Behind the Yarn Line: Yarn Citizen

We’re so excited to finally introduce our newest creation, Yarn Citizen, to the world! It all started on a trip to Peru. Laura (aka Jimmy!) was touring fair trade mills and there, she found out that these mills have thousands of pounds of leftover yarn bits every year. She decided to make a commitment. She requested to give these bits a second life, save them from the landfill, and close the gap between high-end yarn and affordability! 

We’re so proud of the team we’ve assembled to bring this collection to life! Meet our designers below and dive into their captivating creations as we (finally!) unveil this eagerly awaited collection! With an incredible starting price of $10 per skein, we believe in making quality yarn accessible to all makers. 

Meet On the Left Path Sweater and Windowcross Beret by Amy Gunderson

“I was thrilled at the opportunity to work with Yarn Citizen for a
number of reasons! First, I love Laura and Jimmy Beans, and am always
happy to work with the team. They’re a great bunch of people! Also, as a
designer, I really value working with folks who just generally let me
do my thing and don’t micromanage the creative process. Being allowed to
imagine projects in this lovely new yarn and let them be what they’re
going to be is so great. I feel like it lets me be the best version of
my creative self without being weighed down with expectations. 

I’m passionate about sustainability and reuse! When I first started
knitting around 2008, I began mostly by unraveling thrift store sweaters
and reknitting them into new things. Using yarn made partly from what
would otherwise be waste sent to landfills feels very close to this and
takes me back to my roots. I hate throwing away perfectly good and
usable materials. And you’d never know this yarn was made from waste!
It’s drapey and lovely and amazing. 

takes me to my other reason – I love a good yarn blend! Wool is groovy,
alpaca is amazing, but together – they’re magic. The halo and drape of
the alpaca mixed with the sturdiness and warmth of wool makes for a
wonderful winter staple. I was delighted to design two projects in Yarn
Citizen – a beret and a sweater – and both fit the yarn perfectly. I
can’t wait to make a second sweater so I can wear it around all winter
long!” – Amy Gunderson

Meet Luberon Toque by Seth Richardson

“The color of the yarn was big part of the inspiration for
the Luberon Toque design. When I first started collaborating with Yarn Citizen
on this pattern, I knew that it would incorporate something earthy and organic
to reflect Yarn Citizen’s focus on sustainability, but once we selected the
Lavender colorway, it became clear that the lavender plant itself would inspire
the shape of the motif.

The pattern is named after the Luberon Valley in France’s
Provence region, an area that is famous for its lavender. Of course, the plant
is well known for its signature scent, flowers, and color, but the Luberon
Toque puts a little more focus specifically on the green section of the plant
where the shrubby part ends and the stems for the flowers begin. The motif uses
intersecting lines to create a sense of order out of natural disarray, and the
stems gently spiral to the top of the crown. Yes, it’s lavender-inspired, but
that doesn’t mean you have to be limited with your color choices; it would look
great in any hue!” – Seth Richardson

Meet Lost Horse by Kacey Herlihy

“Named for a hiking trail in Joshua Tree National Park, Lost Horse is a
lightweight, airy, asymmetrical triangle shawl featuring a simple,
soothing lace pattern knit with very special wool yarn. Easier to knit
than it looks, this pattern is great for knitting on the go, on the
road, or while exploring your favorite national park. Ideal for
transitioning seasons, this classic, wearable design looks great in the
city or in the mountains! I was drawn to this collaboration because I
care about sustainability and accessibility, and respect the mission of
Yarn Citizen to make high-quality, affordable yarn. This pattern only
requires one skein of Unity, keeping cost down, and shows off the soft
color beautifully.” –Kacey Herlihy

Gansey Bay Cowl By Lena Skvagerson

I have always been inspired by the timeless beauty of traditional Gansey knitting patterns, and I wanted this crochet design to bring a touch of rustic elegance to modern fashion. The inspiration for the Gansey Bay Crochet Cowl came from a love of heritage craftsmanship and a desire to create a cute wearable piece that exudes warmth and comfort. I envisioned wearers strolling along the shores of Gansey Bay, feeling a sense of connectedness to the past through their handmade accessories.

I used a natural color, as it has a timeless and classic appeal that transcends trends and fads. Also, natural colors exude inherent elegance and sophistication, elevating the overall look of the crochet design, and making the finished piece suitable for various occasions and outfits.

Working with Yarn Citizen yarn on this project was super exciting! These amazing sustainable yarns are like magic threads spun from eco-friendly dreams! It was a perfect match for the vision I had for the Gansey Bay Crochet Cowl.” – Lena Skvagerson

Meet Olosa Shawl by Knot Bad Britt 

The Yarn Citizen Yarn is a stunning blend of wool and alpaca, which when combined, creates a gorgeous halo effect and subtle heathering that adds depth to the fabric. For my sample, I opted for the cool tones of the collection, which are not only calming but also lightly heathered, thereby giving the fabric an added dimension. The shawl is christened after the Yoruba spirit of the lagoon, Olosa, creating a perfect blend of culture and beauty. 
I was attracted to Yarn Citizen’s focus on intentional making, which led me to choose Tunisian crochet for my design. The methodical movement of the Tunisian knit stitch, paired with the return pass, creates a meditative project that flies off the hook. –Brittany Garber

Mankind Beanie by Lena Skvagerson

“Designing the Mankind Beanie, I was inspired by the ever-evolving world of fashion and a passion for cozy accessories. The idea was to create a beanie to wear whether you’re strolling through city streets or hiking in the great outdoors. A beanie not only to keep your head warm during chilly days but also to elevate any outfit with a touch of sophistication. The ribbed texture adds a trendy twist, making it a must-have accessory for fashion-forward individuals who adore handmade charm. When it came to choosing the color, the deep hue of navy blue emerged as the obvious choice. I feel it brings an air of elegance and timelessness to the design. Navy blue complements various skin tones and outfit choices, ensuring the beanie becomes a beloved staple in any wardrobe. Designing this beanie with a Yarn Citizen’s sustainable yarn was an absolute delight! It’s not just any yarn, these yarns are planet-friendly superheroes! They’re made with love and care for Mother Earth, using gentle dyeing methods that leave a tiny carbon footprint. Crafting with them feels like giving the Earth a warm, fuzzy hug!” –Lena Skvagerson

Peruvian Knit Shawl by Lena Skvagerson

“The inspiration for my Peruvian Shawl comes from the captivating landscapes of Peru and 

my love for all things cozy. I wanted the patterns to be reminiscent of ancient Incan art. My choice of using graphite, natural, and driftwood colors was an ode to the raw beauty of nature. Graphite represents the dark, mysterious mountain peaks, while Natural symbolizes the warm embrace of Peruvian textiles. Driftwood captures the essence of the sandy shores, where land and sea intertwine in perfect harmony. Together, these colors create a harmonious blend that celebrates the diverse landscapes of Peru. Using a yarn from Yarn Citizen was a natural choice for the Peruvian Knit Shawl. Yarn Citizen’s commitment to sustainability resonated deeply with the project’s ethos. The yarn’s premium quality and luxurious feel were the perfect match for bringing my shawl to life.” –Lena Skvagerson

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