Several weeks ago, we received some new-to-Stash yarn and patterns from Swans Island! Having lived in Maine for a few years, this was something I’ve been excitedly anticipating since I heard it was on the way. Besides having gorgeous yarns and wonderful patterns, Swans Island has a lovely story. It’s owners, John and Carolyn Grace began Swans Island Blankets (on Swans Island off the coast of Maine) in the early ’90s as a small weaving business using wool from local sheep. Since then, they have grown into a much larger operation and have expanded to selling yarn and patterns in addition to woven blankets, scarves, and throws. Swans Island is one of the few companies that can boast that they not only have organic wool, but that their yarns are naturally dyed as well.
From their website:
Our organic fiber is spun in a certified organic mill. Our mill is one of only 4 in the United States that has a Global Organic Textile Standards certification. That means that the mill must be inspected and must conform to certain criteria to be considered organic. What this means in layman’s terms is that less harsh chemicals are used in processing, thus helping our yarn retain more natural lanolin than many other commercially produced yarns. Our extra fine merino is soft enough to wear next to your skin. After knitting and blocking, your finished projects will bloom to have a beautiful soft luster and a wonderful feel.
Our colors are the colors of the natural world, made only with insects, minerals, and plants. The results of these efforts are heirloom-quality pieces–each one unique, timeless, and beautiful. All of our yarn colors are found in nature and work beautifully together. When asked “How do you choose your colors?” we like to answer “We don’t; our colors choose us!” In our color development process we don’t try to match to current “fashion trends”. Rather, we test out various formulas, with a certain range or target color in mind. Often, many of the colors that we discover along the way we find to be as lovely or more so, than the original shade we set out to create.
Swans Island Worsted
The true test, of course, is how the yarn feels. Swans Island Organic Merino, doesn’t disappoint! In fact, I think it might just be the softest merino yarn I’ve ever worked with. Here at Stash we have the Natural Colors Collection in both fingering weight and worsted weight. We have 3 of the natural undyed colors in the fingering weight and a nice selection of naturally dyed colors in the worsted weight. The fingering weight has a generous 525 yards per 100g skein and the worsted weight has equally impressive yardage at 250 yards per 100g skein! I just used the fingering weight as an accent color for the Dancette Shawl for the current Stash Knitalong, and I’m already plotting ways to use up the rest of my skein. The yarn is incredibly soft (I know, I know…I already told you that, but once you feel it you’ll understand!) and it bloomed up nicely when I blocked it.
Swans Island Fingering-weight with the Anna Cowl and Shot of Spring Patterns
There are some beautiful Swans Island patterns here at the shop! We have the Katherine Pullover (a basic pullover with just a touch of lace), Anna Cowl, Shot of Spring Scarf, Cousins Hats, and the adorable Chatham Boatneck.
Adorable Chatham Boatneck sweater pattern with Swans Island Worsted
Stop on in and give the Swans Island yarn a little squeeze and you’ll see why we’re currently obsessed!
Stash Enhancer Liz