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New England Yarn & Pattern LLC
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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about yarn?

Ask Amanda!.  Send your question to
Amanda will respond to your question via e-mail.  If your question is deemed to be of general interest, we will post it below along with our answer.

How do you pronounce "Quinebaug"? What does it mean? 

Quinebaug is pronounced "Quin", as in Anthony Quinn, "uh", the schwa sound, "bog". The name comes from the dialect of Algonquian spoken in Eastern Connecticut at the time of its settlement by English colonists. Originally, the name applied to a pond in the present-day town of Killingly. It means "long pond". "Quin" means long, "baug", pond. The name was applied by the English to the local tribe itself, and to the nearby river. Native American names were actually descriptive sentences. English settlers, who often used several spellings for their own names, were quite free in spelling native names. For example, there were at least 100 variant spellings of Lake Winnepesaukee in New Hampshire. Sometimes, English speakers would try to make sense of what was to them a meaningless name. My favorite is a creek in Bridgeport, Connecticut which in 1650 was called Nesumpaw's Creek, after a native inhabitant. By 1821, the name had evolved to Knees-and-paws Creek! 

Does New England Yarn & Pattern have a retail outlet?

After years of wholesale yarn sales, we decided to offer the public Quinebaug Yarn directly through our new website. The response has been gratifying, and we are considering the possibility of opening a yarn outlet. Please sign up for our e-mail list to receive updates.


Can you describe your yarn? What yarns does it compare to?


Our Quinebaug Yarn is 100% virgin wool manufactured in New England. We use high quality medium grade wool. New England Yarn & Pattern uses New England wool, as it is available in quantity and quality. This wool is excellent for outerwear and is noted for its insulating properties.


Quinebaug Yarn is similar to Candide and other yarns spun on the woolen system. This method of spinning is best for producing heathers and a lofty yarn. It is ideal for hand- and machine-knitting.


I am confused about the meaning of woolen versus worsted.

Quinebaug yarn is spun on the woolen system. In our system wool is carded to create a random blend of fibers. By blending two or more different colors in the process, beautiful heather colors are created. For example, our purple heather is a blend of blue and red. The yarn is also lofty, with a relatively low density. This increases its insulating quality. The woolen system uses shorter fiber than the worsted system. Some woolen spinners claim they can spin any fiber no matter how short- as long as it has two ends.


Worsted spun yarn is carded and combed to make the fibers parallel. Wool fibers used are longer than in the woolen system, and the yarn can be spun finer. This system creates a smooth, relatively dense yarn. It is often used in suit fabrics. This yarn is usually dyed after spinning or after weaving into cloth.


To confuse matters more, worsted weight yarn is a medium weight yarn favored by many hand knitters. Our 3-ply Quinebaug yarn is worsted weight. Our most popular weight yarn, it knits at 5 stitches per inch on U.S. #8 needle. But, it is spun in the woolen system.
(For more information on yarn sizes, check our "Yarn Size" page")

I have tried unsuccessfully to felt a knitted wool hat using warm water in my washing machine. Do you have any suggestions?

I "felt" there might be some questions about this subject. For decades we in the textile industry devised ways to keep wool from shrinking or felting, and now the rage is felted fabrics and 'boiled' wool.
        Two things that may have occurred in your case may be that a warm enough bath was not used, or that the piece just lay there waiting for the felting to take place.
        Felting occurs when moisture (the water), temperature (of the water), and pressure are applied to the fabric.  Soap, a vital element,  allows the fibers to slide and interlock, causing the fabric to "felt".  Commercial felters have felting machines, which jam the fabric together in an enclosed space,  This applies the pressure component.  In your situation, squeezing the fabric gently should produce the pressure needed. If the fabric is to be placed under pressure, it cannot be floating loosely around in the water, so when a felting machine is properly loaded, there is mostly fabric in the machine, not water.