Drea Renee Knits

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//Yarn Babies// Part 6 - Feel Good Yarn Co. Silver Spun & a Giveaway!!

giveaway, knitting, yarn, yarn babiesAndrea Mowry49 Comments

As some of you know, I taught at the Lantern Moon Retreat a few weeks ago. I met an amazing group of women, and learned so much as a teacher! Two of these women really opened my eyes to something that I think can be easily forgotten - they can't use any animal fibers. They both happen to have really bad animal allergies, and even yarns that should be okay (i.e. Alpaca), cause a reaction. This was such a great reminder on how important it is to remember we are all different, and have different needs! I'll be the first to admit that plant & man-made fibers take a back seat in my stash to wool and other animal fibers. I am so happy that they reminded me how useful, fun, and interesting other yarns can be, and that we all have different preferences for what we put on our needles - whether it be due to allergies, ethics, climate, or what just feels good in our hands!

So it was rather serendipitous that just a week earlier, I got to emailing with Laurie Gonyea, the creator of Silverspun yarn! This yarn is truly unique - American made cotton spun up with pure silver! The silver in the yarn adds some amazing thermal, conductive and therapeutic properties. Much to my surprise, the yarn is incredibly soft and springy. Such a treat to knit with!

~Silver inhibits the growth of bacteria (including those that cause odor), thus SilverSpun is an excellent choice for socks!
~Those who suffer from diabetes, arthritis, or sensitive skin will enjoy the thermal and non-toxic properties of the yarn. The anti-microbial properties of the yarn help to prevent infection.
~ ... because of the thermal properties of the yarn it is warm as wool without the itch. Great for people who have an aversion to animal fibers!
— Feel Good Yarn Company
The conductivity of the silver means you can use them with your touch screen!

The conductivity of the silver means you can use them with your touch screen!

My very good friend, Annie Rowden of by Annie Claire, just happens to be finishing up the sweetest collection of baby knits with Silverspun! This yarn is great for baby knits as the anti-bacterial properties of the yarn inhibits the growth of germs! Keep an eye for the collection mid-April! You can find Annie and her amazing patterns on Ravelry, Instagram and Ello as byAnnieClaire !

I highly recommend listening to Ashley and Laurie chat more in depth about the Feel Good Yarn Co. and Silverspun yarn on the Woolful podcast!  Laurie's story is truly inspiring!

Do you want to try out this amazing yarn for yourself? Leave a comment below telling me about your favorite non-animal fibers and you will be entered for a chance to win a Tumnus Hat kit! The kit will include Silverspun yarn and the Tumnus Hat pattern designed by Courtney Spainhower of Pink Brutus Knits! Don't forget to include your email address in the body of your comment!


Congratulations to the winner of the Ancient Arts giveaway - Mary Jo!! I've emailed you :)

//Yarn Babies// Part 5 - Ancient Arts Yarns & a Giveaway!

giveaway, knitting, yarn, yarn babiesAndrea Mowry90 Comments

One of the best parts about my job is being introduced to new yarns! Being the shawl lover that I am, I especially love a yarn that has been hand dyed with care, and that offers unique colorways to inspire my designs!

Ancient Arts Yarns combines interesting fibers with low impact, environmentally friendly dyes to create some truly unique skeins! I love how they talk about the inspiration for dyeing their yarns:

Here at Ancient Arts we use only the best quality yarns in order to ensure your creative journey is superior. We draw our inspiration for our beautiful colours from three places: nature, art, and stories of everyday life. Our colours begin with primary pigments, and are dyed using an immersion style dye process, which draws on the principles of water colour painting in order to give each colour way luminosity, character, and light, no matter how saturated the hue. Colour is gently applied in layer after layer, building exquisite tones that present a story in each skein of yarn, and allow us to capture the complexity of the world around us.
— Anicent Arts Fibre

You can really see the depth of color they have added to the yarn, and it gets even better as you knit it up! I love this "Where the Coho Go" colorway, that reminds me of Torch Lake, where we have a cabin up north. I plan to use my skein in a summery lace shawl, knit up lake side, while I dip my toes in the cool, spring-fed water. Even better? I get to give a skein to one of you!

