Felicity's Garden©, 50/50 Silk & Wool
"One strand to perfection on #18 mesh!©"
Available in 40-yard skeins for $5.00.

Felicity's Garden© is a needlework yarn of pure elegance:  It is the yarn with the "Inner Glow©."  Our setting
for this yarn is a beautiful garden.  It may be a sunny afternoon or a moonlit evening.  Enter our garden
of creation, and let your imagination be your guide.

 
 

 

Celebrating 25 Years of Felicity's Garden!

"I received the threads today.  If I could only eat your threads, I haven't loved colors like this in a long time.  Thank You!  So much, Karen" 
Nimble Needle, Haddonfield, NJ

     Felicity's Garden© is 50% Chinese silk and 50% Australian Merino wool.  It is a thread of supreme
quality.  It is also a thread of superb strength.  The pairing of the beautiful merino wool with the luminous silk gives this yarn a strength that would not be accomplished without this 50/50 combination.  The excellent spinning of this yarn also makes Felicity's Garden unique in its category.  There really is no substitute for this gorgeous yarn that is often known as the yarn with the "Inner Glow©." The luminosity, beauty, and strength of this thread is the result of two of the world's most
precious fibers joining forces.  The fibers that are processed into Felicity's Garden© are the best of
the best, carefully selected in world fiber markets.  Our buyers are experienced and know what will
spin and dye to the levels of perfection that we require.  The fine quality and beauty of Felicity's Garden has been
recognized in many publications by some of the top stitchers, teachers, and designers in the industry, such as
"The Thread Thesaurus" produced by the Thread Technique Team, Ann Caswell, Suzanne Howren, and
Beth Robertson. 

     Felicity's Garden© takes its cue from nature, offering a wealth of shading possibilities, often times with
a "pivotal color" being able to move in two directions.  We offer the following color chart which shows
our colors numerically.   With the second set of color charts we show potential color palette layout for shading. 
This palette shows how yarns can be shaded to duplicate nature and the light play it possesses. 
Further shading may be accomplished by the use of Newport Harbor and our new offering, Felicity's Duets©.

     Felicity's Garden© will stitch to perfection with one strand on #18 mesh.  Two strands will stitch tent to
perfection on #14 and #12.  Plying up to three strands on #10 will provide excellent coverage.  Felicity's
Garden© is an excellent yarn for working a potpourri of stitches. Bargello and diaper patterns are beautifully
worked in this yarn, particularly when the Duet Palette© is included.  Felicity's Garden© is a yarn that has been
spun to perfection.  It is not a yarn that is meant to be destroyed by separating, but it can be plied as needed to
meet mesh requirements.  When a finished product of a finished yarn is divided down, the twist and strength
of the yarn is destroyed.  Felicity's Garden© is a yarn that will accommodate your stitching needs, without destroying
the beautiful twist of the finished product.  Yarn should never be divided below the twist of the yarn itself.  By doing
so, you have destroyed the strength and beauty of the yarn itself.  We invite you to go further into our
website, print out and read our information about Felicity's Garden© spinning and dying.  We invite you to use
this wonderful yarn and if you are a stitcher, send us a SASE for free samples.  Shops please contact
us for wholesale information.  We will guide any Felicity's Garden stitchers to the fine needlework shops that
are carrying our yarns.  Felicity's Garden is always well-stocked.  We can generally fill orders within 48 hours.  Shops, larger orders take a little more time.  We generally say about 10 days.   If you would like to confirm our current delivery status, you can call us at 1-928-779-2900.

 

 

Stitchers Are Raving About Felicity's Garden!

We receive letters from all over the world from stitchers, shops, teachers, and needleworkers who love our yarn. We would like to share some of their comments with you. . . .

Cheers to you for putting out a yarn of obvious superior quality. I put a lot of time into my work, and my work ultimately is for my family. Your yarn creates the stitches that I know to be of heirloom quality. I have been using your yarn for many many years now. It wears with great superiority. In other words, in all the pieces stitched with Felicity’s Garden there is no wear. I am absolutely loving the group of colors you have developed that you call Duets. That puts 125 colors in my Felicity’s Garden armoire. I read about this on your website, and couldn’t get to my shop fast enough. Their display took my breath away. You’re right, they are the perfect shading for Felicity’s Garden. -Helen S. (via E-mail)

 

