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  • What Started With A Note on A Napkin at Rhinebeck

    Oktober 13, 2022 4 min lesen.

    Dear lovelies,

    You know those origins that are almost too fantastic to be true? Well, Hudson + West's - our latest yarn and pattern addition to the webshop - one is right there with the best of them. Sloane Rosenthal and Meghan Babin, H+W's co-founders, first came up with the idea of a designer-driven, knitter-focused, 100% US-made yarn company at Rhinebeck, one of the biggest sheep and wool festivals on the planet. On a napkin.

    Fast forward to 2019 when they formally founded Hudson + West Co and embarked on the journey of creating "yarns thatsupport the ready-to-wear inspired garments and accessories that form the core of the modern knitter’s wardrobe", allthewhile keeping their sourcing and production not only within the US, but also within a traceable, sustainable and fair supply chain.

    When Jess, our tech editor and test knitting manager, first suggested Hudson + West as an addition to our shop, I couldn't believe how much of their story and values resonated with ours. I mean, we're all about making things that you'll wear and love for a long, long time - "the core of the modern knitter's wardrobe" - and traceability, fairness and sustainability are prerequisites for every single product that flows through our hands.

    Jess also has an unfailing eye for beautiful, versatile yarn, so I immediately set to ordering two skeins, one of each of their bases, and then waited impatiently for their arrival from the US. When I finally unwrapped the parcel, I was smitten - not only were both yarns beautifully squishy and bouncy, they were also unlike any of the other yarns we carry. Plus, they had put a gift copy of one of Meghan's hat patterns in the parcel - talk about enabling a knitter!

    I immediately contacted Sloane to see whether they'd be interested in working with us as their first European stockist. Hudson + West is really well known in the US, and carried by some of our favorite yarn shops, but so far, there were no shops here in Europe stocking it. I sent off that email, and crossed my fingers - maybe they'd actually be interested? And then I got the loveliest reply back - yes, they would! *Cue happy dance*

    Our original idea of launching the yarns in the summer got thwarted by delivery, shipping and financial issues, but I am so glad we waited a little while because now we can not only show you the beautiful two yarns from Hudson + West, but also their brand-new Autumn / Winter 2022 collection! (Stay tuned for another blog post coming up on the patterns!)


    Left: Forge - Worsted Weight | Right: Weld - Fingering Weight

    Working with Sloane, Meghan and Jocelyn has been so, so sweet. You know I love when a company we work with is not only great when it comes to sustainability in their products, but also their relationships - and the team at Hudson + West went above and beyond to make us feel welcome and help us prepare as best as we can for the launch. (THANK YOU!!!) It just adds an extra layer of delight to new products when you know they're made by genuinely good people.

    "Made" is an excellent segue into the actual production process of the yarn, which is the last thing I want to share with you in today's blog post. As you know, all the products we carry are sustainably produced. Sometimes, though, it's hard to know what exactly "sustainably" means in this context - is it a certificate? Traceability? Knowing the people who make things and their processes?

    Hudson + West are super transparent when it comes to their production process - more transparent than any other yarn company I've worked with so far. Their two yarn bases, Forge (worsted) and Weld (fingering), are a blend of 70% Merino and 30% Corriedale, both sourced in the US.

    Their Merino - both white and grey - is grown on larger ranches in Colorado and New Mexico, their Corriedale comes from smaller farms in upstate New York. (Here's a fascinating article about their sourcing!) Why Merino and Corriedale? "Blending Merino and Corriedale fleece gives us the best of both worlds: the majority-Merino mix gives us great softness, loft, and next-to-skin wearability, while the Corriedale adds wonderful natural color and enough strength and durability for heirloom-quality FOs."

    After sourcing, the fleeces travel to Buffalo, Wyoming to be scoured, carded, drafted and spun at Mountain Meadow Wool. Forge and Weld are so-called "semi-worsted" yarns, meaning that the fibers are combed somewhat before spinning, so that they are more organized than for a woollen-spun yarn, but not as much as in a worsted-spun yarn. This way, the resulting yarn is airy and bouncy, but also has great stitch definition and strength.

    A portion of the undyed yarns are then sent on to Ultimate Textile in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, where they are dyed into the beautiful, slightly heathered shades we've come to love. They then travel back to Hudson + West who send them on their way into loving stockist and knitter's hands all over the globe!

    They're truly spectacular yarns, made by a very special company. I am so delighted that we get to carry them, and I hope you join me in a very warm welcome for them!

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    3 Sock Patterns I'm Loving Right Now
    3 Sock Patterns I'm Loving Right Now

    September 30, 2023 2 min lesen.

    Happy Socktober, lovelies!! If you've been following us even for a little while, you've probably noticed that I absolutely love knitting socks.

    They're the perfect portable project, great for trying out new techniques or stitch patterns, and just so, so rewarding. There's just nothing like the feeling of opening your sock drawer on a cold fall morning, picking out the pair of hand-knit socks that calls to you, and walking around with cozy, warm toes all day long.

    I couldn't resist putting together a short, sweet list of 3 sock patterns I'm loving right now to kickstart this month – one makes for excellent TV-knitting, the second one is a bit more complex, and the last one is one that I've been wanting to knit for years!

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    My 5 Favorite Patterns for Fluffy Yarns
    My 5 Favorite Patterns for Fluffy Yarns

    September 07, 2023 4 min lesen.

    Hello lovelies,

    One of my all-time favorite tasks when we get a new yarn in is to put together pattern and color combinations. And with Bérénice, De Rerum Natura's sustainably produced Mohair / Merino / Silk yarn (fluffy like a cloud!), the possibilities for patterns and colors are close to endless!

    I narrowed it down to my five favorite patterns (well, of right now) in color combinations that showcase the full rainbow of Bérénice colors. I've put a ton more patterns over on our Pinterest Board for pattern inspo for fluffy yarns if you're looking for more!

    Now, though, let's take a look at my top 5!

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    Can a Silk Mohair Yarn be sustainable?
    Can a Silk Mohair Yarn be sustainable?

    September 07, 2023 3 min lesen.

    Hi lovelies!

    I'm thrilled to be back in this space, and with something really, really exciting at that! For the past year, I've been on the hunt for a sustainably-produced fluffy yarn - we used to carry Knitting for Olive's Soft Silk Mohair which is delightful, but also... everyone has it now? So I was looking for something that was a little out of the ordinary, but also responsibly sourced, and as it goes with anything that involves mohair and silk, that was really hard.

    Cue De Rerum Natura, who secretly have been working behind the scenes at exactly that yarn I'd been looking for: An "as sustainably as it can get" fluff yarn that works perfectly for a broad range of projects, from whispers of lace shawls to holding it together with more substantial yarns.

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