Creating and working with yarn is such a labor of love for all of us in the fiber community.
That’s why we believe that it’s so incredibly important to employ the most environmentally-friendly practices throughout the production process, every step of the way. To us, honoring the planet that nurtures the gorgeous animals we get our fiber from, conserving the water we use to dye with, and using as little energy as possible is one of our top priorities.
What does it really mean, though, to say that we try hard to make our yarn “green?”
It starts with intent. We dye with the goal of clear water in mind, which starts by ensuring the absorption of all dye molecules, not only for wash-fastness, but so we can reuse water! In order to be able to successfully reuse dye water, we specifically designed pots for dark colours and light colours, so there is no contamination of colour from one set to the next. Finding a way to reuse clean water serves so many purposes for our planet, not to mention that it takes a load off when it comes to having to literally carry buckets back and forth!
When we do rinse our yarns in a washing machine, we don’t add water to the rinse. Instead, we spray water onto the yarns, and remove the excess without a full tub of water. By not filling a tub several times a day with water that is not needed, we’re saving it!
We also have “clean-up” skeins which we use to completely clear the water if needed, especially prior to dyeing a light colour. In fact, one day, we decided to try selling these skeins as OOAKs (one of a kinds), and were inspired to keep them coming when a customer who literally bought our entire first batch suggested we replicate the technique to create more. Lady, you don’t have to tell us twice! We found ourselves a super special one-of-a-kind dye technique that, to this day, is the secret behind some of our bestsellers.
As for our studio—the pots we use to dye water with, along with the other equipment we use, are all set to shut off on a timer each night to ensure conservation.
Plus, our studio temperature is regulated so that we don’t use energy to heat or cool the air when no staff is in the studio.
We also add some of the more typical—but not by any means less important—practices to the mix by recycling all of our boxes, paper, and plastics, and using LED lighting—fortunately, our local government has a program that allows businesses to change to LED lighting at a subsidized rate to ensure we are conserving electricity.
Maybe it’s the water sign in me (Hi, fellow Aquarians!) that feels such a strong pull to protect the planet. Or, maybe it’s my memories of being a little girl who grew up on Vancouver Island by an ocean that brought feelings of calm and serenity. Even now, I live near a lake, and I can’t help but feel extremely connected to the planet and its amazing beauty, which is why, as a business, we feel it’s important to not put a strain on the quality resources we use to produce quality skeins.
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We knit and crochet at birthday parties, the beach, during lectures and in waiting rooms. But how do other people feel about that?
One thing is certain when it comes to the art of hand dyeing - nothing is certain.
No matter how much you try to control each and every part of the process with precise measuring and technique, the unexpected and the natural and random laws of physics will always find a way to factor in.