Our Herd (e.g. The Vendors we love and trust)
At Anzula, based in Fresno, California, they hand-dye yarns and fibers made from the most luxurious fibers in the world like cashmere, camel, silk, linen, SeaCell, alpaca, yak, and milk protein.
Black Elephant Yarns:
Petra quit her day job in architecture and took the plunge and Black Elephant was created. Strange name for a yarn company, but then she thought Apple has nothing to do with computers either, right? Obviously, there is a story behind. For Christmas she got an A5 sized notebook from her mum, which was to be for her knitting ideas. And on the front there was a little cute elephant. Her surname is Schwarcz, which means Black (in German) and some of her friends used to call her that. So Black Elephant it was. And after some research she found out that black elephants actually exist, which is kind of cool.
Also after looking for meanings of elephant she found out that to the Hindu way of thought, the elephant is found in the form of Ganesha who is the god of luck and is a blessing upon all new projects which was the most fitting for her yarn adventure. My Black Elephant is her blessing. She hopes you will enjoy her hand dyed yarns!
Brew City Yarns:
Brew City Yarns is a family-owned and operated business in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Founded in 2014, the mother-and-daughters team of Chelsea, Tahra, and Tamra “brews" hand-dyed yarn in small batches like the craft beers Milwaukee is so well-known for.
All of Brew City Yarns’ fibers are humanely sourced from the U.K. and South America, and we offer a range of yarns from durable sock yarns to luxury fibers of all kinds. We are known in the fiber industry for vibrant palettes and whimsical themes inspired by travel, art, TV, books, movies, and theater. Brew City Yarns is frequently featured by The Grocery Girls, Stockinette Zombies, The Spicy Homemaker, YarnBox, and many more!
Brown Sheep Yarns:
The land that this company sits on was purchased over 100 years ago by the current owner's (Peggy Jo Wells) great grandfather, E.W. Brown. He purchased a half section of land in western Nebraska and moved his fledging family out west. He was attracted by the fertile farm land of the North Platte River valley which gave him room to grow and have his small flock of sheep. When he passed away, he left his small flock to her father. The late 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and mid way through the 70’s were good farming and sheep and wool production years. But in 1975, farming prices were far from good and markets for lamb were diminishing, causing Mr. Brown's son to look for alternative methods of making a living from the land that he loved. January of 1980 saw the arrival of the first truck loads of used equipment to spin yarn. This equipment had been used in the southeast where the textile industry had flourished after the Second World War until the 1980’s. The equipment, which this farmer had never seen in his life, came without any operational manuals. By July 4, he had spun his first ball of yarn. When his trunk was full, he hit the road to try to pedal his wares. During his first selling trip he was told everything from no to you must have stolen the yarn to I will take the whole trunk full. Her father's perseverance paid off and the little mill that could did indeed flourish. By the late 1990’s Peggy's dad had a growing company and was seeking some assistance. Peggy's husband, Robert, and she decided to give up careers and life in Ft. Collins, CO to join the family business. From 2004 until 2010 90% of the old used equipment was replaced with new, state of the art textile equipment, making Brown Sheep a viable “Made in the USA” member of the yarn industry for years to come. In 2010 and 2011 Robert put Brown Sheep on the map in a whole new way. He researched and developed a new program that allows the company to reuse 70 to 90% of their daily waste water.
Cedar House Yarns:
Jennifer Lysen of Cedar House Yarns lives in a small, wooded valley at the foot of Mount Baker in the Pacific Northwest. The colors that live around her are phenomenally beautiful and have inspired the shades she uses for our hand dyed yarn.
Cestari Sheep and Wool Company:
Cestari Sheep and Wool Company is a small family-owned and operated American manufacturer of knitting and crocheting yarn. They have a farm in Augusta County, Virginia where they raise sheep for wool that they use in their yarn. They also source wool from reputable ranchers throughout the United States. All of their sheep and wool products are always grown and processed in the United States. Their cotton products are grown and processed exclusively in Virginia.
