The yarn has arrived safe and sound. It was a surprisingly emotional moment. I confess I did well up a bit. Silly, but it was a bit of a moment for me.
No you can’t see it yet. I’m being quite possessive. Its not ready for its debut yet. I want everything to be perfect. It deserves it.
It is exactly what I had hoped for. The care and effort taken at each step of the way was well worth it. In the husbandry of the shepherds, the shearing by the shearers, my fussiness in sorting only the best of the fleece before taking it to the mill, and the exceptional milling by The Natural Fibre Co.
Just to tease you: It is so soft, bouncy and fluffy as tufts of clouds and just a bit tickly. A proper sheepy yarn.
But I am only half way there. There is an extraordinary amount of stuff that needs to be done to get a yarn to market. I think I may have just done the easy bit. I have a budget so low it’s almost non-existent so buying in expertise is not an option. This is going to be a one woman operation. Production – me. Marketing – me. Admin – me. Sales – me. Do I have any experience of these things? No. This is going to be interesting.
For example, labelling. How will it be labelled. Tags or bands? What information needs to go on it. Whos going to print it? On what paperstock? What size? So many questions that need answers. My head might just explode.
But what has been exercising me most is how to minimise the environmental impacts of what I am doing. If you know me or have read my blog, you will probably have noted that these things are important to me. I try to do less evil wherever I am able to. So for me all the packaging for this project has to be as low impact as possible.
Paper? Have you ever thought about swing tags, you know those attractive tags that you will pull of your yarn and then chuck in the recycling/bin/compost. These are the choices that need to be made in producing it: Paper stock: 100% virgin woodpulp from sustainably managed forests or 100% recycled paper? Either kraft (unbleached brown) or if white then chlorine bleached or can I get unbleached? Laminated with plastic for that shiny smooth professional look or unlaminated? That’s an easy one. And then there’s the inks and how it’s printed. And the list goes on. And then there’s finding a printer that not only offers these choices but also has the environment embedded in their own practise and thinks the same as me.
Packaging? This is another huge (and very topical) issue. FFS we’ve been recycling since the late 1980’s so you would think we would have this thing sorted by now. I hate those plastic postal bags. I’ve taken the decision to be as plastic free as possible with packaging. My customers should be able to throw their packaging straight on the compost heap where it will biodegrade. Luckily there are now a huge choice of recycled card options. I’ve even sourced a 100% recycled paper parcel tape that is completely biodegradable as it uses latex based adhesive to seal my parcels with. How good is that.
In the meantime. Me and the Norfolk Yarn are having a cosy time of ‘getting to know you’. As you can imagine, lots of squishing and sniffing and lots of swatching. I’ve been testing out different needle sizes, different stitches, lace, cables, textures.
More on this soon. I’m not ready to share yet. When she is ready for the big reveal you will be the first to know…