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Knit Collage Yarn + Ladder Stitch Cowl

June 12, 2014 Julie

Ladder Stitch Cowl{Ladder Stitch Cowl : pattern and yarn by Knit Collage}

Sometimes, you come across a yarn that’s so unique and beautiful and kinda funky that you just don’t know what you’ll do besides take it home and maybe hang it on your wall to display so you can stare at it and feel justified in your purchase.

Sometimes, you come across a yarn that’s so unique and beautiful and kinda funky and you’re given a free and very basic knitting pattern since you purchased it from a certain charming shop along the Jersey Shore. So you knit a fabulous new cowl that showcases the unique and beautiful and kinda funky yarn. You then wear your art, get loads of compliments, have family and friends pester you to knit them one, and feel very proud and satisfied with your yarn purchase.

Ladder Stitch Cowl Detail

That yarn is Knit Collage. That pattern is the Ladder Stitch Cowl.  C’mon, you know that charming shop is Home Made! (:

Knit Collage yarn was started by Amy Small after being unable to find any yarn being sold like the ones she was spinning herself. Yarn she describes as “vibrant handspun creations that reflect our curious and optimistic approach to the world.” So, Amy decided to pursue producing her yarn on a larger scale so it could become more widely available. Gotta admire a gal like that! 

Each skein of Knit Collage is spun by women in India where it can take them two or more hours to create, as Knit Collage is both a thick and thin textured yarn often containing bits of ribbon, sequins, and flower appliqués along with brightly colored wool, mohair and sparkling Angelina fibers.

Pixie Dust Yarn by Knit Collage{Knit Collage’s Pixie Dust in Antique Garnet, Cerulean, and Snowflake + Sister Yarn in Turquoise Heather}

I asked Amy to answer a few questions so she could tell you more in her own words. Here it goes!

Running a socially conscious business sounds very important to you. Can you tell us about how your yarn is made and the significance of your chosen process?

We now have 15 full time women in India that make it all!  I felt strongly about employing women because in India, poorer women are sometimes discriminated against for jobs like these. Employers assume that they’ll need time to take off to have children or to care for their families. We have a huge photo of the whole team hanging up in the room where the yarn is made and it’s easy to see how proud they are of what they are doing and making. It brings me such joy to see their pride in the job!

The yarns are made in a painstakingly long process!  First we have some women that crochet the flowers and make the trims that go into our embellished yarns like Daisy Chain and Gypsy Garden. The ladies make most of the trims you see in our yarns.  Then one woman weighs out all the fiber colors that are needed for 1 particular skein of yarn. That fiber is sent to carding where we have a few ladies who card fiber all day long. I love the look of hand carded fiber! You can jam so many colors in there- something that’s just not possible in machine yarn spinning. Finally the carded fibers are given to the spinner, along with the trims she needs and spinning begins. After spinning the yarns are washed and hung to dry and set the fibers in place. Lastly, the yarns are checked for quality and trims are sewn back onto the yarn if need be. Quite an intense process!

Knit Collage's Gypsy Garden Yarn{Knit Collage’s Gypsy Garden + Kitty Kids Hat : pattern and photo by Knit Collage}

How do you come up with the colors and elements to incorporate into your yarn that make them unique?

That’s a toughy, it’s hard to verbalize! Here’s one example. When I had the idea for our Daisy Chain yarn, I kept seeing these beautiful photos of flower crowns and mandalas on pinterest and in magazines. I loved the idea of stringing these together in a yarn and that’s how the idea was formed. One fun part of my job is that I get to source trims in the trim markets of India, which are insanely amazing! It’s so easy to be inspired there. When it comes time to design the actual colorways, I usually lay out little piles of fiber colors and trims that I think work together. I continually rearrange these until I’m satisfied. Then I start spinning, I usually have to tweak the fiber colors or trims to get the colorway looking just right.  Getting my sample to match what’s made in India is also very difficult and takes many trials!

Have you ever been to our part of the world? If so, what’s your favorite memory of our beloved “Jersey Shore”?

Yes, I have since I’m from Philadelphia! I’ve been to Stone Harbor with friends and had a wonderful time. I think the best memory was eating tons and tons of delicious fudge.

Castaway Yarn by Knit Collage{Knit Collage’s Cast Away Yarn in Wildflower and Pebble}

Thanks, Amy!

Now, back to you. Stop thinking about that fudge and come get yourself some Knit Collage yarn! Or, keep thinking about that fudge and grab me some BEFORE you stop in for yarn. ;) You also might want to take a look here to see what other fun things you can knit with Knit Collage.

 

Home Made is OPEN WEEKENDS : Saturdays 10AM – 5PM + Sundays 11AM – 4PM. And, starting June 29, we’ll be open 6 days for Summer!

 

 


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