The sheen, the beautiful quality of your silk and wool is amazing. Nothing comes close. I will be stitching all my needlepoint now in Felicity’s Garden. Your Mini skeins, as you call them, made me take it home by the handful. And Duets, oh my gosh I’m so totally hooked. It’s so wonderful to have something to stitch with that is a product of the US. Susie A. (via E-mail)

 

Duets, Duets, Duets, Duets, Duets! Can you hear us? We’re singing! We’re really really singing! We’ve also been doing a whole lotta playing in our stitching group. Flowers, animals, grasses, everything. It is absolutely spectacular what you can do with Duets combined with your plain colors. Thank you for being so smart. We’re having a great time.  Sandy, Chandra, Mary, Catherine, Marybeth, Donna, Ingie and Celeste (via E-mail) 

 

Thank you thank you thank you for your beautiful silk and wool. I love Felicity. I have stitched with it now for many years. I have been doing needlepoint for some 35 years. I used to use mainly Medici, but Felicity has been my love for a long time now. I have all the colors. It’s the best! Thank you again. -GS, Carmel, CA

 

I recently discovered your yarn, and absolutely love it. I showed it to my store after finding it in a shop in California, and they are now carrying it, much to the delight of all of us. It is so beautiful and so unique, it is now my absolute yarn of choice, and I stitch everything I can in it. -Terry M (via E-mail)

 

Felicity’s Garden is the new joy of my life. The colors in this palette are rich and radiant. We have added the entire collection, and I find that it compliments other fiber lines we carry in our store. We use it as a main pull, and then go from there. It works beautifully on almost any canvas. -Caroline P, (via E-mail)

 

I am now on my second needlepoint project, and I am so pleased that I have discovered Felicity’s Garden. I don’t think I’ll stitch with anything else ever again. I have projects lined out now for years to come. Thank you for producing such a wonderful yarn. It’s wonderful stuff! -Bob S (via E-mail)

 

Felicity’s Garden allows me to show, through the thread that I use, the pride that I feel in my needlework. I love the fact that it works perfectly on everything. It goes right in on 18 mesh with no splitting. Two strands go right in on 14, and so on. I like that it has such an interesting combination of shading because I am told of the way the dying has been done. Our shop and all of us absolutely love stitching with your thread. -MR, TX

"Without question, my favorite silk and wool is Felicity's Garden.  I love everything about it.  I love the
weight, the feel and the absolutely gorgeous luster.  I sing its praises to everyone I know.  It has characteristics that no other thread has.  Its appearance is different and noteworthy.  It is not variegated, but has an interest that is so unique.  I am writing to you because I wanted to let you know how pleased I am with your yarn. I have a huge "stash" along with my canvas stash, and have just pulled a new project out which made me want to write to you.  So happy you're still here and doing well."
 
- J.S., New York

 

"I love your yarn.  I love Felicity's Garden!  I have enjoyed it from the first minute I stitched with it, and I will now purchase every color.  We don't have a shop where I live, but there is one where I go on vacation, and will stock up whenever I am there.  Glad you put out such a wonderful yarn."  - Kay K. (via e-mail)

 
   
 

 

 
 

Felicity's Garden© Virtual Color Card
65 colors, available in 40-yard "Grand" skeins.  Available in fine needlework stores everywhere!  Grand skeins (40 yards) are perfect for large projects, backgrounds, bargello, and diaper patterns.  Our classic Grand 40-yard skeins have a suggested retail price of $5.00 per skein (may vary depending on location).  Always consider the size of your projects
and estimate the yardage you will need as silk and wool yarns are subject to dye changes.


This color card has been prepared through digital imaging.  We have taken every effort to verify that these
colors are being presented as accurately as possible, however, settings on your monitor may vary.

 

