So, how did Cartref Yarn come into being? Who thought of it? Why?
It all began when I left Zoë alone for a week while I went on a family holiday to Tenerife in April last year. Apparently leaving her unoccupied (apart from her business, husband, three kids and dog) is a bad idea because it gives her extra thinking time. Anyway, I had no phone service or internet signal, and so hadn’t been able to be in hourly contact (as we generally are, most days). Eventually I logged in to the hotel WiFi one evening and was horrified to see seventeen messages ping up in rapid succession from Zoë! Being a catastrophist, my first thought was that someone must have died, and my second that my house must have burned down, so it was with great trepidation and anxiety that I read the messages.
And that’s when I learned of her idea to jointly produce an entirely Welsh yarn. After heaving a sigh of relief that none of the awful things I had imagined had come to pass, I video called her and she laid out the idea. We then spent the rest of my holiday pinging thoughts about names and colours and timetables back and fore.
After getting back I was straight into Wonderwool Wales prep and so only talking over the idea happened until we got to the show. Whereupon, the next step in the process was talking to Roger of Curlew Weavers at the festival and establishing that he would be happy to spin for us. Now we had only (ha!) to source the wool, and we could get this show on the road!
Last weekend we had our annual visit to Wonderwool Wales, but this year there was an important new addition to our stand – we launched Cartref Yarn to the world! We had so many lovely compliments, and we’re both really looking forward to seeing what is created by the purchasers.
As you will remember if you were in the UK last weekend, Storm Hannah made things very windy and cold on Saturday. It was bitterly cold in those big barns! They are ventilated under the eaves for the comfort of the animals in the summer. Unfortunately that, coupled with the concrete floors, meant that the temperature was a good couple of degrees colder inside than out.
Sunday was much warmer, plus I got my annual helping of pierogis from Old Granary Pierogis who were selling in the street food area. The ice cream van was definitely doing a better trade on Sunday too!
Zoë and I managed to have a nice wander around the show before it opened on Sunday morning, and a look at what everyone else had brought. Once the show opened, it quickly felt busier than Saturday, which is very unusual. Maybe it was just that everyone felt warmer and so was moving a little faster, like water molecules being heated that I was taught about at school! Sunday flew by with more interest from local yarn shops as well as plenty of sales to lovely knitters. And before we knew where we were, we were all packed up and on our way home again.
Since the weekend it has been thrilling to see our customers share their purchases on social media and even start to knit some up! We will be announcing the online launch for the yarn very soon, but in the mean time, make sure you’re signed up for our newsletter so that you don’t miss out! We will also send notices of future yarn releases plus patterns we will publish for the yarn and other relevant news.
This yarn has been a year (and a bit) in the planning, but finally our launch date approaches! We will be presenting our yarn to the public for the first time at Wonderwool Wales on the 27th and 28th April 2019. We’re so excited! Zoë is busy labelling all the skeins and I am making sure that all our online places are as ready as I can make them!
Shade cards are prepared, patterns (designed for our yarn) are in testing, skeins are being packaged up ready to go on the road next week. Our year has been fuelled by tea and enthusiasm for the project, and we so hope that you love our yarn as much as we do!
We’re right at the start of our exciting journey to create our own yarn. We chose our raw fleeces and are so excited to produce a yarn entirely made in Wales! We are two best friends who are delighted to call Wales home. “Cartref” is Welsh for “home” and we are passionate about sourcing fleece and producing our yarn from start to finish here in Wales.