While looking for french local natural yarns for the Terroir collection, I stumbled upon the beautiful initiative Laines à l’Ouest. This collective made of sheperdess and fiber passionates is creating a local yarn sector in Normandy, around the sheep breeds Avranchin, Cotentin, and the sheeps that grow on the salted fields.
I knitted their yarn Accroche-Cœur to create Aigrette Cowl and I was really happy with the result! The yarn is of excellent quality, very soft for a natural yarn, round to knit and warm to wear. And it keeps the lovely smell of the sheep.
Today, I’m happy to introduce your to Stéphanie and Marion, the two founders of Laines à l’Ouest, who agreed to answer a few questions to tell us about their beautiful initiative.
When I met Alice and discovered her yarn brand A Pleines Mains at the Grande Mercerie festival in Paris last year, I really loved her creative universe, full of warm colors, beautiful natural palettes and yarns of special character.
I knitted her base Ariégeoise Fingering in a beautiful color dyed with catechu and lac, to create the Pieris Shawl for the Terroir collection. It was really important for me, in this idea of exploring local natural yarn, to also highlight the role of hand-dyers who, like Alice, try to look for these special yarns, to work with local producers to create beautiful hand-dyed local natural yarns!
For the release of Pieris Shawl, I interviewed Alice during a special podcast episode. We chat about local natural yarns, the different fibres and breeds, the initiatives that promote local yarn in France. She also tells us all about her natural dyeing process.
For as long as I’ve been knitting in my adult life, I’ve always loved discovering local rustic yarns from different regions of the world, enjoying their touch, learning about the local traditions, and feeling a bit closer to the sheep and the land while knitting them.
Discovering local traditions, a commitment to slow living, their uniqueness, affordability are the many reasons why I love knitting with local natural yarns!
I love bringing back yarn as a souvenir from vacation. But not just any yarn! I always look for a natural yarn, produced locally, if it exists in the region I am visiting, because I care about promoting local products of wool and traditions. This quest led me to discover the Menez Hom yarns, without knowing it at the time, when I was in Brittany a few years back. It was in a local shop in Locronan (called Ar Stivell), where in between wooden clogs and other local products, there were a few skeins of beautiful rustic local yarn in natural brown and white colors.
For the Terroir collection, I wanted to showcase small yarn companies, the beautiful people behind them and local initiatives to promote natural yarns. Fonty is a bit different from the other companies that I chose because it’s a bit bigger, way older too and it is also a spinning mill which work is really important in the promotion of local natural yarn in France, so that’s why I wanted to introduce them to you!
I discovered Bouclelaine back in April 2018. After a few messages on Instagram, I discovered a gorgeous world of colors and texture, an interesting initiative to promote local natural yarns from Brittany, and two beautiful persons: Brigitte and Clotilde, the mother-daughter creative duo at the head of this project.