Local Yarn from Happy Sheep | Grown, Spun & Dyed in Central Germany

Journal

all about Origin 2.0

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Friends, I cannot express how excited I am to finally be able to share with you today a little update on our new batch of Origin. Honestly, one year ago, when we started working on developing this second batch I never ever would have dreamed that it would take this long for us to bring this yarn back. Long story short- it has been a journey. But the good news is that Origin is now spun, finished and ready to be sent out to join stashes everywhere! 

Over the past year I have learned so many difficult lessons. I have tried things that have failed. I have made silly mistakes and struggled to fix them. Quite honestly, I could probably write a book on how NOT to scale your business. Creating this yarn (in such a large quantity) has been the most challenging thing we’ve done with r&s yarns by far and I’ve had many sleepless nights and anxiety-filled days wondering if I made the right decision, if it’s worth it, or (quite honestly) if I’m completely crazy and unbelievably stubborn to think that we could turn garbage wool into a yarn that people will want to knit with.

Basically nothing with our timeline went to plan this past year. I had planned to release Homestead early last Fall and Origin with the start of 2019. But here we are, it's almost April and I'm just now getting my act together and putting it in the shop. Part of the reason I wanted to scale our business was so that we could move away from the update-based model we originally began with in our shop. I really want knitters to feel that they can make a mindful purchase and plan for projects without feeling like they have to order fast or we'll sell out. I really want our yarn to make it's way to your needles, and to become something you'll love to make and use in the future. And I really hope that our new model (of having our "core" yarn in stock more permanently) is helpful with this. This is also part of the reason why I didn't want to release Homestead and Origin so close together. I wanted each base to be able to stand on it's own and to give you all a little time to get to know them. But currently I’ve got a storage room full of Origin waiting patiently to meet you. And I want to share it with you because honestly? It’s so good. This new batch of Origin turned out better than the last- it’s still the rustic, sheep-y, natural yarn we always create but this time around it’s loftier, bouncier and softer.

Of course struggles don’t go away overnight and I’ve still got so much learning to do but I am completely and irreversibly convinced that this yarn and it’s story deserve to be shared. I truly hope that over this next year we can continue to learn and grow, both in how we run our own business but also in how we interact with and create community around our yarns. There are lots of things we’re working on and hoping to improve, lots of learning we have to do and I really hope you’ll stick around while we figure a few things out and keep doing our best to share with you these yarns we create with so much love and intention.

Swatches (from left - right) Top: Origin 1.0 grey, Origin 1.0 cream | Middle: Origin 2.0 grey, Homestead grey | Bottom: Homestead cream, Origin 2.0 cream

Swatches (from left - right) Top: Origin 1.0 grey, Origin 1.0 cream | Middle: Origin 2.0 grey, Homestead grey | Bottom: Homestead cream, Origin 2.0 cream

Today I thought it might also be helpful to share a little bit more about this yarn and how it’s different from Origin 1.0. If you’ve been around since the beginning then you’ll know all about our accidental “origin” story. (If not you can catch up here) Our first batch of Origin, which went live in late 2017 and sold out almost immediately was sourced, spun and packaged all within a 50km radius before making it’s way to you. With that first batch we offered two natural colorways (grey & cream/off white) and were able to save multiple fleeces from being thrown away.

This time around we scaled up and got a LOT more yarn. We purchased the wool directly from the same hobby farmers as last time and created once again, two natural colorways (with more exciting things in the works- stay tuned for that!). The wool was spun at our same mill, but this time around it was washed off site (in Austria) for a more carbon efficient washing process that also improved the quality (think softness!) of our yarn. Because as I said above, this batch of Origin is quite a bit softer than the last. Another difference is the color of the grey. This time around we had a slightly lower ratio of black to white fleeces and our natural grey colorway is slightly lighter (comparable with Homestead) that last year. Above are some of my swatches for comparison. I’m really quite pleased with the look and feel of both colorways this time around and hope you’ll like them too! In the interest of full transparency, I’d also like to mention that we’re able to offer Origin at a slightly lower price point than Homestead, due to the cost of the raw wool directly and the logistics in transporting it to our mill and back.

Of course if you have any questions about Origin, don’t hesitate to get in touch! I’d love to chat further about this yarn (and potential projects for it) with you!


I'll be putting Origin up in the shop without great fanfare this Friday (March 29th). In addition to our regular 100g skeins, there will be sweater skeins and 50g cakes to help with different price points and project sizes. I will (of course) be sharing more about it over the following days and weeks but I won't be doing a regular update- it'll just be up there quietly, starting on Friday. Thanks as always for following along friends.