001 - Snow
 

002 - Ivory
 

003 - Flagstone
 

004 - Truffle
 

005 - Birdbath Gray
 

006 - Baby Squirrel
 

007 - Granite
 

008 - Cast Iron Black
 

009 - Brown Raccoon
 

010 - Fawn
 

011 - Peanut Butter
 

012 - Cinnamon
 

013 - Seashell Blush
 

014 - Buttercup
 

015 - Sunshine
 

016 - Evergreen
 

017 - Clover Green
 

018 - Leaf Green
 

019 - Deep Blue Green
 

020 - Medium Blue Green
 

021 - By The Sea
 

022 - Midnight Sky
 

023 - Blueberry
 

024 - Cornflower Blue
 

025 - Blue Lagoon
 

026 - Bachelor Button
 

027 - Sky Blue
 

028 - Blue Spruce
 

029 - Aquamarine
 

030 - Bahama Blue
 

031 - Holly Berry
 

032 - Hummingbird Nectar
 

033 - Garnet
 

034 - Dubbonet Cocktail
 

035 - Ripe Raspberry
 

036 - Morning Raspberry
 

037 - Cosmo
 

038 - Summer Rose
 

039 - Autumn Red
 

040 - Tea Rose
 

041 - Coral Geranium
 

042 - Pink Carnation
 

043 - Plum
 

044 - Grape
 

045 - Clematis
 

046 - Pansy Purple
 

047 - Mulberry
 

048 - Spring - Lilac
 

049 - Heather
 

050 - Lavender
 

051 - Sea Mist
 

052 - Papaya
 

053 - Peach Sorbet
 

054 - Asparagus
 

055 - Grasshopper Pie
 

056 - Indian Paintbrush
 

057 - Blue Jay
 

058 - Hot Cocoa
 

059 - Wintergreen
 

060 - Mr. Bumble
 

061 - Island Pirl's Green
 

062 - Blue Raspberry Ice
 

063 - Malachite Green
 

064 - Pink Lemonade

065 - Bittersweet
 
     
Felicity's Garden© Pivotal Color Palettes
 

Black-White Pivotal Palette
Item # FGPP-001  - $30.00

 

Yellow-Brown Pivotal Palette
Item # FGPP-002 - $50.00

001 - Snow

 

004 - Truffle

002 - Ivory

 

010 - Fawn

005 - Birdbath Gray

 

058 - Hot Cocoa

006 - Baby Squirrel

 

009 - Brown Raccoon

007 - Granite

 

012 - Cinnamon

008 - Cast Iron Black

 

011 - Peanut Butter

 

 

 

053 - Peach Sorbet

Greens Pivotal Palette
Item # FGPP-003 - $45.00

 

014 - Buttercup

051 - Sea Mist

 

060 - Mr. Bumble

003 - Flagstone

 

015 - Sunshine

018 - Leaf Green

 

 

 

016 - Evergreen

 

Blues Pivotal Palette
Item # FGPP-004 - $75.00

017 - Clover Green

 

062 - Blue Raspberry Ice

055 - Grasshopper Pie

 

029 - Aquamarine

063 - Malachite Green

 

059 - Wintergreen

054 - Asparagus

 

020 - Med. Blue Green

061 - Island Pirl's Green

 

019 - Deep Blue Green

 

 

 

028 - Blue Spruce

Purples Pivotal Palette
Item # FGPP-005 - $65.00

 

021 - By The Sea

045 - Clematis

 

025 - Blue Lagoon

046 - Pansy Purple

 

030 - Bahama Blue

050 - Lavender

 

026 - Bachelor Button

048 - Spring Lilac

 

024 - Cornflower Blue

049 - Heather

 

022 Midnight Sky

044 - Grape  

023 - Blueberry

043 - Plum  

057 - Blue Jay
034 - Dubbonet Cocktail  

027 - Sky Blue
047 - Mulberry      
035 - Morning Raspberry   Pinks - Reds Pivotal Palette
Item # FGPP-006 - $60.00
036 - Ripe Raspberry   064 - Pink Lemonade
037 - Cosmo   041 - Coral Geranium
038 - Summer Rose   056 - Indian Paintbrush

  
Needlepoint design copyright 2009, Frann

039 - Autumn Red
033 - Garnet
040 - Tea Rose
042 - Pink Carnation
032 - Hummingbird Nectar
031 - Holly Berry
065 - Bittersweet
052 - Papaya
013 - Seashell Blush

 

 
 

Just For Fun
Stitching with Color on Your Mind

We love taking Felicity's Garden and stitching bargellos, diaper patterns and samplers, and have come up with
some color palettes that we felt delivered a particular theme or state of mind.  Please feel free to take our
suggested palettes to your local Felicity's Garden stockist. They should have our entire palettes on hand and be able to help you with stitching these themes.  We hope you enjoy stitching with color on your mind.