Leave a comment below telling me what you would knit up with your own skein of Ancient Arts fingering weight yarn and don't forget to include your email address in the body of the comment! They giveaway will be open until 3/26/2016 at midnight EST!

Head on over to Ancient Arts Fibres to check out their amazing selection of colorways, and interesting fiber blends. I hope to try their Blue Faced Leicester next! And for all of you animal lovers - they even have to yarn collections based on our four legged friends, with a portion of the proceeds going to help stray and abandoned dogs and cats: Meow & Woof! I love supporting companies with a heart!


Congratulations to the winner of the Fringe Supply Co. giveaway - Hannah!! Want to make sure you don't miss any blog posts? Subscribe using the form in the left hand sidebar and they will arrive directly to your inbox!

Two New Hats for Tolt Yarn & Wool // Snoqualmie & Rudbeckia

brioche, knitting, new pattern, tolt yarn and wool, yarnAndrea Mowry2 Comments

In February, I released the Range shawl, which was the first piece of a fun little collection with a focus on texture and yarns with a story, for Tolt Yarn & Wool. I am so excited to kick off March by releasing the second part of the collection, which is two hats knit up with Tolt's very own Snoqualmie Valley Yarn! This yarn is so special - sheered from pasture-raised grass fed sheep using organic practices, it is truly "farm to needle." And so dear to my heart - Tolt generously donates 20% of the profit from this yarn to the Seattle Children's Hospital. As some of you know, we are forever grateful to the Children's Hospital near us that helped save my daughters life, and they can always use whatever support we can give them!

First up is the Snoqualmie Hat! When I started this hat I wanted it to be something that I just couldn’t set down, but that also felt soothing to knit. A pattern you could finish in a weekend, and that looks great in everything from a natural undyed yarn, to more bold colors. This hat is all about the texture. It is addicting to knit as you move from one fun stitch pattern to the next. The different textures play well together to form a flattering slouchy style hat. Fun to knit and easy to wear!

Next up - the Rudbeckia Hat! Two of my favorite details of the Range Shawl were the brioche and tweed sections, that melted from color to color. I had so much fun knitting those - and knew it would be equally as fun (and so satisfying) in a quick hat! The Snoqualmie Valley yarn used for this hat was dyed by the amazingly talented ladies of Local Color Fiber Studio, whom I blogged about a couple weeks ago! The blue was dyed with Red Cabbage and the green with Rudbeckia (which is the hats namesake). I love these colors, and even more so together! By alternating sections of two color brioche and a simple tweed, you get to see the colors play off of each other, as well as adding a texture that "pulls and gives" just enough to add the perfect drape to this slouchy style hat.


You can save 15% on all patterns in the Tolt Yarn & Wool collection until Wednesday, March 2 at midnight EST with the coupon code TOLT!


In super exciting news - I will be teaching these hats at Tolt Yarn & Wool in Carnation, Washington on March 12! If you are in the area and would like to sign up or get more info you can head here. I will also be hanging out at their open stitch night on Thursday, March 10 from 6-8! If you want to stay up to date with more events, keep an eye on my Events page, and don't forget to subscribe to the blog!

Stitches West Recap!

knitting, NaturallyStraightForward, yarnAndrea MowryComment
Ready to go in my Range Shawl, with my trusty helper sharing the load!

Ready to go in my Range Shawl, with my trusty helper sharing the load!

If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably know that I was at Stitches West last weekend with my good friend (and Naturally Straight Forward partner) Annie Rowden! Both of us are work-at-home-mamas, and this was a big trip away from the littles. Ashley was also able to sneak away from her business trip to join us for a couple days! We sacrificed sleep to soak up every spare minute of knitting and girl time, loading up our days with classes, yarn squeezing, knitting and meeting new and old friends!

Veronika from YOTH and Dami from Magpie Fibers! Veronika is wearing the  Marley Shawl  knit up with a combination of their amazing yarns!

Veronika from YOTH and Dami from Magpie Fibers! Veronika is wearing the Marley Shawl knit up with a combination of their amazing yarns!

The YOTH & Magpie Fibers booth made you feel like you left the convention center and walked into a trendy yarn shop, complete with clothes, accessories, YARN, and couches (where I crashed with my knitting for most of the day Sunday - it was glorious!) As you can see from my yarn picks below - I apparently was in a very blue mood.

