Afghanistan Cashmere provides women the opportunity to work in war-torn Afghanistan. The yarn is spun by Afghan women from their homes and they are paid a fair wage for their labor. So, in between doing house chores, dealing with kids and getting dinner on the table, they are spinning raw cashmere into beautiful skeins of hand-knitting yarn. Some of them are even using a drop spindle! It can take up to 5 days to get through one kilo.
In the Early Fall 2012 edition of Vogue Knitting, there is a great article about what it takes to get cashmere from the goat to people like Kate Spade, J. Crew and handknitters like you. “Afghanistan may be the third largest cashmere producer in the world but first somebody had to tell the shepherds.” and then get them the production machinery and then find a way to get the word out.
It is cashmere, so of course it is soft and warm. We often think of cashmere as elegant and fragile, but this has been handspun in only natural shades so there is an earthy richness and durability to it as well.
I’ve made a pair of fingerless gloves with a simple cable which I love. My next project will be a lace cardigan, because this yarn is really worth the investment.No Comments
Products We Carry:
Alpaca Sportweight, Pediboo
There’s something really good about the way Frog Tree Yarn’s alpaca and wool-bamboo blends can make you feel. They’re soft and warm, and they come in an enticing array of fashionable colors at fair prices. But when you dig a little deeper you’ll find that knitting with yarns from a company that has a heart–can make you feel great.
Frog Tree Yarns is a not-for-profit family-run business, established to help struggling artisans in Bolivia and Peru support themselves with their craft. The owners take no payment for their work, and contribute profits to provide educational opportunities to those who might not be able to afford them.
Frog Tree Pediboo is superwash blend of wool and bamboo. It was originally designed for socks, but the spectacular stitch definition, drape and sheen make it ideal for sweaters and shawls as well. Try it in Dahlia. Because of its softness and washability, Pediboo is also a favorite for baby items.
Alpaca yarn is usually delicate and drapey, but because of its twist, Frog Tree Alpaca Sportweight has elasticity and wears without pilling. It is a favorite for stranded colorwork. Try it in these mittens from Knitty.comNo Comments
Products we carry:
Peace Fleece yarn is a worsted weight blend of wool with a touch of mohair. We love this yarn because of the beautiful colors and the fact that it can take some abuse. It is perfect for a cable sweater that you will wear every day or striped mittens and a hat. We also love this yarn, because of what it stands for.
Here is their story:
The Peace Fleece offices are in a barn on a sheep and horse farm in the small, rural town of Porter in the foothills of southwestern Maine. Peter Hagerty and his wife Marty Tracy started buying wool from the Soviet Union back in 1985 in hopes that through trade they could help diffuse the threat of nuclear war.
Since then Hagerty has journeyed through eastern Europe, central Asia and the Middle East in search of farmers and shepherds who are willing to set aside historic enmities in exchange for opportunities leading to mutual understanding and economic interdependence.
Marty believes that promoting crafts in our hectic society is important. By inspiring people to work with their hands, she hopes that they can find more time to discover their own inner solutions for peace.
In an attempt to decrease their carbon footprint, Peace Fleece has changed their blend so that 90% of the wool and mohair comes from the United States. It comes from the Moore family whose Merinos have been grazing Appalachian hill country for eight generations. And it comes from Native sheep ranchers on the Cheyenne River Lakota Reservation in South Dakota.
But that is not to say that Peace Fleece has lost their international focus. In fact, Peace Fleece supports Mid East conflict resolution by working with the unique community of Neve Shalom Wahat al Salam, or “Oasis of Peace” in Hebrew and Arabic. This courageous village is comprised of Jews and Palestinian Arabs living and working together to understand and resolve the difficult issues facing the Mid East.
In addition, 100% of the proceeds from Mourning Dove Worsted Weight goes to the Marigold Fund, whose mission is to help Afghans rebuild their country.No Comments