People ask us what we do here at Dyed in the Wool. Well, let me tell you.
We buy the best quality, cleanest fleeces we can get from a variety of local and regional shepherds and breeders. We actually visit many of the farms from which we purchase, or we buy the fleeces at fiber fairs where we can test and check each one. The reason for this pickiness is two-fold. First, we want to make sure the fiber and yarns we sell you are the best possible because your hard work deserves the best materials. And second, but most important, is that we help those who own the fiber animals to feed them, get them vet care when they need it, shear them and help them learn what spinners, knitters, crocheters, weavers, felters and all those using the fiber want. This, in turn helps them become better at what they do.
Did you know that most commercial wool is purchased from a “Wool Pool” that buy fleeces, from bad to good, for about 50 cents a pound on average? For the most part, this barely covers the cost of shearing the animal. This is why most of the commercial wool products out there are not of the best quality and why most people find them uncomfortable to wear. Everything from all breeds goes into those fibers and yarns.
Our prices may be more than those selling commercially produced wool, but that is because we buy the wool for a much higher price. We want to help the breeders and shepherds improve their flocks, feed them, shear them and care for them. They, in turn, help make the products in the Dyed in the Wool shop better for you, the end user. Also, we skirt the fleeces heavily insuring that only the best of each goes to be processed.
We love selling breed-specific fibers and yarns so you can make the right choice for the items you are making. Want something against-the-skin soft? Get our Cormo, which comes from a farm in Westfield, Indiana. Want a warm, light-weight sweater? Buy the Icelandic from a farm in Kentucky, or the Shetland from farms in central Indiana. Maybe you want something that will make a lovely, shiny, lacy shawl – that would be the Lincoln, Lincolnfolk, Coopworth or Cotswold, all of which come from farms in Indiana, Kentucky and Wisconsin. Every breed has a use and pairing that breed with the right use will make sure that everyone is happy with the end product.
Our main goal is to get different types and breeds of fiber from those raising them to you who use them. That is what we do at Dyed in the Wool. Thank you for helping us support those who love their flocks. They thank you, too, from the bottom of their hearts.
Sandy Ferguson – Sandy has done various activities in the fiber arts realm for over 35 years, including crochet, embroidery and cross-stitch. In 2004, she learned how to knit and attended her first spinning retreat in 2005 where she learned how to spin. Since then, both knitting and spinning have become integral parts of Sandy’s life. In fact, Sandy’s maternal great-great grandmother was a spinner and Sandy is happy to carry on the tradition.
While growing up in a military family and stints of living in Hawaii (twice) and Thailand, Sandy developed a love of Japanese silk painting and all things Oriental. These were the inspirations behind her taking a class in silk painting, which launched Sandy into the world of dyeing. Sandy’s color sense has given her a style that is both fun and bold, and she always seizes the opportunity to work her magic with fiber reactive dyes.
Sandy is a past Co-Vice President of the Indianapolis Knitting Guild. Currently, she is a member of SWIFT (Spinners and Weavers of Indiana – Fibers and Textiles).
Sandy shares her home with her 93-year-old mother and her cats, Pumpkin and Shadow. She is an avid animal lover and is proud of her bird-feeding system that feeds hundreds of birds, squirrels, chipmunks, etc., year-round. Also, Sandy is a football (especially the Indianapolis Colts), basketball and auto racing fan, and is a past member of CARA Charities (Championship Auto Racing Auxiliary).
Benita Story – Benita has been involved with fiber and fabric since she was 6 years old when her mother and maternal grandmother taught her how to embroider and sew her doll’s clothes. Since then, she has made her own clothes while in high school and college, made numerous quilts, created over 100 one-of-a-kind dolls, and learned how to knit, spin, weave and dye her own fabrics and fiber with both natural dyes (which she prefers) and fiber reactive dyes. Benita has taught weaving workshops, spinning classes, knitting classes, and given lectures, classes and demonstrations in natural dyeing for several years, and she continues to put education first and foremost in her heart and efforts.
Benita is an avid amateur photographer and loves looking at the world through the lens of her camera.
Also, Benita is the host of the Fiber Pusher Podcast where she talks about her fiber projects, teaches and demonstrates fleece skirting and prep, spinning, weaving, dyeing and knitting, and takes you with her as she travels to farms in search of the best fleeces.
Benita is a past Co-Vice President of the Indianapolis Knitting Guild; a past member of both Weaving Indiana and The Indy Spinners, Weavers and Dyers; and SWIFT (Spinners and Weavers of Indiana-Fiber and Textiles) where she edited and produced their newsletter for four years.
Benita is also the co-creator, co-writer and editor of the award-winning superhero comic series, Johnny Saturn. Her husband is comic book artist and illustrator Scott Story and they share their home/giant studio with their cats, (Bob) Dylan and Anne (Shirley).