Online Yarn Shops:

Barkas Farms / Elizabeth's Fiber2Yarn


For knitters who like to spin or weave like me, not all online yarn shops will do. If this sounds familiar, I urge you to visit Elizabeth Barkas' Fiber2Yarn.com. It's a friendly, unassuming online shop with lots to offer in many fiber-related disciplines.

Yarns

If you'd rather stick with commercial yarns, Elizabeth stocks several. Her selection isn't tied to what's in Vogue Knitting this quarter.

Rather, you'll find excellent foundation yarns from the likes of Ashland Bay Trading, Cascade, Brown Sheep, Henry's Attic, Madil, Crystal Palace, and Skacel. She also offers an interesting variety of handspun yarns as well, if you like the handspun yarn but don't have the time or inclination to spin it yourself.


Fibers

For handspinners who enjoy working with colors, here's where you can really have fun. If you want to go with brand names, you can choose from her selection of Ashland Bay Trading Combed Top. Please don't stop there!

Elizabeth has an astounding selection of hand-dyed mohair-blend locks and rovings in both solid and blended colors. Fiber combinations range from 100% kid mohair to mohair/merino, mohair/merino/viscose, and mohair/angora/merino blends. All fibers include photos that you can enlarge, so you can get a better sense of what you're really ordering.


Word to the Wise When Ordering Fibers

Elizabeth organizes her colors by general color group, with an entire page dedicated to each color. When you're looking at the list of available products in each color, you'll see the dye lot number followed by several more numbers.

These numbers represent "bumps" of that dye lot, or pre-packaged portions. A 6.5, for example, represents a 6.5-ounce package of the fiber. You'll need to pick a bump closest to your desired quantity and put that number in the "quantity" section of the online order form.

You can also pick an approximate weight desired and Elizabeth will match it to the closest bump in stock. It sounds more confusing than it is.

One nice bonus: If you order an entire dye lot (at least 8 oz.), you get a 10% discount off your whole order.


Equipment

Once you've overindulged in the fiber section, you may enjoy looking at Elizabeth's selection of equipment. She carries spinning wheels, spindles, and looms from Ashford and Schacht. In addition, you'll find all the essential accoutrements for both types of equipment.

You'll also find kits, patterns, needles, and software.


Online Functionality

Ordering isn't as visually slick and seamless as the likes of eKnitting.com, but that's part of what makes Elizabeth's site more approachable. The technology definitely works; you needn't be concerned about that.

After ordering, I received immediate confirmation. Soon thereafter, Elizabeth sent an email letting me know that my order would ship the following day. Her email also included a tracking number for my package.


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