It was amazing to see the ladies of Spincycle and their yarns in person! Their booth was overflowing with color inspiration! This two-woman company sells yarns made in the USA from "sheep to skein" (which sets my heart a flutter) and offers truly unique products (more on them coming to the blog soon ;) .

Kate and Rachel of Spincycle!

Kate and Rachel of Spincycle!

I was also hugely drawn to yellows this weekend - can you tell I have spring fever? This colorway from  Spincycle  is called Greed - and I love it!

I was also hugely drawn to yellows this weekend - can you tell I have spring fever? This colorway from Spincycle is called Greed - and I love it!

Kristine from  A Verb for Keeping Warm

With our love of naturally dyed yarns, Annie and I were in heaven at the AVFKW booth. Gorgeous isn't a big enough word to describe the amazing collection of yarns. A picture might say it better (because you know I couldn't leave without some of this yarn! Naturally...)

I wish you could reach out and touch them, and turn them over in your hands to see all of the amazing subtleties in the color.

One of my absolute favorite keepsakes from the trip is Sincere Sheep's Sheep Tote! I mean - come on! How cute is this bag? Love it!

One of my absolute favorite keepsakes from the trip is Sincere Sheep's Sheep Tote! I mean - come on! How cute is this bag? Love it!

If you read my previous blog post, you know that we were lucky enough to release two new patterns with Brooke of Sincere Sheep (click here to read all about it!) And I'll say it again - if you haven't had the opportunity to work with Brooke's yarns, you should really head over to her site, because they are amazing! And while you shop you can listen to her awesome Woolful interview. She has a company you want to be supporting!

Inspiration was not in short supply - between stunning yarns, beautiful tools, and motivating classes - I am already busy plotting and scheming for well into next year! Stay tuned for some amazing collaborations, including some Yarn Babies posts with these amazing people.

And Stephen West - because the knitting world just wouldn't be the same without him!

And Stephen West - because the knitting world just wouldn't be the same without him!


Congratulations to Carmen Bockman - the winner of last weeks giveaway! I've emailed you :)

Naturally Straight Forward // Wildberry & Freshwater Shawls

knitting, NaturallyStraightForward, new pattern, yarnAndrea MowryComment

As many of you who follow me on Instagram know, I just spent the weekend at Stitches West with my Naturally Straight Forward knitting bestie - Annie Rowden of By Annie Claire!

Always looking to push our creative boundaries, we really wanted to do something special for Stitches West. So we teamed up with Sincere Sheep to create two new shawl designs- Freshwater (pictured top) and Wildberry (pictured bottom). If you haven’t experienced Brooke’s yarns - they should move to the top of your list!! Amongst my favorites our her Cormo (used in the Freshwater Shawl), Equity (used in the Wildberry Shawl), and Bannock (used in my Chevy Hat.)

Annie and I each started a shawl without telling the other what our plans were. Then about halfway thru we stopped and mailed it to the other person so they could finish it up however they desired! The result was two designs we couldn’t have achieved on our own! It was such a special way to celebrate our partnership and love of naturally dyed yarn and knitting!

We hope you love them as much as we do!

We originally released the patterns at Stitches West, but they are now available both here and here in my pattern shop and also on Ravelry! Both patterns are welcome additions to the ongoing Naturally Straight Forward Knitalong that I host in the DreaReneeKnits Ravelry group!


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//Yarn Babies// Part 4 - Blacker Yarns Tamar & a Giveaway!!

giveaway, knitting, yarn, yarn babiesAndrea Mowry43 Comments

I am so excited about today's yarn chat! Blacker Yarns is getting ready to launch their new yarn line - Tamar Lustre Blend on March 3, and I got an early sneak peek - and a skein to give away! First, let's talk about this stunning new yarn. I'll let Blacker Yarns tell us a bit in their own words...

Tamar is a lustre blend yarn with a fluid sheen, reminiscent of flowing water and the river which gives this blend its name. This luxurious lustre yarn has been worsted spun to enhance the fibre’s inherent drape and shine.

