Yearn-Worthy Yarns: The Wool Peddler

The Wool PeddlerWith 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!

Written by Victoria Everman

I think of myself as a creatively versatile eco-powerhouse. Freelance writer, life-long model, on-camera personality, public speaker, official U.S. spokesperson for Twice Shy Clothing - I'm a classic Renaissance woman and mistress-of-all-trades.

Though my days of growing up in the corn fields of central Indiana are behind me, forgetting where I came from is not an option. I lost my father unexpectedly in March of 2006, months before moving from NYC to San Francisco, which helped to amplify my zest for life and thirst to help change the world.

Perpetually looking for fresh ways to share my unquenchable green knowledge, I blog about everything eco on my own website, as well as for All Green Magazine and select others. Additionally, I am the editor/head writer of Crafting a Green World (part of the Green Options blog network) and a writer/web editor for Building Green TV. My diverse articles have been published in variety of reputable magazines, such as: Yoga Journal, Venus, CRAFT, Yogi Times, Recovery Solutions, M+F, and Office Solutions.

In my spare time, you can find me knitting, reading, singing, taking pictures, practicing yoga, taking long walks, and working on my first non-fiction book. Other random facts about me: I'm a Buddhist, latex fan, have four tattoos, and an attempting locavore.



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  1. 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.

  2. 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 (, which is also in Vermont.

  3. Hi Marsha,

    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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