Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any questions, check this page out first before contacting us using the form at the bottom, because there's a pretty good chance the answer is here. Even though we love hearing from you, responding to questions already covered here does cut into our knitting time. ; )
Updated May 31, 2021
We are now shipping Mondays and Thursdays. Orders before 10am PDT on shipping days will be shipped same day unless there's an issue we need to follow up on.
Our family is healthy and is strictly adhering to the recommended social distancing and hygiene recommendations. For those of you who are local, we are happy to provide a pick up option. Please let us know when you'd like to pick it up in the notes section of the checkout, and we can leave it out front for you at the arranged time. If you're in New West, there is a bike delivery option.
In studio visits to browse are not an option at this time.
The postal system is definitely working under very high demand right now, so expect your order to take longer than usual. Some international locations are experiencing temporary suspension of service. For the full up to date list click here.
What we will do to support you: Wash hands thoroughly before packing orders, clean the pick up area frequently and set out your order for Canada Post or you to pick up at your convenience. We will continue to practice social distancing and good hygiene to help keep you safe. Orders for pick up are contactless. Just make sure to let us know when you're coming so orders are set out at the correct time.
What you can do to keep everyone healthy and safe: If you're not feeling well, or don't have access to transportation that will keep you safely distanced from others, stay at home and either ask a friend to pick up your order for you, or have your order shipped to your home.
Ideal Colour Accuracy
I've noticed that Firefox does weird things to the images on the site, giving them a bluish tint, so keep that in mind while choosing colours.
Pricing is in CAD (Canadian Dollar) but the site automatically converts to some of the most common currencies.
We offer shipping worldwide from Canada. Pricing varies greatly depending on the size of your order. To find out, place the items you want in the cart and use the shipping calculator provided on the bottom left of the cart page. Keep in mind this is not 100% accurate as it is calculated based on one size of package. Orders of 50-300g of yarn to the UK and Europe may cost much less. If your order matches this description, we will either refund the difference when your order is processed, or upgrade your shipping, if you have a preference, you can leave a note in the note to seller field provided. If your order is significantly larger, than the default size (ie more than 20-30 skeins), we may get in touch to discuss shipping options.
We ship twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Fridays. Any orders made before 10am PST on Tuesday or Friday will be shipped that day unless there is an issue we need to follow up on or there's an unexpectedly large amount of orders.
We ship using Canada Post Air, Surface, Tracked, Expedited (Canada & USA) and Xpresspost and you can choose when you order which you'd prefer. All Canadian orders have tracking. Tracking isn't available on Air or Surface, but we've found it to be very reliable but slow. Surface shipping is much cheaper and has a lower environmental impact, but keep in mind it will take (much) longer. Tracking is only available on Expedited, Tracked, or Xpresspost. If you selected Small Packet Air or Surface, you will not have tracking, and we will not be able to give updates. If you do not receive updates or tracking on your order, that means that tracking and updates are not available, and we do not have any additional information. Please keep in mind, we are not responsible for the postal system, and cannot offer support for a late order, since once it leaves here, it's out of our control.
Orders Canada & USA over $125 CAD a ship free not including wholesale orders.
Surface & Small Packet Air
Please select Surface International or Small Packet Air only if you are ok with your package taking up to 8-12 weeks or more to arrive. Surface International and Air Small Packet do not have tracking, so if you're uncomfortable with not being able to track your order, please do not select these options. Tracked, Expedited and Xpresspost are much faster and do have tracking. We would like to keep an affordable option open to make our products available to as many people as possible, but responding to so many inquiries about Surface International and Air Small Packet is exhausting, and if it continues, we may have to remove this option in the future.
Lost or Late Packages
On occasion packages can take a bit longer than expected, but it's extremely rare for them to go actually missing. If it's been longer than you expected, just hold tight, it'll probably show up soon.
If it's been more than ten weeks, you have a tracking number, and you still haven't seen it, call Canada Post or your local postal system, and have your tracking number ready. It's not uncommon for international shipments sent surface to take as long as 8-12 weeks to arrive.
If you did not receive a tracking number, that means there wasn't tracking available for your package and there's nothing we can do from our end but wait, so sit tight, it will come eventually.
If mail is undeliverable (not picked up from the post office, wrong address etc), it just comes back to us and we'll let you know if it's arrived back here. The best thing you can do is actually to get in touch with your country's public postal system, or post office. The most common issue is an incorrect address, and the local post office can't find you. Sometimes, customers are able to intercept their package by calling, and offering their correct mailing address.