Tamar is made from historic Wensleydale, Teeswater, Cotswold and Black Leicester Longwool, which are amongst the most distinctive British breeds. Tall and elegant with long lustrous ringlets of wavy fleece, their fibre is smooth and sleek with a distinctive silken sheen.

Pure lustre blend yarns may be rather lean and lack ‘give’, so we’ve added 30% Cornish Mule to Tamar, helping the yarn retain that characteristic woolly bounce. Mules are a crossbred sheep and can be found on most British farms. For Tamar, we’ve hand selected only the finest local Cornish lambs’ fleece. The baby-soft Cornish Mule creates a fine cloud of delicate fibre which perfectly complements the long staple of the lustre breeds creating a yarn which is durable, yet velvet soft. Due to the long fibre length this yarn will get softer and softer with every wash.

Using different ratios of Black Leicester Longwool, we’ve hand blended two natural shades and added a modern colour palette with fifteen dyed shades. Tamar is available in both DK and 4-ply.

Despite their glorious fibre Teeswater, Wensleydale, Cotswold and Black Leicester Longwool are all listed as either ‘at risk’ or ‘vulnerable’ by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. These breeds are an important part of our heritage, with Cotswold and Leicester Longwool dating back to the 13th and 17th centuries respectively. The fibre used in Tamar has been bought directly from UK based small producers, who are working to preserve these lustre breeds.
Tamar DK in Valency

Tamar DK in Valency

I couldn't wait to get my samples on my needles and began swatching up some of my favorite stitch patterns! After a bath, my swatches blocked out beautifully. Great drape, perfect amount of shine, and beautiful stitch definition. I am already dreaming up a cardigan with the DK and a shawl with the 4-ply!

Tamar 4-ply in Trevella

Tamar 4-ply in Trevella

This is the yarn that you want people to ask you about, because it so special! I love the care that went into creating Tamar, and how there is such a beautiful story to go with it. Blacker Yarns is invested in keeping their environmental impact low, growing their local economy, and focusing on sheep breeds that may otherwise die out. This is a yarn company I want to support. When wrapping up garments and accessories made from their beautiful yarns, I know I am helping to support abusiness I can believe in, and one that is so very important to our fiber community. Blacker Yarns is a company with a soul - and we need more of those in our world today.

Blacker Yarns believes it is wrong to use oil-based or high energy input fibres when wool and other natural fibres are sustainable high-performance raw materials providing warmth, insulation and comfort. For the sake of the people living on the planet in future, we believe in doing as little damage as possible...
— http://www.blackeryarns.co.uk/about/our-values

For your chance to win this beautiful skein of Tamar DK, just leave me a comment below, joining in on the discussion! I want to hear your thoughts on everything - fiber preferences, how you feel about woolly yarns, companies that care...And don't forget to include your email address in the actual comment so I can contact you if you win!!


Congratulations to Kate - the winner of the Mushy Vest Giveaway!

Range Shawl // Tolt Yarn & Wool // Hinterland

brioche, knitting, new pattern, yarnAndrea Mowry3 Comments
Joyful knitting. When yarn and needle come together in a serendipitous moment, and your hands don’t even need to be told what to do. You just sit back and watch something beautiful spring from your needles, stitch by stitch, seemingly effortlessly.

That is how I feel about the Range shawl.  The yarn is Hinterland Range from Tolt Yarn and Wool. Made from 50% Rambouillet and 50% Alpaca, it is woolen spun, soft and strong and utterly perfect in the four beautiful, undyed natural shades of White, Honey, Maple and Truffle. Together they form the a stunning neutral gradient, that when combined with some clever knit texture, melt sweetly from one hue to the next.

I love when the fiber tells me what it wants to be. Designing this shawl really was pure joy. Everything just worked. As the vision popped into my head, it easily translated to my hands and I was able to savor every stitch. As it poured from myneedles, I dreamt of winter walks in the woods and quiet, fluffy snowflakes falling from the sky. Wrapped up warm, protected from the wet and the cold, with only the crunching of my boots as the soundtrack to my adventure.

I hope you delight in knitting this shawl as much as I have!


To celebrate this collaboration with Tolt Yarn and Wool and joyful knitting, please enjoy 15% off this pattern until tomorrow night (2/3/16 Midnight EST) with the coupon code RANGE !