Virgin Island Velvet
Item # FGSP-001 - $35.00

 

Summer
Item # FGSP-002 - $40.00

002 - Ivory   024 - Cornflower Blue
038 - Summer Rose   031 - Holly Berry
029 - Aquamarine   002 - Ivory
044 - Grape   004 - Truffle
049 - Heather   029 - Aquamarine
027 - Sky Blue   014 - Buttercup
022 - Midnight Sky   054 - Asparagus
      041 - Coral Geranium
Ice Cream Parlor
Item # FGSP-003 - $45.00
     
002 - Ivory   Tea Dance
Item # FGSP-004 - $30.00
009 - Brown Raccoon   051 - Sea Mist
052 - Papaya   015 - Sunshine
041 - Coral Geranium   013 - Seashell Blush
013 - Seashell Blush   002 - Ivory
004 - Truffle   001 - Snow
055 - Grasshopper Pie   004 - Truffle
015 - Sunshine      
051 - Sea Mist  

Polynesian Sunset
Item # FGSP-006 - $50.00

      022 - Midnight Sky
The Deep Blue Sea
Item # FGSP-005 - $35.00
  023 - Blueberry
001 - Snow   044 - Grape
025 - Blue Lagoon   019 - Deep Blue Green
027 - Sky Blue   052 - Papaya
021 - By The Sea   013 - Seashell Blush
029 - Aquamarine   059 - Wintergreen
026 - Bachelor Button   050 - Lavender
024 - Cornflower Blue   038 - Summer Rose
      041 - Coral Geranium
With A Hint of Spice
Item # FGSP-007 - $30.00
     
008 - Cast Iron Black   Saville Row
Item # FGSP-008 - $35.00
007 - Granite   058 - Hot Cocoa
002 - Ivory   008 - Cast Iron Black
041 - Coral Geranium   002 - Ivory
052 - Papaya   006 - Baby Squirrel
039 - Autumn Red   010 - Fawn
      009 - Brown Raccoon
Orchid
Item # FGSP-009 - $50.00
  007 - Granite
041 - Coral Geranium      
036 - Morning Raspberry   Hawaii On My Mind
Item # FGSP-010 - $40.00
048 - Spring Lilac   050 - Lavender
049 - Heather   002 - Ivory
047 - Mulberry   059 - Wintergreen
016 - Evergreen   008 - Cast Iron Black
042 - Pink Carnation   036 - Morning Raspberry
038 - Summer Rose   027 - Sky Blue
044 - Grape   029 - Aquamarine
019 - Deep Blue Green   042 - Pink Carnation
         
Heatwave
Item # FGSP-011 - $35.00
  Northern Lights
Item # FGSP-012 - $35.00
002 - Ivory   008 - Cast Iron Black
056 - Indian Paint Brush   049 - Heather
041 - Coral Geranium   027 - Sky Blue
053 - Peach Sorbet   048 - Spring Lilac
011 - Peanut Butter   001 - Snow
001 - Snow   023 - Blueberry
008 - Cast Iron Black   022 - Midnight Sky
         
West of the Moon
Item # FGSP-013 - $35.00
  Derby Day
Item # FGSP-014 - $40.00
023 - Blueberry   052 - Papaya
001 - Snow   058 - Hot Cocoa
018 - Leaf Green   018 - Leaf Green
048 - Spring Lilac   008 - Cast Iron Black
049 - Heather   010 - Fawn
053 - Peach Sorbet   011 - Peanut Butter
052 - Papaya   053 - Peach Sorbet
      031 - Holly Berry
Fall Foliage
Item # FGSP-015 - $50.00
     
010 - Fawn   Mediterranean Breeze
Item # FGSP-016 - $45.00
058 - Hot Cocoa   045 - Clematis
031 - Holly Berry   049 - Heather
043 - Plum   048 - Spring Lilac
016 - Evergreen   054 - Asparagus
039 - Autumn Red   015 - Sunshine
018 - Leaf Green   018 - Leaf Green
011 - Peanut Butter   020 - Med. Blue Green
053 - Peach Sorbet   055 - Grasshopper Pie
015 - Sunshine   029 - Aquamarine
         
Rome
Item # FGSP-017 - $50.00
  Oriental Blossoms
Item # FGSP-018 - $55.00
023 - Blueberry   058 - Hot Cocoa
059 - Wintergreen   053 - Peach Sorbet
010 - Fawn   011 - Peanut Butter
004 - Truffle   039 - Autumn Red
028 - Blue Spruce   016 - Evergreen
008 - Cast Iron Black   054 - Asparagus
018 - Leaf Green   013 - Seashell Blush
006 - Baby Squirrel   052 - Papaya
058 - Hot Cocoa   014 - Buttercup
031 - Holly Berry   057 - Blue Jay
      023 - Blueberry
Birthday Cake
Item # FGSP-019 - $40.00


Needlepoint design copyright 2009, Frann

048 - Spring Lilac
056 - Indian Paint Brush
052 - Papaya
055 - Grasshopper Pie
041 - Coral Geranium
060 - Mr. Bumble
021 - By The Sea
054 - Asparagus

Stitching Information
Needlepoint Canvas Requirements & How Felicity's Garden© Will Fit.