Ball Winding Services
Sorry, we do not offer ball winding services
Each batch we dye is completely unique. Please keep this in mind when ordering to make sure you have enough to complete your project. To check dye lots, have a look at the label of the yarn, and next to the colourway name will usually be a coloured logo stamp. Even within the same dye lot, the colour can vary more or less depending on the colourway (speckle yarns especially). The stamp colour indicates each unique batch. If there is no stamp, this is either a limited edition (one time only), or the first batch we've ever done of that colourway.
Help! My naturally dyed yarn's colour is rubbing off on my hands as I knit (crochet etc). Is this normal?
In most cases, yes! While we always thoroughly rinse our yarn, natural dyes do not behave the same as synthetic ones. Some level of rubbing off is to be expected, especially with darker colours and indigo (also known as 'crocking'). If you are combining dark and light colours in one project and are concerned about colour bleeding, soak the darker skeins overnight in the sink and rinse thoroughly before hanging to dry. In some cases, what you see is actually a little residual mordant or fine dyeplant particles coming loose. By opening the skein and shaking it outside, you can shake loose most of it. Sometimes these particles will move onto the lighter colours giving the appearance of colour bleed, but will come away with washing. We choose dyeplants that have the best light and wash-fastness, so be assured that fading is as minimal as it possibly can be with natural dyes. To get the best results, be sure to rinse your project very thoroughly. (See the next topic for more details)
I'm combining some high-contrast colours in my project. How can I prevent the chance of back-staining.
While we follow a rigid process to fully set the dye and rinse yarn very thoroughly, high-contrast colour combinations can sometimes run a little if you're not careful. If you are planning some high contrast combos, first soak each colour separately overnight and rinse thoroughly before hanging to dry. We rinse and soak all of our yarns at least overnight after the dye phase, just to be sure, but a little residual dye can sometimes be released during drying even after thorough soaking. After completing the project, soak and rinse thoroughly again before blocking.
Using cold water is also a good way to prevent fading and back-staining, and extends the life of your project.
Running your finished project through a rinse cycle in a front loading, high efficiency washing machine is a great way to thoroughly extract the most water while being very gentle on your project.
Recommendations for Regular Washing
While animal fibres prefer slightly acidic conditions while washing (like using an apple cider vinegar rinse for your hair), plant fibres prefer neutral to slightly alkaline. An environmentally friendly, laundry soap, gentle detergent or hand soap is ideal. Less is best for the longevity and softness of your project. Most items that are not too delicate can be machine washed in a front-loading machine on gentle cycle. and dried cool, or laid flat to dry. For cotton and linen yarns, about ten minutes in the dryer after laying flat to dry will revive the softness. Cold water is best for the longevity of your finished project, but it can tolerate warm just fine. Do not use hot water on yarns (with the exception of Pakucho cotton which can even be boiled) as this will cause it to break down much faster and cause fading.
Because felting (and fulling) relies on the nature of animal fibres and their scales in order to fuse together, felting with plant fibres is not transferable in the same way. Although you are welcome to try to felt with our spinning fibres, you may not get the expected results.
You are welcome to return any items for refund or exchange if they are flawed. We accept exchanges within 30 days of arrival but not if the label has been removed, or the item is in an unsellable condition (stains, odors etc).
Please direct returns to:
422 Fader St
New Westminster, BC
Please make sure to indicate that its a return when you mail it. Thanks!
Please visit our wholesale page for more information.
New! Pleiades Sock base for dyers is now available wholesale, no application required.
General Yarn & Pattern Guidance
While we would love to be able to help you with any situation, due to our growing volume of production we are simply not able to offer one on one assistance in regards to choosing patterns, or general knitting help, but if you would like help, try out these fantastic resources: knittinghelp.com and Ravelry.com.
To get ideas, try searching by the yarn you are interested in on Ravelry, and see what other people have made with it. This is also an excellent way of getting a feel for how much yarn you'd need for your project.
Also on Ravelry, you can visit our fan group in the forum and post questions or requests, where we're certain some of our awesome fellow makers would love to help out. Lastly, we highly recommend that you check out your friendly local yarn store to see if they offer lessons or workshops.
How much yarn will I need for my project?