//Yarn Babies// Part 3 - Local Color Fiber Studio: Interview & Giveaway!!

knitting, yarn babies, yarnAndrea Mowry64 Comments
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I am so excited about to talk to you all about Local Color Fiber Studio! I was recently introduced to them and their amazingly beautiful, naturally dyed yarns. Run by Emily and Tatyana, Local Color Fiber Studio is a real gem in the fiber industry! I have been just blown away by their rich color palette and love how conscious they are in running their company. Much to my delight, I get to share some of their story in their own words:

For anyone not familiar with your company, can you tell us a bit about Local Color Fiber Studio?

"Local Color Fiber Studio is a collaboration between the two of us, Emily and Tatyana. We are equal parts farm and dye studio. On leased acreage on Bainbridge Island, WA, we grow a wide range of dye plants, sheep, and angora rabbits. We focus on dyeing domestically grown wool and small farm yarns and showcasing what colors are possible in our home in the Pacific Northwest."

I would love to come see your farm some day! I love that your dye materials are homegrown, as well as some of the fiber you dye!

Emily, you went from architect to farmer! I think there are quite a few of us who found fiber and craft and it drove us from our original paths, back to one where we use our hands and get back in touch with the land, animals and craft. Can you tell us a bit about your journey?

"I actually rediscovered fiber arts and farming at the same time. I was between jobs in architecture about five years ago and started working at a food bank farm in South Seattle. From there, I found farm apprenticeships and applied for one on Vashon Island, WA. I started taking the ferry back and forth with another woman who happened to be a knitter and have been knitting and farming ever since! I love farm work and living seasonally. Every day is different and there is always something to look forward to, from lambing in the spring, to bringing in hay in the summer, fall's abundant harvests, and winter's rest. Local Color Fiber Studio is the perfect intersection of all of my interests, as we grow as much dye material as possible."

I love the imagery you bring up, connecting with the seasons. Being a Michigan girl, we get all four seasons in full force, and I can't imagine life without them. Each one brings new inspirations and motivations, and have a huge impact on my creativity!

Tatyana, what brought you to fiber and natural dyeing?

"I’ve always loved creating things. I became interested in fiber because of my innate desire to understand how everyday items are made.  I’m a bit more of a goal oriented knitter, though process is important too. When I was a kid, my grandmother would send us a box of slipper socks from Russia each New Year. I recognized the time and care that went into them and wanted to reciprocate. I mostly learned to knit from a book, made her a beret and scarf and have been hooked ever since.  Being a thrifty knitter, I took to frogging thrift store sweaters, which led me to dyeing.

In my other life, I work as a landscape designer. My academic background is in landscape architecture and environmental studies. My job and passion is in park, trail, and street design. Running a fiber dye company has allowed me to use plenty of skills from my landscape architecture background: graphic design, horticultural knowledge, appreciation for craft and detail… And my experience developing and marketing colors has also affected the way I approach planting design, graphics, and other creative work.

 My love of natural dyes, their subtleties and temperamental nature is constantly growing as our operation matures. Working with unrefined dye material can be very frustrating at times- consistency is illusive. But it’s rewarding in other ways: knowing that our process generates very little waste, the majority is readily compostable soggy flowers or leaves. And approaching each dye job with curiosity for what it will bring."

Thank you for sharing the story about your grandmother! I was lucky enough to learn from my grandma, and almost 18 years after she taught me, I was finally able to reciprocate with a sweater I made for her (which she wears whenever I see her in the winter.) I cherish that I am able to continue a craft that my grandma has been doing for decades! 

I also love that you touched on the frustration that natural dyeing can bring, along with its rewards. I am so intrigued by it, and am blown away by the depth of color you and Emily have been able to achieve in your yarns!

I love some of they mystery that comes with natural dyeing, the same plant at different times of year or prepared differently, yielding different results. What do you love most about natural dyeing? Do you have a favorite plant to dye with?

"I love that naturally dyed textiles are alive and responsive: to pH, sunlight, temperature. I like that they transform over time and yet can be renewed if the continuity of ritual re-dips is appealing to you. I like that the technology and techniques that people used thousands of years ago, are still in use today and cannot be replicated, nor replaced by more modern dye techniques. I also love learning about natural dyes in different cultures around the world. 