Always cut our prepared length in half so as not to cause unnecessary wear.

      #18 Mesh Needlepoint Canvas – 1 single strand works extremely well in most cases on this mesh.  A single will work all tent stitches to perfection (continental, half-cross, and basketweave).  Decorative stitches are also easily worked (Scotch, mosaic, Milanese, Rhodes , etc.).  Double brick coverage is a little light with a single, but with underlying paint has a nice effect. 

      #14 Mesh Needlepoint Canvas – 1 single provides light but nice coverage in the tents.  Two singles plied cover easily and would provide further coverage.  Decorative stitches work well in one or two ply depending on the stitch.  It ultimately is your choice.

            #12 Mesh Needlepoint Canvas – 2 strands in the tent stitches work to perfection.  Decorative stitches need to be plied accordingly.

            #10 Mesh Needlepoint Canvas - Please use 3 strands for basketweave.  Decorative stitches generally require two to three ply, depending on whether the stitch is an eyelet, diagonal or vertical.

 

Felicity's Garden Thread
©1997, Rosebud's Studio.  All Rights Reserved.

Felicity’s Garden is pure elegance. Our setting for this yarn is a beautiful garden. It could be in England, in the south of France, or right here, which may be your own backyard. It may be a sunny summer afternoon or a moonlit evening. Enter our garden of creation and let imagination be your guide. . .

Fibers
Felicity’s Garden is comprised in equal quantities of Chinese silk and Australian Merino wool. Our formula holds to the 50/50. Felicity’s Garden is a thread of supreme quality. Quite simply, the luminosity, beauty and strength of this thread are the result of two of the world’s most precious fibers joining forces. The fibers that are made into the yarn for Felicity’s Garden are the best of the best, carefully selected in the world fiber markets. Our buyers are experienced and know what will spin and dye to the levels of perfection that we all require for this yarn. Felicity’s Garden is unique. Nothing really substitutes for the unique qualities of this yarn.

A Tale of Two Fibers
Silk  
Silk is a fiber of great esteem. Paramount certainly, is the natural beauty of the fiber, but it also has an extraordinary ability to receive color. While the appearance of silk may be delicate and ethereal, it is one of the world’s toughest fibers.

Silk is also precious in quantity, with a history that can be traced far back in time. The history of this fiber clearly begins in China. It is told that Siling, wife of the emperor Huang-Ti, dropped a cocoon into her tea and watched as it began to unravel. Her further unraveling of the cocoon revealed a long continuous thread. This it is said happened in 90 A.D. China was aware of silk long before this, however. The letters or symbol “ssu” (silk) was already part of the written language as far back as 2600 B.C.

Silk cultivation began in China and pieces of Chinese silks dating back to 1500 B.C. have been found. The oldest written records of silk as a fiber being used come from India. The Ramayana and the Mahabharata, Sanskrit epics and sacred texts of the Aryans who in the second millennium B.C. swept into the northern plains where they eventually established an empire from India west to the Mediterranean, tell of the weaving of the silk. It is very likely that silk came with these people during this time as their introduction of horses to the area allowed them to carry more.

Aristotle mentions a “horned worm” in his philosophical writings of 300 B.C., the first mention of the fiber in Western Civilization. The Han Dynasty (200 B.C. - 200 A.D.) it is said, partially paid their soldiers’ wages in silk fabric because of its great abundance. Due to fear of nomads surrounding their beautiful country, they chose to live in isolation. The Chinese, recognizing a good thing when they saw it, and being forced to “stay home,” worked on the production of goods made from silk. With all the merchandise they had produced, and with an emperor of vision, the thought that now might be a good time to leave home and look beyond their isolation seemed full of promise. He charged his general, Chang K’ien, to attempt passage across the desert, in hopes of establishing trade relations with the peoples to the west. Others had gone before, but Chang K’ien was the first to return. His round trip took over 20 years. Western barbarians over time were able to be dealt with, trade routes established, and garrisons set up to protect those who traveled the dangerous roads. The establishment of these trade routes soon came to be known as the infamous “silk road.” Today, we must truly look back in awe. To make a very long, but fascinating story short, the Persians became the middlemen between the East and West in the 500s when war broke out between Byzantium and Persian, and the West was cut off from its supply. The emperor Justinian saw what the Chinese already knew, and many kings thereafter would also see: the production of silk was a gold mine.

