Friday, April 10

Save Our Stags

Early Spring can be such a stark time of year, it's tax season, here in the Northeast Winter still grips us with icy fingers, snow is dirty grey icebergs instead of fresh fluffy piles, we've eaten our share of stews so we dream of fresh corn & tomatoes.

I hear from the farmers I work with about daily lamb births and some of the sheep have already been freed of their year's growth in service of next year's yarn, so I know Spring is here whether she shows her face or not. Here at JDMS Spring means ordering yarn for next Fall & Winter, working on new kits & experimenting in my studio.
I've spent lots of time thinking about this business & how happy I am that other people seem almost as excited about the yarn as I do. Part of what I love so much about what I do is being able to make something that isn't finished until YOU add your creativity to it.  I can't tell you how special it is to see the things you make with the yarn. I am so grateful for your support that I'd like to offer you a token of my appreciation.  

Save Our Stags 
As you work up your skeins of JDMS yarn, cut the stag off the left hand side of the label & affix it to the sheet available for download here. Once you have collected 20 stags mail both pages (stags affixed to their page please) to us
 and we'll send you a digital gift certificate for $25 to use on

 The labels can be from any JDMS yarn and may have been purchased anywhere.  For obvious reasons all 20 stags need to be the actual piece of the label, not a copy and must be attached to the page provided. Within 30 days of receiving your completed pages you'll receive a digital gift certificate to use on

It's your yarn and you can do whatever you want with it but I hope this is an incentive to use the yarn you have in your stash.  I plan on running this program for a while so please don't feel like you need to rush to your craft room & cut the labels off yarn you aren't using yet. I like to think JDMS yarn is pretty great in the skein but it really doesn't reach its full potential until it's been made into fabric.

I have a Ravelry group and I'd love to see what your making with the yarn or answer any questions you may have about this new program.

I hope Spring is just dreary enough to help you stay inside to finish any WIPs, for me that means adding pockets to this languishing Rockwell sweater. Pocket linings are the only thing missing, and if you went to Stitches West, yes, I wore this with pocket 'holes' and all.

Friday, January 23

New Year, New Yarn

One of the best things about this job is the ability to make my own yarny daydreams come true.  This doesn't come without a ton of work, sometimes a little heartbreak and the help of some amazing collaborators. I'm so happy to share the story of one of my fibery dreams come true.

The first new Jill Draper Makes Stuff yarn of 2015, is Rifton and it has been a long time in the making.

Rifton started out like most of my yarns, with me dreaming of an imaginary yarn that would be perfect for an also at the moment imaginary project.  I love the self-striping & ombré yarns but felt there was something that I could do differently.  I love naturally colored wool, the number of shades it comes in will never ever cease to awe me! I wondered how it would look if a dyer (that's me) and the sheep truly collaborated on a yarn.  To that end I decided to make a spun to stripe yarn that used dyed in the wool by me brights & blended those with natural undyed sheep shades.

I'm lucky enough to have found great collaborators in Green Mountain Spinnery.  Besides having a business model I love, they are a worker owned co-op, they are easy to work with and willing to try almost any crazy idea I can cook up.  I spent a day there, working & laughing alternatively.  Maureen & I dumped wool into the carder under the watchful eye of Laurie, who was in charge of running the machine, reminding me to watch my fingers and providing levity at every opportunity.  

One thing you will notice when you visit Green Mountain, or if you ever get the chance to work with them is how into making yarn everyone is. Everyone there cares about what they are producing, the farms raising the animals, the knitters and crocheters who will use the final product and I think it is obvious in the yarn the produce.

We only made two colorways of Rifton for this small experimental run.  I called them Winter & Autumn, for reasons I don't think I need to explain.  Because of the experimental nature of this run, there are skeins of many different lengths.  Each skein is labeled with its yardage & priced accordingly. 

The final shop update of this run of Rifton will be this weekend.  I could not be more pleased about the reception it has received.  It is something I have had in my head for a while and hoped other people would be as excited for this as I am.  

Though we have almost reached the end of this first batch of Rifton I think I can close with a sort of clichéd year book quote and let you know not to worry, this is only the end of the beginning.