Fibernate Fiber Challenge February 2018

by Spencer Lepler
Results of the Fibernate Fiber Challenge
All of these yarns were spun from the same starting Challenge Box

In keeping with our mission of educating and broadening people’s fiber horizons, this February we collaborated with Caroline Hockenberry of Fibernate and put together a fiber challenge box for spinners to explore. The spinners participating in the challenge each received an identical box containing fiber, both natural and man made, dyed and undyed as well as some extra credit items.  

In January we met with the spinners of the Fibernate Saturday Spin-in where we discussed how blending two or more fibers can help negate bad qualities like poor tensile strength when wet.  We also spent time talking about colors that the spinners would (or wouldn’t) like to see in the box.

The Challenge Box contents are unveiled
The Challenge Box contents are unveiled.

We put together five ounces (5 oz) of fiber plus an additional “extra credit” fiber pairing. Fibers included:

  • 2oz. Lovelace Top - 62.5% Superfine Merino / 37.5 % Mint Top (cellulose)
  • 1oz. Caruthers Faux Cashmere - 100% Nylon Top
  • 1oz. (2 colors) Throwster Silk
  • 1/2 oz. Hemp Top
  • 1/2 oz. Moorit Shetland Top


Extra Credit:

  • 1/2 oz. 60% Merino / 20% Yak / 20% Silk Top
  • 2 Cotton Poonies


The Challenge Box Rejects The Challenge Box Rejects.

In the vein of the Food Network show “Chopped,”  the fiber was delivered to the spinners at the February Spin-in in a black box.  Just before they got to look inside the boxes, we shared some of the fibers and spinning add-ins that didn’t make it into the box.  Items that didn’t make the box included macaroni pasta, paper shreds, coir (coconut fiber), and rafia. The spinners had one month to spin a single skein of yarn that used at least 3.5 ounces of the included fiber and were allowed to raid their personal stashes for additional fiber that could be up to half of the weight of the completed skein.  You can find the full challenge rules, as well as the different challenge categories, and the results of the challenge in the Fibernate Fiber Challenge discussion on Ravelry

If you missed out on this fun activity and would like to challenge yourself or your friends, we still have a few boxes available which we will have with us at the Fiber Farmers Market on Saturday, March 17, 2018.  If you’d like us to make a special box for your spinning club, group, or guild please contact us and we can discuss the options available.

by Spencer Lepler