Do you have a question? We've tried to answer some frequently asked questions here, but if there's something we haven't answered, do let us know!
All orders are shipped via Canada Post. Canadian customers have the option of choosing a letter-rate/vacuum seal option, or parcel post with tracking at check out. US and international customers have the choice of several shipping options at check out. Please make the choice that works best for you, but please know that tracking is the best and safest option.
Delivery times depend on current shipping volumes, and in the case of US or international orders, on customs.
At the Small Bird Workshop, we have a commitment to be as sustainable as possible, and we just don't like plastic packaging. As a result, all of our shipping materials are either compostable (including our envelopes, vacuum seal material, and packing tape) or recyclable (our boxes). Should you wish to receive information about the techical and certifcation aspects of our packaging, please do get in touch!
FIBRE PREPARATION: also know as: what's the difference between roving, combed top, pindrafted roving, etc?
How your fibre is prepared makes a big difference to your end product! Here's a list of the types of prepared fibre we carry, but if you have a specific question about the best fibre preparation to use for your project, please get in touch!
Roving: roving is a carded preparation, meaning it has passed through a series of rollers with teeth that align the fibre in a regular but unorganized manner. Roving can be spun woolen (for a true woolen yarn) or worsted (for a semi-woolen yarn), and can be used for felting as well. However, roving will always been more inconsistent in diameter (and thinner in diameter than combed top) and will contain nepps, noils, and more vegetable matter than other types of fibre preparation.
Pindrafted Roving: has been taken one step farther than roving. After being carded, it passes through a pindrafter, which has a series of moving comb-like pins that aligns the fibre, removes more of the nepps, noils, and vegetable matter. It tends to be thicker in diameter than roving and more consistent, but not as consistent as combed top. Pindrafted roving is my favourite type of commercial preparation to spin, and yields a semi-worsted or semi-woolen yarn, depending on how the pindrafted roving is spun. I often use the abbreviation "p/d" on my fibre tags to indicate pindrafted roving. It can also be used for felting and other fibre crafts.
Combed top: commercial prepared combed top has been pindrafted, and then put through a comber, where the fibre is straightened, aligned, steam, and most of the imperfections and vegetable removed. It tends to be the thickest in diameter (although that can vary from mill to mill) and is the fibre preparation that yields a worsted spun yarn. Felters and macra-weavers should note that what is often referred to as "roving" in their crafts is actually combed top - if you order roving from a small batch or mill, you'll likely not what you were hoping for! It's best to get in the habit of using the correct terms for your fibre, so that you can make sure you've got what you need for your project.
There are other types of fibre preparations, such as batts, rolags, punis, faux-lags, and pencil roving, and I've discussed these in Episode 4 of the FibreWorks podcast!
WHOLESALE ORDERS TO LOCAL YARN STORES: At the moment, we are not taking on more wholesale accounts. This will change in 2023, so stay tuned!
WHOLESALE TO ONLINE SHOPS: Wholesale orders to online shops are not available at this time.
WHOLESALE ORDERS TO INDEPENDENT DYERS: We are currently working on a program to wholesale yarns and fibre to independent dyers, and will post about it as soon as it's available!
YARN SUPPORT FOR KNITTING PATTERN DESIGNERS: Yarn support for knitting pattern designers is available, usually in the form of a discount on yarns. Please send us an email with a design proposal, and we'll set up a time to chat!
Please view our "Events and Classes" page to see where you can meet Catherine and view Small Bird Workshop yarns and fibre in person!
BOOKING CATHERINE FOR A WORKSHOP OR PRESENTATION
As a life-long educator, Catherine is passionate about sharing her love and knowledge of wool with like-minded fibre friends. To date, she has done presentations for the Tzouhalem Weavers and Spinners Guild, the Victoria Handweavers and Spinners Guild, the Langley Spiners and Weavers Guild, the Canadian Wool working group, and has an upcoming presentation in January, 2023 for the Campaign for Wool Canada. She has also taught technical classes for the Tzouhalem Weavers and Spinners Guild, the Cowichan Hand-to-Hand, and the West Coast Nest Fibre Arts Retreat.
Should you wish to book Catherine for a presentation for your guild and group, please do get in touch via email to discuss schedules and presentation material. A complete list of the technical classes that Catherine teaches will be available soon on the "Events and Classes" page.