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.


  1. I had a great time making this yarn with Jill, lots of laughs and giant donuts! This yarn is amazing! Can't wait to see what's in that last photo!

  2. It's beautiful, and such a great idea! :)

  3. you have broken new ground with this one! it is just gorgeous and it's so cool that you made it happen.

  4. I bought some Rifton at your booth at VKL in NYC. Love the yarn, and it is great to read your story., I knit up a Seaside Fling shawl with it. It is a fabulous match!