Cestari wool is washed using a scouring process that keeps natural lanolin in the yarn and maintains the natural bounce and texture of the wool. They prefer our scouring process to the more contemporary carbonizing process because a carbonizing acid bath, done overseas, would burn out the vegetable matter, leaving the wool very clean but removing the lanolin and leaving the wool with less bounce and changing the original texture. Sometimes specks of easily removable hay or straw remain in their yarn; owner Francis Chester likes to say that if you put his yarn to your ears, you can almost hear the sounds of life within it.
Dragonfly Fibers is an indie yarn company specializing in artisan dyed yarn. They dye high quality knitting yarns and spinning fibers in deep, rich and sometimes crazy bright colors for your crafting pleasure. The Colors of Happiness are created and shared with the world by Kate Chiocchio and the amazing Team Dragonfly - made up mostly of friends based in the Washington, DC area.
Dragonfly Fibers started as a result of Kate’s love affair with texture and color. Learning to knit when the kids were small very quickly resulted in seriously strong feelings for all kinds of yarn. Soon, every corner of the house was filled with yarn. Jack, thinking to rid the house of yarn, suggested starting a business. Little did he know! After a few years of trial and error, Kate hired a few of her dog and mom friends to help her wrangle the yarn and get it to her customers. Business operations took over the basement, and yarn continued to explode all over the house. Eventually, Kate’s family convinced her that the business had outgrown her home. After a long search, Kate and team moved into a new studio space.
Dream in Color:
These two mothers from Illinois became involved in a Waldorf school, found themselves focused on the impact of color on their and their children’s lives, and opened a yarn shop organized around color. They began dyeing yarn in the shop’s back room where they developed Dream in Color’s special, veil dyeing technique. In 2006 they closed the shop to focus on running Dream in Color, a company dedicated to using domestic fibers and mills whenever possible. They now call Tuscon, Arizona their home, and continually produce amazing dreamy innovative color to dream about!
Erika started out as a fine art student in Brighton, England, but couldn’t keep from raiding the stores in the fashion department in search of textiles. She went with the flow and, armed with “massive ignorance and enthusiasm”, co-launched what became a hugely successful hand-knit label ‘Molto!’. Design and fashion forecasting work for a range of top brands (Marks & Spencer, Nicole Farhi, H&M, Whistles, Rowan Yarns, Coats PLC) followed, but alongside, there were always projects that celebrated the things she really cared about – the craft element of design and the very human scale and pace of knitting or crocheting unique, personal, treasures, as well as the need to respect the natural world and sustain its resources. Erika has a unique interpretation of craft: her mission is to simplify and communicate her insight and passion for knitting and crochet with accessible and enticing projects in order to inspire everyone to experiment and above all enjoy creating. Having launched her own eponymous hand knit yarn label in 2012, determined to support British manufacturing and share her unwaveringly-held belief in the importance of treading lightly on the earth and celebrating traditional British skills, Erika is doing what she always wanted to do having honed her style into a covetable brand.
The Fibre Company:
The Fibre Company was founded in 2004 by Iain Stanley and Daphne Marinopoulos as a spinning mill and processing center. Focusing on interesting blends of natural fibers, the unique yarns are all carefully developed to achieve the perfect combination of softness and structure. The beautiful, saturated and sophisticated colors in the lines are all kettle dyed to create a subtle variation in tone and color. Many of their yarns are sourced from Peru. In 2008, the Fibre Company partnered with Philadelphia-based Kelbourne Woolens and the two companies now work together to create and distribute the Fibre Company's beautiful yarns + the Kelbourne Woolens line of hand knitting and crochet patterns.
“Frabjous” means joyful, excellent, fabulous —the good feelings your creative outlet should stir in you! They are a small business based in beautiful southern Vermont offering their own line of hand-dyed yarns in several fantastic bases from everyday soft and springy superwash merino wool to luscious luxury blends in over 70 colorways. Their Mini Skein Packs and Kits are favorites for striping and colorwork projects!
They also dye a wide range of fibers for hand spinners, as well as import handspun recycled sari silk yarns and felt bags directly from Nepal and India, where they are working with others to create safe, reliable, well paying jobs for women. They donate a portion of their profits to educational programs in Nepal, and help to purchase necessary equipment for cooperatives.
