#tbt Blog Edition

Back in the spring of 2010 we were getting ready to announce an exciting development:  Our first yarn made entirely in the US, Savannah. Perhaps it's the knit-a-long we're in the midst of, but I've been thinking back to this exciting time in our Kelbourne history. I thought many of you might not have been around for that exciting day, and so I'll bring you a little Throwback Thursday, blog edition. We hope you enjoy this little trip down memory lane!

Savannah is one of our favorite yarns, and it's also the most labor-intensive and stress-inducing yarn we produce, especially in light of the dwindling manufacturing resources available in the US. We're always scrambling to source the raw materials, have the labels reprinted (in PA at Seeds Green Printing), and find a friend to help with the skeining and tagging. We use a mill in PA, about a hour from our warehouse in Conshohocken, and a dye house in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia. We love having these resources so close to home, and we are proud to be a part--albeit a very small part--of the rich textile tradition of Philadelphia and the surrounding area. 

Without further ado, here's the repost of our announcement, back in June of 2010. Enjoy! --CAK

Hello, Old Friend!

June 13th, 2010

We are very happy to announce the reintroduction of a beloved Fibre Company favorite, Savannah DK.  Originally introduced in January of 2007, Savannah went on a hiatus when we took over the distribution of The Fibre Company yarns. Although available for such a short time, Savannah quickly became one of The Fibre Company's most beloved yarns.  We were anxious to be able to bring it back.

We can’t believe our luck in being able to work with such great old and historic mills in the Philadelphia area.  Philadelphia, and the surrounding region, was once a thriving textile manufacturing center, with over 1000 textile and woolens manufacturers at the turn of the 20th century.  In the early 1900s the landscape of manufacturing slowly began to shift, and by the turn of the 21st century the Philadelphia landscape had dramatically changed.

© Carmen A. Weber, Irving Kosmin, and Muriel Kirkpatrick, Workshop of the World (Oliver Evans Press, 1990).

© Carmen A. Weber, Irving Kosmin, and Muriel Kirkpatrick, Workshop of the World (Oliver Evans Press, 1990).

Many of the former textile mills have been left to fall into urban decay, creating a bleak landscape and turning once flourishing neighborhoods full of working families into lonely and underserved areas known for crime and unemployment.  Above is the former Aramingo Mills, which is in the same neighborhood as our - amazingly still in operation! - dye house for the newly introduced Savannah.  Many yarn companies, now defunct, began in Philadelphia.  Most famously was Germantown, the makers of Germantown Worsted.  Columbia and Fleisher yarns were also Philadelphia based yarn companies, putting out not only great yarns, but also knitting patterns, which some of you may still have in the back of the knitting closet.

When we knew we were going to work on reintroducing Savannah, we knew right away we were also were committed to making Savannah completely spun and dyed in the US, but we went one better.  Savannah is now manufactured from start to finish within 100 miles of our warehouse in Philadelphia, PA.  There is something truly amazing about having someone call to tell you that your yarn sample is ready and being able to get in the car and be there, talking face to face on the manufacturing floor with the spinner, dyer or winder about the product.  It's really rewarding, and so fascinating to be a part of this industry.  And, added bonus, we have discovered some great places to get pierogis!

At 160 yards per 50 gram skeins this 50% wool, 20% cotton, 15% linen + 15% soya blend is unique in look and feel. We choose 11 colors from the original palette, designed by Daphne,and the 12th, Sycamore, actually stemming from a dye sample gone awry!  It's a beautiful warm pale grey, with a hint of a brownish-plum overcast.  A great addition to an already stellar line-up!

From the top, left to right we have: Row 1:  Persimmon, Pink Grapefruit, Marigold Row 2:  Moss, Hickory, Seafoam Row 3:  Chambray, Bluegrass, Rum Raisin Row 4:  Natural, Sycamore, Slate

From the top, left to right we have: Row 1:  Persimmon, Pink Grapefruit, Marigold Row 2:  Moss, Hickory, Seafoam Row 3:  Chambray, Bluegrass, Rum Raisin Row 4:  Natural, Sycamore, Slate

Daphne says, "The inspiration for Savannah happened while I was doing a color study on several different fibers.  I was intrigued with the way different fibers reacted to the same dye formulas.  Terra was actually the first yarn that came out of this color study.  But I liked the way linen and cotton would be stained by certain dyes and yet the same dyes would attach to protein fibers giving a saturated color.  So the chemistry was intriguing but the color results were even more so.  I had to combine the fiber and see how they looked together.  Savannah was born!"

