Feel the difference, make the difference

speak out against racism

17 July 2019 11:50

speak out against racism

I hesitated to speak out online about racism in our community, because I find it difficult to find the right words and fear to hurt or offend. Especially since English is not my first language.

Anybody can say “I am against racism”. Nobody in their right mind is going to announce on FB “yay I’m a white supremacist and jolly proud of it”. So how do I make a genuine statement about this, without making it look like just another marketing strategy.

I do wish to speak out, because I’m part of this world and I have a responsibility, too. And because remaining silent can do harm.

So what can I do.

I think I have to keep asking myself, what can *I* do for BIPOC and other oppressed people in our community. Because words are important, statements are important, but without actions nothing will change. I think that “just being an open and inclusive business” is a beginning, but it is not enough.

I am learning. I am sorry that I am so slow. I do my best.

I trust in your candor to read me right. I welcome open and honest discussion. I will moderate comments, to keep this a safe space for everybody.

~Michèle

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KOKON Indigo for Nell Tunic

8 July 2019 11:44

KOKON Indigo for Nell Tunic

Eri has recently released her pattern Nell on Ravelry. (You can find it here.)

All yarn preorders have been shipped (special thanks to Karen!). And the remaining stock of Fingering Weight Speckles is sold out.

I expect to receive a couple more skeins of KOKON Indigo Speckles next week.

After that, perhaps we can organise a new preorder session for the next batch. KOKON Indigo is a mulesing free merino yarn from South Africa, exclusively hand dyed right here in Holland. So it takes some time to produce.

We'll keep you posted, keep an eye on our social media or subscribe to our newsletter for updates!

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Summer holiday

1 July 2019 11:21

Summer holiday

While me and the husband have been enjoying our holiday, Karen has guarded Fort Yarnz. She has been packing and shipping orders like a pro! #Kareninaction

This is a bit weird for me! I used to have the webshop "all to myself". Which of course meant that I had to close the shop, or at least stop shipping, during my holidays.

And now things are happening, orders are shipped (usually faster than I used to do it, I may add), I get tagged on Instagram by happy people with pictures of lovingly wrapped parcels... while I'm on a remote campsite somewhere in France!

So this Yarnz 2.0 is a bit weird for me - but mostly it's fantastic!

We could get used to this... 

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Yarn with a story

7 April 2019 11:29

Yarn with a story

All of our yarns have a story to tell. They're the embodiment of a mission, a vision for a better world.

From the hands of the makers, to our hands, to your hands, they are a thread of connection. Between fibre experts, yarn lovers and makers.

These beautiful skeins of undyed cashmere are now traveling to their forever home in Switzerland.


These days we hear more and more about the mass production of cashmere in Asia. How it is causing the withering of fertile plains, degrading in quality, impoverishing the nomads and threatening their way of life.


Our cashmere, however, is from Afghanistan. Here, cashmere goats have been a part of the countryside for decades. For years the goats only served as food and the hides were exported. But now From the Mountain has a network of spinners in remote areas, managing a cottage industry that supports over 100 women. (After over a decade of conflict, many women have been left as heads of household, but with very few safe and socially acceptable ways to earn income.)


The production is still fragile and vulnerable, when the violence flares up again it is literally too dangerous to produce and transport the yarn.


These skeins that are on their way to Switzerland now, were our last. I can only hope that we will be able to get new cashmere soon. For the people in Afghanistan, the spinners, the brave people who try to create a sustainable production chain in this area, and for all the quality-cashmere yarn lovers.

Because together, we can #changetheworldknitting.

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Hear the voice of the plus-size knitter & crocheter

In the discussion on social media about inclusiveness, discrimination and racism in the knitting community, I am looking at my own behaviour and choices. And I noticed another voice, that of another underrepresented and often slighted group of people. The voice of the plus size knitter/crocheter.


Apart from having to deal with disrespect and all sorts of judgment, you also often face a practical problem. The yarn shop simply doesn’t stock enough yarn for a project in your size.


Now I cannot begin to understand the pain of being constantly denied to be the way you are. The big and the little ways in which a majority says “but not you”, intentionally or not. If you have experienced this pain, know that I feel for you. And if I have been in some way the cause of that pain, I apologise for it.


So, back to what I can do. I see one pretty obvious thing that I can do, and that is to stock enough yarn for plus sizes. Because I understand that it must be frustrating to hear “we don’t have that much in stock, but if you really need it, of course we can order it for you” all the time.


On the other hand, as a small businessowner it is very difficult for me to have 10 or 20 or more skeins of all colours of all of my yarns. It’s a bit embarrassing, but I simply cannot afford that (yet).


So here’s my suggestion. I am now more aware of the frustrations of the plus size knitter, and I will bear those in mind. I will make sure that I stock as much plus size quantities as possible.


You, dear plus size knitter, I beg that you will help me. Tell me what you need, in reply or privately in an email (hallo@yarnz.nl), whatever you prefer. You are part of my community and I cherish you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and inquire, if you need more yarn than I have in stock, or if you have any other questions or suggestions.


That is then and this is now.


For now, you may like to know that I already have quite a lot colours of Bio Shetland in large quantities, and Eco-Fusion, Garthenor and KOKON merino follow close behind. 


And for the luxury yarns, we also have the Large Project Benefits scheme, which gives you 10% off on 10 skeins or more.

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