really matching, or repeatable. We sell these skeins at a discount. We cannot repeat them. You will find bins of these colors that we save up, at shows. If you are in the market for something unique, misfits may land here, or in those show bins. We also discount bases we are phasing out. The yarn is wonderful, but we are limiting ourselves to luxury bases and anything purchased that is not going to be a permanent part of our line, is phased out as a, “misfit.”

dear heavens! there is a knot! now what?

We take quality control seriously. A single knot can happen, although we try to check for them. If you have two in a skein, we consider that acceptable, but try to catch and sell those as minis. If you have three, contact us right away. We will make it right. You can return the skein for another, or receive a gift card for a percentage off a future order. A discount card will be sent to you for 50% off a single skein, should you decide to keep the skein. We do ask that you pop us a photo of the knots, so we can look at them and determine if we are missing something. We know there are people out there who may cheat at this, but we trust our customers and want them happy. Because the world is not perfect, we limit the number of times a discount card will be offered.

i really want a custom order to match yarn color with (x)?

While we do accept custom orders for a sweater’s quantity of yarn, but we will not be able to dye special skeins just for you with colors you select. We are sorry, but we want you to be 100% happy and it is hard to put custom colorways into rotation. If you would like five skeins, or more of a colorway we carry, the fifth one is free. The turnaround time on these orders is two weeks from acceptance of order, unless otherwise specified. We are very busy in show season and in the beginning of fall. During those times of year we often don’t have time for knitting, let alone time enough with the boys. We do ask for a deposit of 50% when ordering and the rest paid prior to shipping your finished order. We will photograph your skeins to make sure you are happy with the finished product, but skeins to match something in particular are not possible. If you have a color idea that you think will fit into our aesthetic, we will be more than happy to hear about it, test it if we believe it sounds good and even name it after you, your dog, cat, ferret, etc. This will be yarn that will go into regular rotation and you will get a free skien. E-mail us for details.

do you reserve listings?

If we state in our Podcast, The Goat Rodeo Fiber Fiesta, that we are about to dye a specific colorway and you want that, please let us know. We can only dye up a few skeins for our fans, and we limit the number of skeins that we will accept at any time. We are very fussy about our colorways and how they look. We will not take on more than we feel we can give our personal time and attention to. If a colorway is very popular, we will offer it in a heavier rotation to give you a chance to own a skein. Please always feel free to e-mail support@liedelfiner.com for more information, or to ask about reserving your favorite colorway.

how do i pay for my yarn?

Right now, we accept paypal only. In the future, we will accept credit cards via our bank. We will never see your credit information. We do not accept checks, expect through PayPal and those must clear prior to sending your order. We only need to know where to send it. Your credit card information is never given to us and honestly, we would rather not have that headache. It’s easier if you use a trusted company like PayPal. For all of us.

do you ship to my country?

We currently ship to, Canada, some of Latin America, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the U.K, the Netherlands, Germany, Turkey and some other countries. This is dependent on shipping costs and personal experience in some countries with packages going missing far too often. We insure all packages and all taxes and duties must be paid by the purchaser.  Unless there is a holiday in the US, we ship every Tuesday.

tell me when you update your shop, ship, and if my packages are insured.

All shop updates are on Friday’s at 1p.m. Eastern Time, either normal, or from March through October, Daylight Savings time. We update again at 8 pm on Fridays with additional stock to make life easier on those who cannot purchase in the middle of the day, or if you are in another country, late at night. This is the fairest way we can think of to make you happy. All packages are insured, and all sold items are mailed on Tuesdays from Ann Arbor, MI. You will receive tracking information the moment they are shipped and if a signature is required, we will let you know. Please note, if your Paypal address does not match the address we are shipping to, we will contact you to help avoid fraud. We are happy to gift wrap, although our products come carefully wrapped in undyed paper, with a small sticker. We do include the receipt, but for a gift, we will send it to the person doing the gifting. We will be more than happy to send a lovingly hand lettered card with your message at no additional cost and wrap the items with a natural bow. We want everyone receiving our products to feel special, as special and unique as they are. Packaging is important to us. If yours arrives damaged, please let us know within forty eight hours of receipt. We will make it right.

do you accept wholesale orders?

