To evolve from handspinner to yarn manufacturer is like switching from an upright piano to a pipe organ. Everything is bigger, more powerful and exhilarating. The potential for mistakes is huge, but so is the depth of satisfaction when you get it right.
After two years
The gap between what we see and what we knit can be vast. To capture the essence of tree bark or a cobblestoned street in a knitted colorwork motif takes skill. I've read the books about colorwork and color theory and color design, but somehow
"How many skeins do I need for a sweater?" The project may vary, but the question doesn't.
When faced with a new yarn and a vague idea of what it wants to become, we need a ballpark estimate of how much yarn we should buy. Would that
When your grandmother's maiden name is Woolfolk, it's almost guaranteed that you'll go into the textiles business. Kristin Ford took the hint and has just launched Woolfolk, a yarn company she fittingly named after her grandmother.
The initial line-up consists of just two yarns, both unique
The washing machine has long represented the point of no return for woolens. Drop something in there by mistake, and, unless the yarn has been specially treated to be machine-washable, you'll likely end up with a fuzzy, shrunken piece of heartbreak.
Felting is irreversible. Limited success
For generations, farmers in Texas have raised some extraordinary wool and mohair. We don't hear much about it because the fibers tend to be sold en masse to the textiles industry.
In recent years, however, the ending of government subsidies, severe drought conditions, and low-cost international
Erika Knight is the consummate knitwear designer. Teacher, lecturer, and author of countless books, she's been a fixture in the much-vaunted Rowan designer line-up for years. Not only does she know her technique, but she knows her yarn too.
After years of paying her dues,
A while ago I received an envelope in the mail. The return address was someplace in California, a name I didn't recognize. The contents weren't wrapped, and there was no note attached.
Inside was a book, clearly self-published, titled The Yarn Woman. I flipped over to the
Most knitters have been taught from day one not to tie knots in their yarn—or, at a minimum, not to do so mid-row. We've learned to time our yarn changes to take place at the end of a row. Even if we tie a wee knot, we
At the 2010 Knit Nation market in London, the British yarn scene was just beginning to expand from big brands to smaller, more local producers. John Arbon Textiles had skeins of British wool spun at their own mill, and Renaissance Dyeing had French wool they'd sourced and naturally dyed by
My summer reading list is sadly devoid of much knitting content. We have very few good reads that tell a story or convey knitting-related narrative beyond "Cast on X stitches, work stockinette until piece measures Y." Those that do exist I've either read them or
Earlier this year, I started receiving mysterious postcards from someone named Mrs. Crosby. The first was sent from Buenos Aires, then Paris, and finally Lake Como. Truth be told, I already knew who Mrs. Crosby was before the postcards started arriving, but that didn't lessen
It's time to create a "heritage yarn" classification. The notion of "heritage" anything, whether animal breed or seed variety, is best appreciated through a different, sometimes more forgiving lens. More forgiving in that these items haven't been pureed and homogenized and airbrushed and focus-group-tested into
In the late '90s, mitered squares and their entrelac cousins were synonymous with brightly colored, variegated novelty yarns. The mitered square was a useful way to break up the flatness of horizontal color stripes, pitching the rows diagonally in a pointed V. These furry, sparkly,
The skein lies furry and limp, a bit like you'd shaved a cat and forgotten to clean it up. Like Gertrude Stein said about Oakland, there's no there there. Cirrus is soft all right, with a wonderful wooly fuzz to it. But when I squeeze the skein,
What could be more charming than a family of smiling people, all of whose feet are cozy and warm inside colorful handknit slippers?
From the very first moment, I was charmed by Katie Startzman's book. At a time when there seems to be less and less
Maybe it's just January talking, but as soon as I spotted this yarn I thought "cowl." In fact, I could almost imagine a line of women at the Portland International Jetport greeting new arrivals and ceremoniously placing a skein of Baby Alpaca Magna around their
With online shopping more prevalent than ever, yarn stores are in a bit of a pickle. They need inventory that covers all the bases—yarns for sweaters, baby garb, socks, lace, etc. But they also need to be able to offer something totally unique, something a