About Sheepy Hollow Farm

I'm a retired environmental engineer taking pleasure in simple things down on the farm - homesteading, raising a family, milking goats, tending sheep, spinning yarn, caring for the land, building community and giving thanks to the Lord!

bartered wool


I spent the earlier part of the week home alone minding the farm. I have one doe that I’m keeping a keen eye on for ‘signs of heat’ so that I may arrange for her breeding (a most anxious time – for me!).

I do enjoy being ‘home alone’ since I usually immerse myself in fiber-y projects without the disruption of ‘wifely’ duties.

A couple of years ago (or more), I bartered my farm-raised organic lavender buds for a ‘sampler’ of Border Leicester raw wool locks. In an effort to deplete my wool stash, I used them (with my Shetland roving for the base/underlayment) to create/wet felt a woolly chair pad.


I love the natural variegated color and texture!

Happy fiber’n!

Mordants and Natural Dyeing, The Great Debate

Sheepy Hollow Farm:

‘Natural’ Dyeing – A continuous process of learning more about the dyes, assists, and mordants, and how they interact with fiber!!

Originally posted on Alpenglow Yarn:

I’ve thought about writing this post for a while. This topic, more than anything else in natural dyeing, brings up emotion and occasional controversy. My goal with this post is to present some facts, with references to reputable sources that you can check and read further. Natural dye books unfortunately tend to be bastions of misinformation, rife with generalities and opinions that are expressed as facts, and I do not consider the majority of them to be reputable sources of factual information about chemicals or chemistry.

I always kind of cringe when someone asks me about mordants and their toxicity.  It’s not because I’m reluctant to talk about it, it’s just that it’s a complex subject and I usually don’t have time at a show or in an interview to address the topic well.  It’s a difficult one to answer succinctly. That’s a big reason that I chose to write about it…

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