Thank you so much for your interest. We do accept wholesale orders. Just e-mail support@liedelfiber.com and we will send you our guidelines. You must be a legal business entity based in the United States for now. We have a minimum and if you are a shop, we will dye a custom colorway for you to sell, at our regular wholesale prices. All wholesale information shared is done so with the expectation of strict confidentiality on the part of Liedel Fiber Art and the potential wholesale customer. We know some yarn shops would rather we do not sell online, and while we may do that in the future, online sales of our own are what drives us and our vision.

do your photos look like what I am going to get?

While some monitor displays do alter color, we take the photos of our yarn with a professional light and camera set-up with daylight bulbs, or in sunlight. All photos leave our desks as accurately as possible. We do have a color-key for our monitor.

We do use our personal stock photos of each colorway, unless they are OOAK or, From the Land of Misfit Skeins. Those are photographed prior to posting.

i put a skein into my cart and now it’s gone, i can’t buy it! help!!

We put our entire stock of available yarn in each update, unless we are dyeing for a show, or wholesale. All yarn is sold on a first come, first served basis, unless you arrange for a yarn to be held, by contacting, support@liedelfiber.com. If you don’t hit that, “buy,” button, you could have the yarn purchased out from under you by someone who hit, “Checkout,” more quickly. We have all had the disappointment of placing something in an online cart, only to have it sold to someone else, and we wish we could hold a cart for you, but with a limited quantity dyed every week, we cannot hold skeins, without prior discussion. This is how we make our living. Selling our yarn is important to us, however, so are happy customers. If you miss shop updates, and there are two on update days to make it as fair as possible, then let us know. When we put that colorway back into rotation we can hold a skein for you for up to five days. After that, we will list it in the next shop update. We will let you know if you are about to lose a skein you asked to have reserved. We do have a program that will hold your yarn in your cart for five minutes, so you can shop.

special policies for special people

test knitter policy

We design! If we are about to release a paid pattern, we will offer it to test knitters, with a strict expectation of confidentiality. We have two levels of test knitting. If you just want to test knit a pattern, we will supply the pattern to you and a completion date. If you become a tester we can rely upon, we will place you on the list for test knitters who receive a skein of yarn to test with and a skein to send us back knit up, for our shop demonstrations. We ask you to complete the pattern you are knitting for us first. Then, you can elect to knit the other skein into the pattern we are creating, or into something else. Your choice! Your project will be photographed. If we want to retain it for pieces for our booth, we will let you know and give you credit. If we elect not to use your piece, we will have it photographed professionally and return it to you as a gift. We ask that you knit the pattern in our yarn. Eventually, as colorways are rotated out, we will return the item to you. This may take a while. We appreciate your understanding and are honored to show your items in our shop. No, the pieces do not have to be perfect. We wash and re-block all pieces for shows. We also wash and re-block the pieces before they are sent back to you. You get your piece back, unused, in lovely condition and it may travel more than you did in the last year. You will also receive a professional and edited set of photos of your garment, for you to use. No credit is needed back to us. We want you to enjoy your work as much as we did.

test skein policy

We are always testing new bases in our search for the perfect pair of socks made with wonderful yarn, or a garment you will cherish. Knitting and crocheting is hard work, your yarn base can make all the difference, so we do not just rely on the opinions we have. We look for adventurous people who want to try new bases and give us feedback, but yarn is not free to us. If you want to be among the first to try a new yarn base, we offer new test bases on a special, “members,” home page.

If you would like to be on the list for test bases at deeply discounted prices, please let us know. We are happy and grateful for input into what you want to knit, or crochet. Colors, bases, anything new will go to a special section that is member only, and allows you to purchase test skeins for fifty percent off. We offer these skeins to special members on  a first come, first served basis. As with test knitters, we ask that you knit with your yarn and provide a detailed review, our eyes only, unless we ask for a review of a yarn we are going to put in the shop on a permanent basis.  We will provide a form for you to submit to us, via e-mail,  or snail mail and a time frame. If we use your review, or a photo of your finished project, you will receive another fifty percent discount card for anything in the shop. We are sorry, but discounts cannot be combined.

We depend on our customers to be partners and let us know what you want, so we can make you happy. It’s not a normal business approach, but we want to work with intention and meaning. To draw customers that love our yarn and colors. There are enough knitters and crochet artists out there to find companies that meet their needs and work to make what those customers want, without endangering other companies. We believe that and want to support fiber pursuits that make our customers happy and dyeing to make us happy. Everyone wins and there is enough to go around making small companies that fit a small niche not only possible, but important.

the liedel’s