By guest contributor Kelly Rand
I love fiber. I love to knit with it, I love to fondle it, I love to horde it, and I even love to smell it. Seriously, there should be a twelve step program for this addiction I’ve got. I especially love to know the story of fiber; where it came from, how it was grown and how it was produced. There is something quite magical when you knit with a dream skein and you know the tail of how it got to your hot little hands. It makes a good story and when people ask you about your creation you have a little bit more to add to it. So here are a couple of amazing yarns and companies that you can feel good about using, knowing the where and how of its production.
Fox Fiber is a wonderful organic cotton yarn that comes in numerous colors. No chemicals where used in the production of the cotton and the best thing about this yarn, beyond the fact that it is organic cotton, is that the colors are naturally occurring! That’s right, no dye was used to produce the amazing shades of greens and browns that Fox Fiber offers. The natural colors came about after many years of careful cross breeding to get the fiber and colors just right.
Thirteen Mile Lamb and Wool is one great yarn company. They look at the production of their yarn from all angles and are happy to share their fiber story. They carefully consider the health and well being of their flock and are certified organic as well as certified predator friendly. The yarn they produce is processed start to finish right in their barn and is offered in a variety of undyed skeins as well as several plant dyed skeins. And for extra cool points, their hot water is from a solar hot water heater!
If you’re looking to add a dash of luxury to your knitting you can’t go wrong with silk. Aurora Silk offers a wonderful tussah silk yarn that simply glows from its beautiful luster and is a dream to knit with. Tussah silk is often called “peace silk” due to the method of production, which waits for the moth to emerge from its silk cocoon before processing. Tussah cocoons are collected from around the trunks of mulberry trees, which is the preferred food of the silk worm.
Ever dream of running away to a farm to raise sheep? Well if reality keeps you where you are, you can now buy a share of farm with a yarn CSA from Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm. A share will buy you farm updates, invites to shearing day and a portion of the clippings from sheep and goats spun into yarn. The folks at Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm are very dedicated to their flock and take special care with their tending; feeding them an organic diet and keeping them safe in predator friendly ways. So hurry, Marth’s Vineyard Fiber Farm is now taking orders for the fall share.
Folktail Fiber is a small fiber company that handspins magical yarns. I don’t think I’ve ever met a skein of hers that I didn’t like. Folktail gives a very detailed and well thought out rational for fiber use and it is much appreciated. She prefers to use fiber from mill ends and sources direct from the farmer whenever possible. She is also wading into the world of natural dyes and it is a real treat if you ever get the chance to see her spin.
About the contributor: Kelly Rand is staff writer for DCist.com, lead writer for Crafting a Green World, and is co-founder of Hello Craft, a non-profit trade association dedicated to the advancement of indie crafters and the handmade movement. Kelly is a compulsive knitter and avid maker who believes that handmade will save the world.