Fyberspates started as a hand dyed company in the UK in early 2005 when hand dyed yarn was hard to get hold of. Browsing the internet and seeing the dreamy colours you could buy in the USA, the owner looked around the internet for UK companies who were doing the same thing. At the time, these were few and far between. As the company grew it became clear very quickly that they would not be able to manufacture yarns in their own back garden on a scale large enough to supply shops as well as their beloved customers, and so Scrumptious was born! Scrumptious was their very first commercial yarn and the Scrumptious range grew from there. After a while they wanted to go back to their hand dyed roots and produce a yarn range which reflected the delicious colours they loved so much in the yarns they hand dyed, and Vivacious was created! They flew to South America, spoke no Spanish, and the dyers spoke no English, but they worked together with lots of sign language taught the South Americans their recipes. In return they now dye the most wonderful Vivacious and Gleam ranges.
ITO is Japanese for yarn or thread. ITO – Fine Yarn from Japan are special yarns, produced in Japan, a country with a long tradition in textiles. These yarns are unique and particular due to their special production processes and their specific composition of materials and colors.
Jill Draper Makes Stuff:
Jill purchases most of the fiber used directly from farms in the US so she knows the people & animals involved are well treated, which we think helps to make better yarn & a better world. Each yarn base is designed by Jill to highlight the unique properties of the fiber used, be a pleasure to work with & make something that will wear well so it can be treasured for years to come.
Knit Collage began when founder Amy Small fell in love with hand spinning long ago. From that time on, creating a business that meshed with her creative passion became an obsession. The company began when on the advice of a yarn store owner, Amy decided to take her first yarn collection to an industry tradeshow. The yarns were snapped up by some of the best yarn retailers around the world and instantly Knit Collage was born.
Amy is inspired by the places she travels, especially India & Hong Kong where she lived, and constantly collects things that usually become incorporated in her yarns. This could be hand-printed fabrics from Jaipur or shimmering paisley trims found on Indian wedding garb. Along with trims and textiles, Amy loves fiber and texture and is always challenging herself to come up with new colors and spinning techniques.
Leon Alexander Yarns:
Leon Alexander Yarns is Logan Walters based out of Oklahoma City, OK. Color has always been a love of Logan's, and with a background in the arts why not expand that into his other love of yarn? As a knitter he was always looking for colors that did not exist yet, so he decided to make his own. He's inspired by old nobility and anything gold and he's a storyteller at heart using his colorways to inspire others.
An artisan yarn company owned by Beth Casey from Chicago, Lorna’s Laces was started by Lorna Miser in her kitchen 20 years ago. Beth was in the midst of career transition in 2002 and saw an ad for the sale of a hand dyed yarn company, flew out to California to meet Lorna and was introduced as the new owner of Lora’s Lace’s in 2003. Their fiber is sourced from all over the world (including the United States) and dyed in the studio in Chicago. Beth and her company get to “make pretty string” every day!
Madelinetosh was created by Amy Hendrix: Dyer, mama, and passionate color theory and crafting advocate. Madelinetosh represents curated colors dyed with care on wholesome, ethically sourced and dyed wools. We celebrate rich, abundant color and natural fibers. The first Madelinetosh shop opened online on Etsy in 2006. Out of this tiny start-up grew a hand dye operation which now supplies yarn to stockists around the globe, from Iceland to Japan, from Australia to Alaska. "I believe color is fundamental to who we are, which is why humans are so passionate about color preferences. Combine color with the natural desire to make something through craft and you have a deep, grounding form of gratification that is hard to find in this modern disconnected world."
- Amy Hendrix
This relatively young yarn company is family owned in Uruguay, and works closely with a cooperative of women to create their yarn. It started in 2004 when Antonio Gonzalez-Arnao decided to dye yarn in his kitchen. The yarn is kettle dyed and the company’s name comes from the Spanish “Mal Abrigo” which means “Bad Shelter”, because of a tiny town in San Jose that is extremely windy. The owners were inspired by the idea of a place so cold everyone cozied up inside their homes knitting warm, wooly sweaters together. They only work with wool that comes from mulesing-free sheep and employ environmentally safe practices in processing the wool. They use as little water and as few chemicals as possible, and water, wool waste and dye waste which cannot be re-used are transported to a detoxification plant to be cleaned and treated for re-use. Uruguay is an epicenter of wool fiber and yarn production, and Malabrigo uses mills in Uruguay and Peru to spin their wool.
