We have a tale to tell. Spoiler alert: it involves yarn, and good people, and the tincture of time.
Almost a year ago, Kay and I made our first trip to the National Needlearts Association trade show.
You know, the place where yarn shop owners go to order yarn. San Diego in January. So disorienting to see flowers blooming when it was cold and clammy in Nashville. The whole trip was like that: out of the ordinary, yet thrilling.
We had decided a few weeks earlier that we were going to have a shop on our new MDK site. But we didn’t have much idea how that would work, exactly.
So we set up a bunch of meetings to meet the people who are very good at making yarn, and hoped it would all start to make sense. And the first meeting of all was with Jane Saffir and Ken Scheck, the owners of Jade Sapphire. Jane met us at the entrance to the trade show, an excellent omen.
Jane saffir and Ken Scheck, most definitely not at TNNA
I spent most of that meeting wondering how on earth we would ever figure out how to buy yarn. I remember the dozens of swatches, all the beautiful cashmere knit up in dozens of colors. It was mesmerizing to be face to face with an open horizon of gorgeous yarn. And also intimidating. Jane and Ken could not have been more generous in their advice. They set the tone for our whole trip.
It was obvious that Jade Sapphire would be a yarn we needed to carry.
Another trade show rolled around in June. The new MDK site was halfway designed, and we were still dreaming of cashmere. We told Ken and Jane that we definitely wanted to carry their delicious 4-ply cashmere. This felt like a very big deal, connecting the dots from our first meeting.
We wanted to find a pattern that would make the most of this yarn. You don’t make dishcloths out of cashmere. Even we know this.
At the end of a very busy day, I felt a tap on my shoulder, and I turned to find a very tall Bristol Ivy saying hi. So great! Her Thorn Wrap is one of my favorite projects ever. We had 30 seconds to talk, but I managed to squeeze out “Would you cook up a pattern for us? It would need to be in cashmere.”
Yes, she said. She’d be happy to.
More Time Passed
We landed on two-color brioche as the stitch pattern that would make the most of this beautiful yarn. We needed pairs of colors. So Jane sent her trunkload of cashmere swatches to the Hudson River Valley, to our stalwart Picker of Colors, our Creative Director Melanie Falick.
Melanie picked these five colorways.
Still More Time Passed
We sent yarn off to ace knitter Nell Ziroli to knit the sample, dying of curiosity to see how it would turn out.
She kept saying it was breathtaking. When it arrived, in a package that weighed basically nothing, we got to see for ourselves.
It’s breathtaking. It’s not a rectangle of brioche; the lines shift in a clever way, like the curves of a bird’s feathers. Typical playfulness from Bristol Ivy.
So here we are, almost a year later, at last able to share with you this project that is loaded up with all the joy in the world. We hope you have fun with this project. We’ll be casting on soon.