Saturday, February 22, 2014

Imperial Yarn, The Olympic Sweater, and Tolt Yarn and Wool


I had such a great day today.  I picked up Skeinherder at about 9:30 this morning, there was just a bit of snow falling mixed with the drizzling rain on the Plateau, and we headed east to Tolt Yarn and Wool in Carnation, WA.  Skeinherder is about half way there for me, so it was a quick drive up the hill and through the woods  and across a river (ha ha ha first, I had to drive around a lake to get to Skeinherder's house).

When we arrived at the yarn shop, it was not crowded, probably because it was about 10 am.  We were able to find street parking right across from the shop.

We wanted to get there early to shop while things were quiet.  We had plans to meet up with BlueBerryMary, Puzan, and JitteryKnitter for lunch at the mexican restaurant nearby, and then listen to the Imperial Yarn presentation at 2 pm. 

There was a "yarn tasting" table set up with the different weights of Imperial Yarn.
They have a lovely light sport weight that tempted me, but I ended up buying 2 skeins of their worsted weight.  They also have great pattern support.  I don't have photos of the patterns, but there was a sweater everyone was gaga over, and another poncho that was gorgeous. 

Tolt has a nice amount of Imperial Yarn regularly in their store in quite a few colors,
They had extra for the event, and were offering 10% off.
They had 3 drawings for yarn and a pattern, and then a Big Drawing at the end for a sweater's worth of yarn. 

We left before the last drawing, so I am keeping my fingers crossed!! 

We had a nice lunch and came back to find the store quite a bit more crowded.
We snagged chairs near the screen, and began to knit while we waited for the talk to begin.  I brought the Eastside Hat that I am test knitting for VanesaPolo.  And, just in time! people gathered in the back of this lovely store to hear Jeanne Carver tell us about the ranch, the wool, the yarn, and the Olympic Sweater.  It was a full crowd.
The slide show was stunning.  Jeanne speaks eloquently about their commitment to the land, the animals and sustainability.  She talked about salmon streams, and no-tilt farming, and what has happened to wool production in the United States.  I can not tell you how inspiring this was.  She played the video the Ralph Lauren company produced about the making of the Sweater. 

Then she brought out the sweater knit with yarn made from wool from her ranch in Oregon, spun at Kraemer Yarns in Pennsylvania, dyed at Longview Yarns in North Carolina, and sewn at Ball of Cotton in California.

Whatever you might think about the sweater's design, it has helped to shine a light on the fact that there IS a yarn industry in the United States.  The yarn is wonderful.  And we should do what we can to support and encourage more yarn production right here at home.

shaping the planet with Imperial Yarn.

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