Manos de Uruguay:
The Manos Cooperatives were founded in 1968 by five women whose goal was to develop economic opportunities for women in a country where there are few chances for work. They began by selling handcrafts at local shops and an annual agricultural show. Over time, spinning, dyeing, weaving and knitting became focal points. From 1976-1986 they ran a showroom in New York selling knitted and woven garmets as well as yarn. The Cooperatives have since expanded to include 17 individual cooperatives employing approximately 350 women. The yarns are all still line dryed out of doors. The Cooperatives provide health insurance, retirement pensions, paid vacations and paid maternity leave for their members, and the Manos cooperatives established the first kindergartens in Uruguay to provide childcare for the artisans. Each skein of Manos yarn is signed so you will know when you buy it who made your yarn and from which village it came, supporting the hand-crafted and contributing to an economy where the workers control the means of production. The Manos Cooperative is certified by the World Fair Trade Organization, backing up their mission to eradicate poverty through sustainable economic development, pioneering social and environmental policy and practice, and continual reinvestment in marginalized artisans, farmers and producer communities. It is the only mass produced yarn on the market today that is spun by hand.
Mary Gavan Yarns:
Mary Gavan's love of art began at a very early age. After majoring in fine arts at Arizona State University she found her passion; textiles, and began weaving - producing a line of decorative art for homes and commercial spaces. Her work was sold throughout the U.S. in art galleries and juried exhibitions. During this time Mary found a need for specific colors of yarn that were not readily available, and her dyeing career was born.
We believe that if you are spending your time knitting or crocheting then you should use the best possible fibres for your creations. Our Plump and Plump dk yarns are made from the highest quality, ethically sourced, superfine merino and baby alpaca which makes them incredible soft for all the right reasons.
When we started out as a yarn store in SW London, we quickly worked out what our customers and we wanted when it came to handknitting yarns. Simple luxury. A yarn that is natural, soft, wears well, is responsibly sourced and comes in beautiful colours!
And so our first yarn Plump was born. The fibres used in Plump and Plump dk tick all of the boxes above. And we have very carefully chosen our colour palette so that you really can't go wrong when deciding which one to use. The colours are all named after some of our favourite sweet things.... so you might like Fondant Fancy, Pistachio Ice Cream or Gooseberry Fool.
mYak was born of more than twenty years living and working with the nomadic herders of the Tibetan Plateau. Together they’re building more than a business. They’re building a future for one of the world’s most ancient ways of life. Paola and her company believe in responsibility, traceability and sustainability. They source their wool directly from nomadic Tibetan herders, contributing to the well-being of the local community. The fiber is hand-combed from the undercoat of baby yaks and cashmere goats with no harm to the animal. They deeply believe sustainability means respect for diverse cultures and ways of life, adding value to local resources and traditions while protecting their origins, and crafting products meant to last not for a season, but for generations. Their activities are equally imbued with care for people, animals and the environment as well as for the social and ethical values that characterize their entire chain.
Nice & Knits:
They are Kara and Katie. They are sisters, and they are friends. They are co-workers, each others’ sounding board & each others’ cheerleaders. They are lovers of all things beautiful. They inspire each other. They are similar. They are different. And now they are the force behind Nice & Knit. Kara and Katie lovingly hand-dye every beautiful skein with you in mind. They hope that it brings as much joy in your crafting experience as it does for them in the making. As lovers of all things creative, their goal is to share their passion for color, texture, and design with the world. They hope their products leave you feeling inspired, motivated, and most of all, happy.
Olann was born out of a desire to create a range of sophisticated colours on ethically sourced yarns. Jess believes in doing things the proper way. Her story began with a yearning to create with her hands, using experimental dye techniques and traditional materials, to return to a more sustainable time when quality and craftsmanship were valued over the mass produced. They are makers and designers. In their small Irish workshop they dye yarn in small batches, with emphasis on material and process. Knowing and caring where their materials come from is the bones of their business. Small is good, individual is good.
