With a name like “The Wool Peddler“, you’d think that Stephanie Shiman’s Vermont-based web store would be full of sheep fibers – au contraire! Though she does offer yarns made from wool, mohair and alpaca, the bulk of her available yarns are made from recycled silk, hemp, nettle and banana silk.
Imported directly from Nepal, the recycled silk yarns are made from recycled saris. “Silk thrums from India’s weaving mills are hand-spun by women’s cooperatives and cottage industries into gleaming silk skeins. Using their traditional skills they are able to create vibrant, textured yarn in an endless array of colorways. Each Recycled Silk skein is hand-spun, creating natural inconsistencies and a rather scrappy nature; to make any project, no matter how simple in design, instantly charming and unique,” according to Stephanie.
Hemp and nettle yarn isn’t the kind of fiber you would want to make a sweater with, but it is great for accessories or clothing accents. Completely natural (made without chemicals or machines), these fibers have a texture similar to linen and soften with every wash.
Banana silk is just what you think it is – a rayon-like fiber woven from banana stalks and leaves. Also bought directly from Nepal (and India), the banana silk yarn is made from clothing industry remnants. According to Stephanie, it knits up like any traditional bulky yarn, “has a slightly fuzzy texture and a shine like lip gloss.”
After a very positive response, The Wool Peddler has kept a special deal available on a regular basis to all its customers. “Add any six skeins of Recycled Silk or Banana Silk to your cart and we’ll take the cost of the lesser value skein off your total before charging your credit card. Buy a kit? We’ll include an extra skein.”
In addition to the vibrant collection of yarn, The Wool Peddler also has a noteworthy collection of other goods for sale: spinning equipment, spinning fibers, rosewood needles, handmade needle cases, handmade stained glass and a small selection of free patterns.
[Image courtesy of The Wool Peddler; Recycled Silk Yarn in Hand Picked Hues]
Who makes your favorite sustainable yarns?
Which natural fiber is your favorite to work with? (i.e. cotton, wool, bamboo, hemp … etc.)
Let us know what you love to create with and we might feature them in the next installment of Yearn-Worthy Yarns!
18 CommentsLeave a Reply
Excellent! I’m not a knitter myself, but my mother-in-law is, and I’m always looking for fibers that are sustainable and vegan-friendly. I will definitely be passing this along.
Make sure to tell you mother-in-law about our blog too; we’d love to have her visit 🙂
I’ve knit with recycled-silk yarn, and it’s lovely stuff. It’s heavy, though, and doesn’t drape well. So it’s best suited for scarves or shawls and the like–probably not so good for sweaters.
For ecologically–and socially–responsible yarn, I’m a big fan of Green Mountain Spinnery (http://www.spinnery.com/), which is also in Vermont.
I made a scarf out of recycled silk yarn a month or so ago and it was fun to work with, though it was tough at times since it doesn’t really “give” at all.
Thanks for the yarn suggestion – I’ll make sure to look into them for a future Yearn-Worthy Yarns 🙂
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