The secrets of silk production were carefully guarded, but through a variety of devious schemes and intrigues, silk worm eggs and white mulberry seeds were smuggled out. (Mulberry trees provide the caterpillars’ only food, they are very picky eaters.) These two items were to give “Sericulture’ its start.

Sericulture, to make a rather detailed story a little shorter, is at best a tedious business. It is, in a nutshell, the care and nurture of the silk caterpillars, the method of unreeling the cocoons, and the weaving of the silk.

Silk is the most lustrous of natural fibers, an attribute that would certainly come to mind at the very mention of its name. The luster comes from the way silk is formed in its sericulture. Silk is spun by the caterpillar as a semi-liquid continuous filament that hardens when touched by air. The smooth surface of this fiber gives it the natural ability to reflect light. This light we see in terms of what we call ‘luster.’ Silk is somewhat translucent. This appearance further gives depth to the reflective appearance. This translucence is used sillfully in the spinning and dying of Felicity’s Garden thread, giving it its unique appearance. The words ‘sparkle’ or ‘glisten’ are also words used to describe this fiber. These words are often used by our customers to us in describing their pleasure with Felicity’s Garden. What is intrinsically good is worked to the best advantage in the production of our yarn.

The fiber’s surface, while acknowledged as smooth, however, offers more. There are small irregularities. These actually add to the beauty and charm by breaking up reflected light and giving our thread what we call its ”inner glow” or inner dimension. These are definitely a part of the beauty and appearance of Felicity’s Garden.

The colors of Felicity’s Garden are truly another of its applauded assets, and there are 65 colors in this line. Silk is simply unsurpassed as a medium for dying. The combination of the silk with the merino wool also adds to the unique appearance of our thread. Silk and wool receive dyes differently. So, once again, our yarn receives a unique look among the silk and wools, even though the words “silk and wool” may be the same, the percentages of silk to wool and quality of these fibers affect the outcome. One silk and wool is by no means the same as another. Our silk is of such fine quality that our dyers restrain some of the luster to create our product which bespeaks elegance and quality. Felicity’s Garden is unique.

The feel of silk is simply delightful. Stitching with Felicity’s Garden is pleasurable and done with great ease. There are three properties that further apply to silk that are not applicable to synthetics. Silk has ‘hygroscopicity,’ that is, the ability to absorb moisture without feeling wet. This is one of the reasons the dying of silk can be so spectacular. It is also a fiber of low density that is low weight for volume, and it has extraordinary strength. I don’t think there is another fiber quite like it. The way it is created is nothing short of a small miracle.

The strength of silk has been a strong contributing factor to its versatility. During WWII, the U.S. government conscripted all commercially-produced silk for parachutes. Silk has been recognized as being excellent also for clothing, bicycle tires, cosmetics, artery repair, and more. In addition to its strength it is also resilient, rot and mildew proof, flame retardant, and of all things it is moth proof. Silk, a renowned carpet-manufacturer decreed, is a very durable fiber for the first 100 years of use. (Silk carpets are not intended for heavy and abrasive wear. They are items of elegance usually meant for stocking feet. More about this will follow.)

Silk has always been synonymous with luxury. Sumptuary laws throughout history actually attempted to specify who could wear it and when. Eventually, silk in its passage from the confines of royal right became an element all could possess and enjoy.

While silk needs no help, it does indeed as seen in Felicity’s Garden, work beautifully and efficiently with other fibers. Silk adds beauty and durability, and the blending of other fibers adds dimension and varying appearances. Under a microscope a cross-section of silk is triangular, its prismatic structure gives it the ability to reflect light very efficiently, and thereby giving it its luster. Silk and wool are one of the best and most respected of pairings. The combination is the very essence of elegance in fiber. Merino alone would not have the strength.