We will be taking Savannah with us to TNNA, The National Needle Arts convention, in Columbus this weekend.  If you are in attendance please stop by our booth (952, 954, 956) to see all the colors, and knit a little bit!  All of you not in attendance, all the colors of Savannah will be ready to ship to your local yarn shop by the end of the month.

And, of course, new free patterns using Savannah will be available this fall.  Stay tuned...

Independent Designer Feature: Eastside by Ann Weaver

With temperatures on the rise and days composed of outdoor activities, simple projects that are easily transportable are crucial to our summer WIPs. We find that we love knitting accessories during the summer months for both travel ease and comfort. Enter Ann Weaver's Eastside cowl, our new summer project obsession. 

Featuring Terra in black locust bark, butternut, belladonna and coal wood, Eastside combines a loosely knit twisted stitch pattern with the slubby nature of Terra for an amazing finished product. 

As a bonus, Fibre Space is hosting a KAL for the cowl with tips on choosing colors and working each section and it's not too late to join in on the fun!

Beautiful work, Ann! 

Knitter Projects: Linden Shawl

The Linden Shawl was first published in 2011, and was re-published last year as part of Kelbourne Woolens Volume 1. For Courtney, the shawl is her favorite shape: a curved reflex angle (greater than 180°, but less than 360°) that stays put on the shoulders better than a traditional triangular shawl. 

All images ©jordynelizabeth used with permission. 

We love this version knit by Jordyn using Savannah in Cabernet. A lightweight blend of Cotton, Linen, Soy, and Wool, Savannah is a great summer yarn. Jordyn has paired her Linden with a cute summer dress in a coordinating color. It's definitely a stylish way to keep the chill off your shoulders!  

All images ©jordynelizabeth used with permission. 

Linden features a simple eyelet pattern createing a curved line for the body, and a knit-on edging completes the look. This pattern is easy to memorize and quick to knit. Jordyn knit hers in just 4 days! Great job, Jordyn!

See more Knitter Projects on our Pinterest board here

{all images ©Jordyn Elizabeth and used with permission}

Independent Designer Feature: Haven River by Laura Nelkin

As I'm sitting here typing this blog post my recently completed Meadowsweet Shawl (featuring Meadow in Bergamot) is drying and I can't stop thinking of other shawls featuring Meadow. The combination of merino wool, baby llama, silk + linen was perfect to work with especially with the weather taking a turn for a humid. Luckily for me, one of our good friends Laura Nelkin just released Haven River - a geometrical masterpiece comprised of trapezoids and triangles that will have any knitter intrigued to its construction.  

Featuring Meadow in Cornflower, Haven River is constructed in three trapezoidal pieces and are attached together using triangles Nelkin calls, "connectors". Top it all off with a beaded lace border and you have a lovely summertime accessory, perfect for a fancy dinner by the beach or a night out on the town! 

I'm in awe over the thoughtful construction that went into designing this shawl - talk about an amazing puzzle. 

Haven Road is the third pattern release from Nelkin's e-book, Just One More, featuring six shawl designs that will be released the first week of every month until October 2014. 

For more information about Haven Road or other Laura Nelkin designs, head on over to her website here. For more information about The Fibre Company Meadow, head on over to the yarn page, here.

Knitter Projects: Frick Frick Beret

You can never have enough hand knit accessories, and this definitely applies to hats! We love Pamela Wynne's Frick Frick Beret. You've probably seen her popular February Lady Sweater and this little beret is another clean design with a touch of lace to spice it up. 

All images ©-tangledYARNS- used with permission.

This version, knit by Kelly, uses Road to China Light in Riverstone. The pale color shows off the stitch pattern nicely and we also love the way Kelly blocked the hat to give it the perfect shape and slouch by using a blown up balloon. 

All images ©-tangledYARNS- used with permission.

Great job Kelly!

See more Knitter Projects on our Pinterest board here

{all images © Tangled Yarns and used with permission}