Tools + Supplies

Published on June 5th, 2008 | by Kelly Rand

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Yearn Worthy Yarn: Be Sweet

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Knobby Yarn It warms my heart when I come across a company that touches all aspects of the triple bottom linefinancial, social and environmental. It really gets my blood pumping when that company produces yummy yarns.

Created by Nadine Storyk Curtis, Be Sweet is one such company that has all those lines covered. While living in South Africa, Curtis became enamored with the local craftspeople and wanted to share in their creativity and resourcefulness.

Working with a rural South African community, Be Sweet offers over 15 different yarns that are hand spun and dyed by women who work within a job creation program. All of Be Sweet’s yarns are made from natural fibers and most are created from using leftover yarn tid-bits and environmentally friendly fibers like bamboo.

But these are not your ordinary run of the mill natural fiber, recycled skeins that make up the environmental line; Be Sweet’s yarns are fun and inviting. Mystery Ball is made from recycled mohair fluff and is spun with small curls in the yarn. Knobby Ball is also spun with recycled mohair fluff and is characterized by its fobs. They also do lovely thin baby mohair skeins as well as a thick merino. The yarn is all hand dyed and their names range from Bollywood, Strawberry Shortcake to Sunshine. Magic Ball sounds the most fun, as it is made from bits and pieces of all of their yarns combined.

To get at the social line, Be Sweet employees women from South Africa to spin, dye and knit their yarns. The women involved with the employment program are able to help support their families and invest in their future. Be Sweet’s involvement in the knitting project has increased the number of trained and employed women and funded improvements to the working environment. Be Sweet also gives back to the community by donating a portion of their profits to South African schools.

To help them with that pesky financial line, you can find their yarn retailers here.

Image credit: Be Sweet

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About the Author

Kelly covers visual arts in and around Washington, DC for DCist and is editor of Crafting a Green World. Kelly has also been published by Bust Magazine and you can find her byline at Indie Fixx and Etsy’s Storque and has taught in Etsy’s virtual lab on the topic of green crafting. Kelly helps organize Crafty Bastards: Arts and Crafts Fair, one of the largest indie craft fairs on the east coast and has served on the Craft Bastard’s jury since 2007. Kelly is also co-founder of Hello Craft a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the advancement of independent crafters and the handmade movement. Kelly resides in Washington, D.C. and believes that handmade will save the world.



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