Silk is very light and airy because the molecular structure of this fiber resembles a ladder, between these “steps” is air which acts as insulation and pores and gives silk the ability to breath. A strand of silk as fine as hair can hold up to a pound of weight. Compare this with two equal diameters of other natural fibers, and silk is the strongest. Nylon, of the synthetics, is slightly stronger than silk, but all others are weaker. Silk, however, having all this strength is subject to abrasion. Linen, hemp, jute and course wool will handle abrasion better. The elegant silk carpets are for reclining on and enjoying in soft slippers. While these do last, as the carpet manufacturer stated, a very long time, and due to the beauty and expense of the fiber, these have never been intended for high-traffic and heavily used areas. This is why when people ask if we recommend Felicity’s Garden for rugs we say “only if they are to be hung.” There truly is a distinction that needs to be looked at in the fact that silk is a strong fiber, but subjecting it to incorrect use is not recommended.

Merino Wool
Merino is the other 50% of Felicity’s Garden, and the most precious of sheep wools. Spinning merino wool is a very labor-intensive work. There is a fineness in character to this wool, it is full of great potential and carries an allure and mystique. Merino fleeces are very dense, with a high wax and grease content (at the time of origin) that serves to confine weather damage to the tips of the staple which is easily removed to produce the beautiful sound fiber with which we stitch. This characteristic also keeps any tendency to “pill” to a minimum, as such a condition is caused by short broken fiber working its way to the surface of the finished work.

The environment where merino sheep are raised can also affect the outcome of this fiber. The use of this wool goes far back into the mists of antiquity. Of course, there is a wealth of conflicting accounts as this fiber is followed through history.

Briefly, it is said that there were merino sheep in Mesopotamia between the Tigris and the Euphrates, also known as the site of the Garden of Eden (modern Iraq). From here, the Phoenicians took them to Anatolia (modern Turkey), Greece (in the well-known myth of Jason, the Golden Fleece was that of a merino sheep), Italy and North Africa. In North Africa, they were cared for by the Berbers, makers of fine wool and cloth. At the start of the 8th century, the Moors brought the breed to Spain. It was these Moorish woolworkers who brought the secrets of this trade through the Dark Ages. It is also thought to be possible that the merino breed came from a cross-breeding with Cotswold sheep, a British long-wool breed. The word ‘merino’ means “thick curly hair” in Spanish. It is also said the word is from the Sierra Morena Mountains where in the foothills these sheep were raised. There was also, it is told, a family in Morocco with the name of Merino who raised these sheep. This wool has always been highly regarded by flock owners. Spain threatened death to exporters of these sheep. Nonetheless, some were smuggled out.

Five Leading Flocks Emerged
The Escurial - A royal flock with beautifully crimped, dense wool
The Paular - This flock was owned by Carpathian Monks.  this was a sheep of soft, silky, tight wool,
also having a surface yoke.
The Negrett - A count by this name owned this flock.  These were very different in appearance.
A very large sheep with short wool and loose skin.
The Infantado - This was a duke, whose flock carried his name.
The Guadalupe - These were big, large-boned sheep, with dense and well-crimped wool which was quite oily.

Through these flocks developed the merinos that we know today. The first merinos were brought to Australia in 1797. In 1850 they arrived in North America. The main types of merinos developed outside Spain were; the Saxony merino, which was from the Negrett breed; the Silesian or German merino, which were from a cross-breeding of the Negrett, Escurial and Infantado; and the Rambouillet, or French merino, and this is suspected to have an infusion of long-wool blood.

The Vermont and Delaine were of U.S. development. The Debouillet was developed in New Mexico around 1920. In 1814 a few merinos were brought from New South Wales, Australia, to New Zealand. This valuable gift was was not recognized for what it was. . . they were eaten. Today in New Zealand, merinos represent only about 3% of the entire sheep population, which current estimates have at 67.5 million head. Today the sheep are raised for wool.

Merino is a very fine fiber with a “crimp pattern” looking almost like corrugations. When a fleece of a merino is washed, as it must be in warm soapy water, it does not shrink. It was originally thought this would have been a pre-shrinking process, but this was not the case. It was soon discovered that the yarn if spun improperly could, however, shrink. When spun improperly, the fiber if it is not straightened when it is twisted, will trap the natural crimp of the yarn inside the twist. If the angle of twist is high, it is unable to spring back. With the crimp trapped, it will “bunch” within the twist. It will, with this happening, lose its wool formation and not have an attractive appearance. Also, yarn spun in this improper manner will have a high degree of shrinkage as the crimp is being held in a captive bunch. So, improper spinning can actually alter the natural ability of merino not to shrink.