Olann yarns come from little farms in South America that guarantee fair and humane treatment to their herds of sheep. They pre-wash the yarns to remove lanolin and any dust that may have been caught during the spinning stage. When the undyed hanks are delivered, she stores them carefully, in dry conditions and away from light. Olann uses non toxic acid dyes and a food grade citric acid as their setting agent. All the dye is exhausted from the dye pots so that there is zero nasty stuff being poured into their drains. Citric acid also looses its potency as it helps the dye absorb into the fibres. Rest assured, they are environmentally friendly. Water is often re-used to also minimise water usage and wastage. After the dye process is completed, the freshly dyed yarn takes a long nice soak in gentle wool wash to ensure all that citric acid water is scrupulously rinsed from the yarn.
Peacefleece, the life work of the Hagerty family, was recently purchased by Harrisville Designs. The owners work to support pastoral communities that have been historically in conflict with the US. Currently they are working with the Navajo to offer fair market prices for the Ramboulliet sheep wool raised by families on the Reservation. The yarn is made of this wool blended with a domestic mohair for strength.
Qing Fibre is a London-based hand dyer. Originally from Beijing, China, Layla began dyeing yarn in London around 2015 and officially started her brand in 2016. We love Layla's sense of style and colour so much and we know you will too!
We are two friends, Janis and Christen, brought together in the Queen City of Charlotte by our love for knitting and yarn. Casual wine and dye nights together nurtured our passion for putting color to skein.
Our products start with one of seven great yarn bases, each named for a neighborhood in the Queen City that reflects their personality. The colors we apply are inspired by the beautiful things we see around us, breathtaking places we have visited, as well as Christen’s two young children. While each color we produce can stand on its own, we pay special attention to creating a series of complementary colors. We strive to make it easy to pick one or more great colors for your next project.
Quince & Co.:
Quince & Co. was launched in 2010 by Pam Allen in partnership with a historic mill in Maine. Before starting Quince & Co., Pam found that the traditional way that yarn companies produce new yarns – going to trade shows and choosing from yarns designed by spinning mills – was unsatisfying and ultimately did not yield great products. She wanted to work with mills to design yarns from the ground up. Pam was also frustrated by how difficult it was to have yarns made in the US, where there was once a venerable textile tradition. Pam recruited fellow designer and yarnophile Carrie Bostick Hoge and, together with inventive and resourceful folks at spinning mills around the northeast, they created a line of classic, beautiful yarns from wool sourced and spun in the US.
They produce products as locally as they can, sourcing and spinning their yarns in the US, as much as possible. When they use fibers that aren’t from the US, they find out as much as possible about where they are from and how they came to be. If they're sourcing a yarn from a plant fiber, they want to know if it was grown in conditions that are healthy for the soil and for those who tend and harvest it. If they're looking for an animal fiber, they want to know if the animal was raised in a way that sustains the earth and preserves the culture of the people who care for it. We are honored to be one of their Linen Stores.
Perhaps Rhichard's interest in hand-dyed yarns is partially genetic. His maternal grandfather was a fibre artist in The Netherlands.
From having his own flock of merino sheep, becoming a hand-spinner, then a hand-weaver and producer of a line of one-of-a-kind coats, jackets, vests, scarves and twice-woven rugs, to becoming a master dyer, his has been a journey of discovery and creation. With colour such an integral part of Rhichard's life, it's no wonder that 'The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze' offers such a dazzling array and display of colourways and associated lyrical descriptions that are both appreciated and enjoyed so much by knitters, needlepointers, crocheters, weavers.
Even a big ginormous company has a story. Rowan was first established in 1978 by two Yorkshire men, Stephen Sheard and Simon Cockin. Initially with offices based above a grocery store, the business soon moved to Green Lane Mill, Holmfirth, where the Rowan team still works to this day. The aim was to develop colourful rug weaving yarns, as there was a lack of vibrant yarns on the market. The new Rowan yarns were targeted at designers and creative crafters so they could produce exciting contemporary designs. With the help of designer Kaffe Fassett, the focus quickly changed to handknit yarns, and the rest is history. They are an ethically conscious brand, with an emphasis on creating luxury, premium yarns sourced from organic, natural fibres.
