Beautiful, rich colors, quality yarn, trendy patterns, and a loving spirit are all ingredients that give KnitPal’s Team Spirit Yarn its personality and uniqueness.
What type of yarn does KnitPal sell?
KnitPal’s hand-dyed wool is Merino wool that comes mainly from Peru. You’ll probably recognize the name “merino” even if you’ve never knitted or crocheted with it yourself. After all, who can resist touching the oh-so-soft merino skeins in the local wool shop?
Merino wool is actually wool that comes from a certain breed of sheep (called Merino), and is not just a description of just any kind of wool.
What makes Merino wool so special?
Merino sheep is a sheep breed that grows a dense fleece that is very fine and soft. Though the breed was originally bred in Spain, the Merino sheep can now be found in countries like Peru, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
The Merino sheep have been bred since at least the 12th century BCE and is much prized for their fleece and is mostly bred for their fleece and not for their meat. Indeed, these sheep must be shorn at least once a year as their wool doesn’t stop growing. In case the sheep isn’t sheared, their overabundance of fleece can cause, amongst others, heat stress and mobility issues.
The individual strands of Merino fleece are also very special. The wool is extremely fine and soft and the staples (that is to say, the length of the hair) are commonly 2.6-3.9 inches long. A Saxon Merino sheep can produce 6.6-13.2 lb of wool a year. A good-quality Peppin Merino ram can produce up to 40lb of wool a year!
The individual strands of the wool are also very thin when compared to human hair. The basic Merino types of wool are sorted by the diameter of the individual strands. These types include:
- Strong/broad wool
- Medium wool
- Fine wool
- Superfine wool
- Ultrafine wool
The ultra-fine wool can be blended with other luscious fibers, like silk and cashmere. KnitPal’s wool, however, are not blends, but pure Merino wool.
Terra Blossom, in turn, lists nine aspects of Peruvian Highland and Merino wool that makes them the perfect yarn to use for a wide variety of items, including scarves, gloves, beanies, and shawls. These aspects are:
- Temperature control
- Moisture absorption
- Odor resistance
- Shape retention
- UV protection
- It’s an all-rounder wool.
Indeed, the internationally-renowned designer Akiral Isogawa — whose work is considered wearable art — describes Merino wool as being a wonderful fiber to work with, adding: “The sheer nature of the fabrics feels luxuriously gentle against the skin”.
Peruvian Merino sheep farmers and KnitPal’s support of small, woman-owned businesses
The Merino sheep that KnitPal gets their Peruvian wool from, are raised by small farmers in the Andes of Southern Peru. The Andes is the longest mountain range in the world and has been formed by two tectonic plates coming together.
The altitudes where the Peruvian Merino sheep are kept are 11 500-16 000 ft above sea level. This altitude means that temperatures can differ wildly in one day — sometimes differ more than 50 degrees in one day!
KnitPal also makes sure that they support small, women-led farms by sourcing and buying yarn from them and dyeing them in our Californian studio.
How the KnitPal dyeing studio was born
A few years ago, while getting ready to knit an item for her best friend, who is an avid supporter of his school team, Casey went looking for the colors of the school he supported online. When she couldn’t find a yarn brand that could tell her the color of the yarn 100% for sure, she decided that she would dye the wool herself. And, so, the dyeing studio was born from humble beginnings.
Soon Casey saw that there is a definite gap in the market for those avid fans who want to use the perfect color to show their support for their favorite schools. After all, who knows the exact colors better than the supporters who stick with their team through thick and thin?
KnitPal’s wool — hand-dyed with love and happiness
When it comes to the actual hand-dyeing process, it is a labor of love to get each skein dyed to perfectly match your team’s colors because we know how important that is to you. You can’t support your favorite team in faded colors!
The key step to dyeing the exquisite merino yarn a specific school color — for example cardinal red or Pantone 201 — is formulas. There are no existing dye colors to exactly match cardinal red on a yarn. This means that the formula for the dye color is created from scratch in the KnitPal studio. Creating just one formula can take days or weeks! The dyes are tested on small samples of wool and adjustments made until the color is a perfect match with the established Pantone and CMYK systems.
Just look at our range of team colors you can mix and match! Indeed, our brand promise is school and team colors that’s a perfect match.
Based on Dr. Masaru Emoto’s recent research, the shape and molecular structure of water changes with positive messages, prayer, and music. At KnitPal we are truly inspired to bring happy and healthy energies and only good feelings to the yarn that we’re sending to your home.
In order to be able to do this, we soak the yarn in warm water the night before we dye the yarn. While we do this, songs full of love, gratitude, and happiness are played. Lately our music of choice is some of The Beatles’ classic songs, including “All You Need Is Love” and “Come together”.
Let KnitPal be the yarn you use to show the heart and soul that goes into every perfectly colored project!
Whether you’re creating a project in your team colors for yourself or in school colors for a new student, you know that the yarn is colored with love just as you weave your love into each project you create.