Friday, 13 November 2015

Feature Friday - Renaissance Yarns

I've been knitting and crocheting since I was 8 years old, and for many years, had only ever purchased synthetic yarns at discount department stores. In 2001, while my family was living in New England, we visited some of the county fairs and I was enchanted to find the source of natural fibers - I was "hooked"! I was determined to work with these beautiful yarns, but quickly realized I couldn't afford to purchase most of them.

Several years ago, while stopping at a yard sale, I saw a couple of J. Jill 100% silk sweaters. I almost passed them by, but then had a light-bulb moment. Why couldn't I take these beauties home and unravel them? I did just that. They yielded more than 1,000 yards each, which I used for several different projects. An idea was born, and a new practice began of searching out discarded garments made with luxurious fibers and making them my own.

I was so excited to finally begin using beautiful, natural yarns for my own knit work. Then it occurred to me that there would be other knitters, crocheters, weavers, felters, and various other crafters who, for financial, ethical, or practical reasons might appreciate reclaimed yarn, and I could provide it. And so Renaissance Yarns was born.

My process: I visit clothing exchanges, thrift stores, and consignment shops, looking for knit sweaters and other garments. I choose only those with all or mostly natural fibers, and only those in good condition (although tears or stains don't dissuade me because they can be worked around). I disassemble them, keeping the designer labels and fiber content/care tags, unravel each piece carefully, and wind the resulting balls of yarn into 2-yard hanks on a swift my husband made for me. I then carefully hand wash the hanks in a gentle organic detergent and hang them to dry without weights to avoid breaking and stretching the fibers. Afterward, I measure the hanks, tag them with fiber, yardage, weight, and care information, photograph them, and create a new listing in my Etsy shop. Voila!

This story began with a love of knitting and crocheting and grew into an appreciation for luxurious yarns. Now, Renaissance Yarns can put those beautiful fibers into your hands at an affordable price, while giving new life and purpose to these valuable yarns. And that is my mission.

Lisa has three hanks of 100% Merino Wool, 2-ply laceweight yarn in three different "harvest" colors: Avocado, Gold, and Maroon that she is giving away.  None of these yarns are superwash wool. They're wonderfully soft and lofty, but are not machine washable.

They will be divided up into three prizes.

Giveaway will run for two weeks.  Winner will be announced on the blog after November 27, 2015 and contacted as well.

To enter, please use the rafflecopter widget below.


Jody Mason said...

Hey! That's my cousin Lisa! Very nice story.

Crystal Zacharias said...

Thank you Jody!