Growing and processing hundreds of pounds of Japanese indigo has been a challenge, but also my favorite to dye with. Love those blues!"

Can you tell us about the different bases Local Color Fiber Studio has to offer? Do you have a favorite??

"We are selective in what bases we carry. All of our base yarns are breed specific, US grown and milled yarns. Our primary bases are Rambouillet from Mountain Meadow Mill, Columbia from Imperial Stock Ranch, plus a few yarns from local mills in Washington. We also have our own yarn from our flock of Finnsheep that is blended with angora from our rabbits. The Finn yarn is great because it has the perfect amount of fluff, but we love dyeing on the natural grays from Mountain Meadow."

Where can we find your yarn?

"Our website and at a few local yarn stores, Churchmouse Yarn & Tea, Tolt Yarn and Wool, Bazaar Girls. We do a few fiber festivals each spring and fall as well!"

Tell us about your animals!

"We keep a small flock (about 18 ewes and their lambs) of Finnsheep. These sheep are in the same family as Shetland or Icelandic sheep, but have a single coat. My flock is overall exceptionally friendly and often people buy my lambs as fiber pets. They come in a multitude of colors which is why our Whole Flock yarn is a natural tweedy gray. The sheep contribute a lot to the farm; they turn pasture grass and weeds into fiber, meat, and hides, mow steep hillsides, and provide much of the fertility we need for the dye fields.

Our rabbitry is home to our German Angora rabbits. These fluffy bunnies get shorn every three months and can produce up to half their body weight in fiber each year. My original doe and buck are almost house rabbits now and often come in and sit on my lap while I knit after dinner."

I love that your animals seem to have really become a part of your family!

What advice would you give to people out there wanting to follow their creative dreams?

"Prepare to be creatively frugal and really evaluate what your priorities are. We have bootstrapped this whole venture from the beginning and have put in a lot of time even when we both work full time at our "day jobs." Even when the yarn company was pretty small (two rows of dye plants and a swift), we both treated it like a real job."

What is your spirit animal?

"A hummingbird (Tatyana); a miniature donkey (Emily)."

 What is your favorite noise?

"The “thwomp” of cork being pulled out of a jar (Tatyana); When any small engine starts after being in storage (Emily)."


As awareness has been growing around breed specific yarns, sustainable farming & business (dyeing) practices, and purchasing local goods, I know that there are a lot of us out there who really appreciate being able to find yarns that hit on all of these points. Thank you for what you do! And thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedules to let us get a peek inside your lives, business and creative practices!


I am a sucker for sweet little details, and I just adore these beautifully printed tags that share what each skein was dyed with!

I am a sucker for sweet little details, and I just adore these beautifully printed tags that share what each skein was dyed with!

Would you like to get your hands on a beautiful skein of naturally dyed yarn from Local Color Fiber studio?? I am giving away one skein to a lucky winner this week! Just leave a comment below, telling us about what you find important when looking at which yarn to purchase (and don't forget your email address!)

 

//Yarn Babies// Part 2 - A Good Yarn Sarasota

knitting, tools, yarn, yarn babiesAndrea Mowry2 Comments
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Today's Yarn Babies post is going to be a bit different than last weeks. Instead of focusing on a yarn company, I am going to chat about a specific, stunning skein from a yarn shop, A Good Yarn, in Sarasota, FL!

This beauty is called Midnight Pass, and it is an exclusive Madeline Tosh colorway for A Good Yarn. Y'all - the pictures just aren't going to do this yarn justice. It is much more bright aqua then any of my photographs could capture. It is like staring into a deep, blue pool of perfection!

I know most of us will be familiar (aka obsessed) with Madeline Tosh. My favorite Tosh base is definitely Tosh Merino Light (TML) - which happens to be what this little pretty is dyed on. I am a sucker for a single ply, and this one does not disappoint. The uses for this fingering weight yarn are endless - my favorite is definitely a shawl. Which is what I have planned for this lovely skein. It is just itching to be paired up with 2 other skeins and knit into a perfect summer shawl - maybe crescent shaped, with some lace texture??

