A Rainbow of Natural Dyes

Craftsy folks frequently share a do-it-yourself ethic. While it’s always easier just to buy cheap, pretty yarn at the craft store, some (particularly homesteaders) prefer to create their own dyes. In fact, if you own sheep or other fiber animals, this may be a logical next step to adding value to your products. You can…… Continue reading A Rainbow of Natural Dyes


Cashmere—a word that has denoted luxury and comfort since the most ancient times. Perhaps the oldest reference to this fine fiber is in Exodus 25:4, where God requests offerings of goats’ hair (also known as cashmere) to build the tabernacle. The cashmere was subsequently used to make curtains (Exodus 36:14). While any goat except the…… Continue reading Cashmere


The Angora comes to us from the Himalayas of Asia Minor. Its origins are so ancient that the details have been lost altogether. It may have descended from some species of wild goat, perhaps the Persian bezoar or perhaps the markhor, famous for its twisted horns. In any case, mohair, the fiber produced only by…… Continue reading Angora

Old English Sheepdog

The Old English Sheepdog, contrary to its name, is not terribly old. A 1771 portrait of the third Duke of Buccleuch by Gainsborough is commonly asserted to contain the first known likeness of the sheepdog. However, the dog in the portrait appears to be of a small breed, leaving us at a loss for a…… Continue reading Old English Sheepdog