On a visit to Tokyo’s Ginza market in 2004, Darcy Cameron picked up a handwoven bag dyed with persimmons. She loved the bag’s pure simplicity, described by her Japanese friend as “very shibui,” or “elegant with a touch of bitterness.” This inspired an enduring aesthetic.
Shibui Knits was born in 2007, in the basement of Darcy’s yarn store in Portland, Oregon. Faced with the limitations of yarn from big-brand companies, she started her own label, bringing yarn of the highest quality to small, independent stores like her own. Shibui Knits has since grown to represent timeless sophistication in local yarn stores worldwide. Today, they continue to be grounded in the concept of simplicity well executed, with loving attention to detail. They share a passion for beauty through intentional design. They deliver an unparalleled knitting experience for creative women who are committed to sophisticated style.
Spincycle Yarns is a two-woman operation established in 2004. The spinsters, Rachel and Kate produce luxurious yarns, hand-dyed and spun into small batches of perfection. For eight years, they existed exclusively as a handspinnery. Lovely, cozy, intimate... and exhausting! They couldn't keep up! The search began for a micro-mill that would understand their DIY methods of dyeing and spinning. The search ended on Camano Island, Washington, where they found an amazing mother-daughter team operating a mill that could meet all of their needs.
All their yarns are dyed in the wool, resulting in intense saturation and unpredictable color changes. Skeins within a dye lot will blend together beautifully for a larger project, yet every skein is one-of-a-kind.
Sun Valley Fibers:
A family run business located on a farm in the hills of southwest Wisconsin, Sun Valley specializes in hand dyeing luxurious artisan yarns and fibers in rich inspiring colors. Jeanette and George also hand make Yarn Buddies, a lazy susan for your yarn, from the finest varieties of wood found the world over. All of their yarns are hand dyed in small batches (6-8 skeins at a time). The fiber is all sourced in the United States, and the Icelandic fiber comes from their home flock.
Sweet Georgia Yarns:
An artisan hand dyed yarn company based in Vancouver, Canada and founded in 2005 by Felicia Lo, who does amazing gorgeous beautiful things with color.
Teresa Ruch Designs:
Teresa is a dyer and weaver living in the Pacific Northwest. Her Tencel originates in Canada and is dyed in her studio. She has a passion for color which shows in her work. She loves color on color, pattern on color and the subtle sheen of fibers like bamboo and tencel. The thought of using fibers from plants that grow in poor soil conditions, give back to the soil they come from and do not use much water in the processing of the fiber is an added benefit!
Woolen Boon began in the Spring of 2016 with a little dream and a heck of a lot of hope. They feel pretty lucky to get to work next to each other every day and to be able to share in this adventure as a family.
Sonya has been knitting for 8+ years and believes that she can learn almost anything on YouTube. She lives and breathes all things color. Ryan is an endurance athlete, who loves spending his free time (what's that??) doing crazy races and riding bikes. They live together with their three children in a little city, nestled in the mountains of New Hampshire.
woolen | adjective \ wool·en \ˈwu̇-lən | made of wool :
boon | noun \ˈbün | something pleasant or helpful: a timely benefit :
Zealana is a trademark brand of ultra soft, light, warm and durable luxury hand knitting yarns produced by Woolyarns Limited in New Zealand. Woolyarns is a leading yarn innovator dedicated to elevating New Zealand’s already superior, natural fibers with the exceptional properties of New Zealand Brushtail Possum fiber. Zealana yarns offer luxurious handle, they use high-quality natural fibers including fine merino and cashmere and superior yarn manufacturing making them some of the finest hand-knitting/crochet yarns available in the world. Zealana is available in three series, each providing different benefits to your knitting. Not only does Zealana yarn make a great project greater, its production helps make New Zealand’s ecosystem a lot healthier.
We also carry yarns and a variety of beautiful bags, books, gifts, tools and notions from such awesome companies as Universal, Sirdar, Lorna's Laces, Plymouth, Swan's Island, BareAsh (local), Chiaogoo, Knitters Pride, HiYa, Katrinkles, Swahili African, Bloom&Give, Atenti, Binkwaffle, and more!