Tuesday, July 30

Change is good!

I am terrible at blogging. Well, maybe not the actual act of blogging (I'll leave that for you to decide) but the keeping up with it part. I run a business, mainly alone, and spend many hours of many days just doing the stuff that NEEDS to get done.

Don't get me wrong. My job is the best. I love it, a lot. Most days. It is incredibly hard, terrifyingly uncertain, amazingly satisfying, and on the good days really, really, really fun.

Being the owner of a small business means making the hard decisions all on my own and writing all the checks out of my own bank account.  I worry. Will they (you) like it as much as I like it? Will someone wash a yarn in dog shampoo and then post an unkind comment on Ravelry? Will the mill deliver the yarn we've agreed on, in the time frame that has been decided? In truth, the answer to all of these questions is: perhaps, and I really have no control over any of it.

Running a hand dyed yarn line is worth the struggle when someone walks up to me at a fiber fest holding some precious item they've created and tells me it's their favorite shawl/sweater/pair of socks/Cthulhu, or when I get photos in my inbox of some adorable smiling baby snuggled in handknitted love.

Why am I telling you all of this? I am because it is important to me that you know. I've made some decisions about where Jill Draper Makes Stuff is headed and as proud and excited as I am, I am also scared.

Starting this Fall/Winter, all Jill Draper Makes Stuff yarn will be US sourced & spun. 

The picture above is Tom, the farmer who raises some of Rambouillet that goes into Empire, me & his ram, Big Mike. I hope you can tell who is who.

I love working with the farmers I buy wool from, the people who make the mills run and knowing that my business plays a small part in helping those businesses succeed. One of the things I never expected to feel is the pride in watching my income help not only my business but other small businesses to grow.  I get so much fulfillment out of working with mills to develop yarns I feel serve the fiber best and will wear well for years to come.  I'm not going to lie, I cried when I read Clara Parkes' review of Empire last year.  It's as if she saw everything I was trying to do with it, appreciated all the things I spent time on and probably drove the kind people at the mill mad about tweaking until it was perfect.

What this change means for the current line is that this is the last year that a few of the current JDMS yarn options will be available.  Splendor, Aurora & Nimbus have varying stock amounts left, I expect them to last through Fall but when they are gone, that will be the end of them. There is more of all of these bases waiting for color, besides what is in the shop now and as I type shipments are heading to & scheduled for some amazing LYSs.  So pretty, pretty please for my sanity and yours make sure to buy sufficient amounts to finish your projects. Emails that end in sad face emoticons make me have a sad face, especially when there isn't anything I can do to help.

I'm still proud of these yarns, think they are as lovely as ever and hope you'll help me give them a great send off.  I know some of you will be disappointed to see these yarns go. 

Please know, these yarns are leaving to make room for some new and truly, in this yarn lover's humble opinion, beautiful new yarn I'll be releasing one style at a time over the next few months.  Yarn that is made here in the US from sheep (or goat!) to skein. Yarn that not only will help my business flourish, but will do their tiny part to keep mills here in the US running, truckers driving wool across the country and sustain the farmers that raise healthy, well cared for animals by doing the (almost literal) yeoman's work required.

Thank you all for all your support over the last five years and for taking this journey with me.  I could not do what I'm doing without you. I hope you love the new yarns even half as much as I do.


  1. Jill!!!!
    How exciting for you. I just RAN to the etsy shop to help you clear some Nimbus inventory. I'm so excited to see what you come up with next!

  2. So proud of you for doing what you believe in! Can't wait to see what happens!!

  3. Hi Jill,

    First of all, yay you for your amazing yarn and customer service. I had the pleasure of meeting you at Vogue Knitting Live in NYC this year. It was evident how proud you were of your yarn the work that it took get you where you are today. If I could have purchased every skein of yarn you had for no other reason that to bring it home and rool around in it, I would have.

    Second, thank you for making a choice to support American Wool, Farmers, Truckers, etc. The United States was built on small business, and I am convinced that small business is the backbone that keeps it strong.

    Lastly, although we'll be sad to see some of your yarn bases go, I am confident that you have amazing things in store for us (no pressure. really.) I very much look forward to seeing what happens next.

  4. Thanks so much for the kind words of support! Hitting publish made me really nervous even though I feel really strongly about this decision. Twistedandpurlednyc, there is a lot of Nimbus, but thanks for doing your part ;)

  5. Jill,

    This is wonderful news. Congratulations. I love your yarns and everything you are doing. Such and inspirations.
    Best wishes with everything and I can't wait to get my hands on some new JDMS yarns.

  6. Congratulations! This is so exciting.