To find out how much yarn you'll need, have a look at your pattern, it will likely give you an amount required in yardage. Choose the number of skeins that will, when added up, be able to accommodate that amount, plus a bit extra. For example, if a pattern calls for 700m of fingering weight yarn, and you've chosen Albireo Fingering, which is 402m per skein, you'll need two skeins. If you are making a project that has a definite beginning and end, and cannot be cut short like socks knitted one at a time, or a sweater etc. Make sure you have enough yarn. The general rule of thumb for garments, is to get one additional skein just in case.
Blanket yardage calculation: I have made a blanket using Pakucho Worsted, and I used garter stitch throughout. I have calculated that I used roughly .0855g per cm square, so if you take the dimensions of the blanket you would like to make, ie 100cm x120cm, you'll get a rough estimate of the yardage needed for something similar.
Example: 100cm x 120 cm x .0855 = 1.026 kg/1,026g or 21 balls that are 50g each.
This is an estimate only and depending on your tension and the stitch pattern you use, it will vary, so I recommend getting extra to allow for that variability.
I am making a garment (sweater, cardigan, leggings etc) or large project. Any suggestions on how to get the colour(s) to look evenly blended?
When knitting or crocheting with hand dyed yarn, its normal for the colour to vary slightly from skein to skein even when they're from the same batch. The 'best practice' is to prepare two balls of yarn, and alternate them every two rows if working flat, or every other row if you're working in the round. This will even things out and reduce pooling, or noticeable shade differences that are more apparent on garments.
We are currently in the process of making changes to enhance the sustainability of the business in various ways.
-We no longer purchase single use plastics for any of our packaging or to use in production and we avoid plastics wherever possible in general. While we still send some orders in plastic mailers, these are the last of what we have before we switch entirely to recycled kraft boxes and can be re-used if you have items you need to mail. While there is still an environmental impact associated with paper products, boxes can be more easily re-used, then recycled and are biodegradeable. We are transitioning to paper tapes as well. We don't like void fill, but sometimes need to use it. In that case we'll use recycled tissue, or reuse plastic pillow-style void fill that we've saved from inbound shipments. If you deflate these, most recycling centres will take them in their soft plastics.
-Items are usually wrapped in recycled tissue instead of plastic before shipping. This is ideal since we're based in a temperate rainforest, and breathe-ability is key. There is a slight risk of water damage if the package is mis-handled, but we've found this to be extremely rare.
-We have reduced our water usage by about 40% by recycling our rinse water and sometimes capture rainwater for natural dyeing.
-The dyes we use are non-toxic, and we choose highly concentrated, environmentally-friendly, scent-free washing soap that we get from our local refill store.
-We regularly request our suppliers to reduce the amount of plastic packaging they use in sending yarn to us and encourage them to consider reducing their waste. We then re-use what packaging we receive for our larger orders. Occasionally, you may receive your order in a re-used box. This helps keep costs in check, and reduces our environmental impact.
What do you use to dye the yarn?
For the brightly coloured Regulus, Bellatrix, Albireo, Pleiades, and Alnilam, we use a non-toxic fibre reactive dye. For the natural, earthy shades of Libertas, Arcturus and Vega, we use natural dyes that are ethically sourced, homegrown, or wildcrafted, which means gathered responsibly with consideration to wildlife and vegetation in nature or in parks where permission has been allowed.
Are you curious about why we choose to work without wool or animal products? We're pretty passionate about animal welfare, and if you're wondering what is going on in the wool industry that made us want to do what we do, you might want to check out some resources. Warning: Some of these sources show upsetting images.
To be really simple, we prefer to allow animals to live their lives free of the intentional or unintentional violence of a human-made industry. Like the saying goes, 'live simply, so others may simply live.'
There is also growing evidence that shows that wool and silk have a high impact on the environment, even though they are natural, and biodegradable. The Pulse of the Fashion Industry report ranked the production of sheep's wool as more polluting – for cradle-to-gate environmental impact per kilogram of material – than that of acrylic, polyester, spandex, and rayon fibres.
Please keep in mind, we're not here to judge other people's yarn choices, or make you feel bad. Our goal is to be a positive presence in a wool-dominant yarn world, where people who want awesome artisan yarn made from plants can enjoy knitting again. We also offer a variety of fibres for any crafter to explore and enjoy. Even dedicated wool-people enjoy a change of pace from time to time.
If you'd like more information, feel free to send us an email or ask in our fan group on Ravelry. We'd love to hear from you.
If none of these topics answers your question, feel free to contact us using the form below. Keep in mind that a real living, breathing human with feelings reads these emails, so please be respectful. If you need help with an order, we'll be very happy to help you out.