No joke - I tried so hard to capture the true color of this gem! Every background I could find got a chance...

No joke - I tried so hard to capture the true color of this gem! Every background I could find got a chance...

A Good Yarn Sarasota has a whole line of exclusive colorways (oh to own a yarn shop!) and each one is stunning! I especially love how it really correlates to their local community! You can even see inspiration pictures paired with most of these colorways and how they came up with them - so cool. So if you want to check out a shop with a personality that shines thru their yarn, I highly recommend it!

Are you lucky enough to have visited this shop in person?? If so, I am dying to hear about it, so tell me everything in the comments below!! As always, I love to hear about other yarns you want to see showcased here! The conversation continues next Sunday!

Also, a big congratulations to Brienne, the winner of the Eucalan Giveaway!!!

//Yarn Babies// Part I - Mountain Meadow Wool

knitting, tools, yarn, yarn babiesAndrea Mowry70 Comments

Hey y'all!! I don't know about you - but one of my all time favorite topics is yarn (obvi)! So I thought I would start a new weekly chat, where we can talk about our favorites!! I am going to kick things off this week with Mountain Meadow Wool (and a giveaway!!).

Left: Powder River 75% Mountain Merino, 25% American Alpaca; Right: Powell 4-ply Worsted 85% Mountain Merino, 15% Alpaca in colorway Lupine

Left: Powder River 75% Mountain Merino, 25% American Alpaca; Right: Powell 4-ply Worsted 85% Mountain Merino, 15% Alpaca in colorway Lupine

I was lucky enough to first be introduced to this beautiful American-made yarn by my LYS (Woven Art) owner, Meg. Having just had my eyes opened by my sweet friend Ashley of Woolful, I was on the hunt for more yarns with a story. I love to support yarn producers that are doing everything they can to run a "conscious" company. Producers that are conscious of their product quality, where it is coming from, how it is effecting our environment and communities, and how they treat their employees and fellow business people. Mountain Meadow Wool has a pretty incredible story and strives to hit every single one of these marks:

Our fiber factory begins in Wyoming’s rugged mountain climate.

Because it is so fine, mountain merino yarn is silky soft to the touch, insulates well, and feels delightful next to your skin.

We process the best fiber from the best growers in the West, transforming it into extraordinary wool products: knitting and weaving yarns; handspinner roving; quilt batts; felt and more.

We use only environmentally friendly cleanser, and vegetable based spinning oil.

- In operation since 2007
- Currently processing 15,000 lbs of wool a year with capacity of 80,000 lbs
- Producing 11 types of yarn as well as custom blending and spinning
- 11 Employees, women owned
- 5,000 visitors per year
- Selling in 42 States and 3 countries overseas
- Complete full service mill, including scouring.
- Work with 16 ranching families for environmental agricultural sustainability and economic opportunity
- 100% natural, using bio-degradable soaps and non-petroleum spinning oil
- 100% made in USA
- 100% Hand-dyed using natural techniques
— http://www.mountainmeadowwool.com/
North Country Mitts: Pattern available  HERE

North Country Mitts: Pattern available HERE

I love Laramie, their 2-ply worsted weight, which I used for my North Country Mitts this past autumn. Cushy, with a woolen spun, I am hoping to knit up a sweater next fall, possibly in the same colorway you see above - Prairie! The subtle changes in dye makes the yarn a real treat to knit up, and I love the balance of the rustic woolly appearance with the next-to-skin softness!

Powell 4-ply worsted in Lupine Colorway

Powell 4-ply worsted in Lupine Colorway

I am delighted to giveaway a skein of their 4-ply worsted weight yarn, Powell, and my North Country Mitts pattern to one lucky winner! All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment below with your email address and your favorite yarn that you would like to see me chat about here! The giveaway is open until midnight EST on Wednesday 1/20/16!

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about these amazing women and their company, I highly recommend giving the Woolful Podcast a listen!

If you need me, I will be drooling over this Powder River -a unique blend of 63% mountain merino™, 25% alpaca and 12% black rambouillet - that I've got on my needles :)

Do you have a yarn brand you love? Let me know! Leave a comment below and tell me why you love them! Are you a yarn company that would like to see your yarn here? Email me at dreareneeknits@gmail.com !