What actually needs to happen is that a tension zone be created at the point where the twist enters the un-spun fiber. This has the effect of straightening the fiber at this critical stage so that once the twist is established in the yarn, the yarn that is relaxed, can now take up the pattern of the crimp, which then gives the potential of elasticity. There are all kinds of additional tricks of the trade which our spinners have developed to create our product of such beauty and performance. Even allowing for the correct amount of “air space” is part of the perfection of a correctly spun yarn. Proper spinning also has impact on ultimate wear.

Merino is one of the whitest of wools, it would, however, appear as a cream color if compared with a synthetic. Merino can, however, with know-how through a dying process be whitened into even a range of whites.

Merino can be spun with other fiber, as is the case with Felicity’s Garden being paired at the 50/50 level. The combination of these fibers creates a new product that combines the excellence of both.

Fiber Construction
Texture and strength, while being stitched with, is dependent on the spin as well as fiber quality. An embroidery or needlepoint yarn has to be able to withstand abrasion while being pulled through canvas or fabric. It is the twist that produces a good part of its durability. A tight twist gives strength and can also add elasticity. A tight twist even gives short fibers strength. The twist is also part of what is visually pleasing. A soft twist showing fiber almost parallel will have a high luster and will feel smooth and soft. A tighter twist will break up luster.

The main idea of yarn construction is that the twist keeps the yarn together. It is this process which turns fiber into what we know to be yarn. An individual fiber may circle yarn many times so the “catch” of the fiber has more to hold on to as the fibers cross many times. Also, these encircling fibers hold the yarn together by the tension of their individual elasticity. The tension of these encircling fibers is the reason for the strength of a yarn with a tighter twist. There is, in addition, more elasticity because in a yarn of tight twist the “transverse elasticity” is brought into use. (Transverse = lying or being across or in a cross section; being or extending across the length of something; at right angles.) When you pull the yarn in stitching, the fibers are crushed transversely as well as pulled along the length. Since silk as a fiber is resilient, the transverse elasticity causes the yarn to spring back. In the case of silk this transverse elasticity is actually even more important to the elasticity of the yarn in general than that of the longitudinal elasticity.

Twist is another important factor in what actually keeps a single yarn together. The spun halves that comprise a single can appear strong, but if one attempted to stitch with one half of a single, it would simply pull apart within a few stitches because it has no twist to give it strength.

Understanding Ply
Simple yarns are classified by the number of twisting operations applied to them. If a yarn is alike in all its parts, it is called a simple yarn. If a yarn has unlike parts, it is a complex yarn. The single yarn is produced in the first twisting operation which is performed by the spinning frame. Twist is defined as the spiral arrangement of the fibers around the axis of the yarn, which binds them together and gives strength. Twist is produced by revolving one end of a fiber strand while the other end is held stationary. A ply of yarn is made by a second twisting operation, which combines two or more singles to increase the diameter, strength, or quality. Each part of the yarn is called a ply. The twist is inserted by a machine called a twister. When two single yarns are combined they are said to be plied. Each one can, however, stand alone. When two are combined they actually exceed individual strength by 10%. To break down a single yarn would be to destroy the first twisting operation of the spinning frame.

Click Here for Our Printable Information Sheet on Felicity's Garden!

 

For Your Information. . .
Neither our manufacturer nor Rosebud's Studio can be held responsible for color fastness if yarn is immersed
in water.  We recommend testing your yarn prior to stitching.  If wet-blocking is planned, our yarn is said to be
by our manufacturer "permanent color fast," but it is not impossible with the strict regulations imposed by the EPA
on dying chemicals, that a color that is not fast could slip through.  Our observations in testing this yarn and the
confidence of our manufacturer tell us there should be no problem with this yarn.  With stitching today including all
the fibers that it does, one would want to take precautions in advance of work being done, and washing would never be recommended.  Textile work should be handled and displayed with respect.  As always, fibers and
fine needlework should be kept out of direct sunlight.  Always plan enough yarn for projects as dye lots can change.
And after all that; for the safest bet, assume that all yarns have the ability through the knotted hank dying process
to have the ability to bleed, especially reds and blues.

 


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