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String Theory Hand Dyed Yarns

A warm welcome to String Theory Hand Dyed Yarns! We are very excited to be carrying these gorgeous yarns, personally hand-dyed by Tanis Williams in her home studio in Blue Hill, Maine. We have the wildly popular, luxurious Caper Sock as well as durable Bluestocking and gorgeous Merino DK (see below for details), all in a glorious rainbow of original colors---and you can bet they will be at our Knit-in-Style Weekend at Mohonk! After that? Only in the store, so come on over to see them in full glory.

     As a child Tanis learned knitting and other fiber arts from her talented grandmother and great-aunt, who were serious handcrafters in the Maine tradition, and she spent many a car ride knitting. Tanis later enjoyed a16-year career as a labor and delivery nurse---but when the hospital she worked in closed, she was forced to reassess her life. Ah, fate! Now Tanis’s beloved great-aunt passed away, leaving her boxes of antique lace. What to do? Tanis was determined to start crazy-quilting with it, but she could not find silk in the colors she envisioned, so painted her own. Aha! Fortunately for the world, she tried home-dyeing yarn as well, and liking the results brought some samples to a yarn store a few towns away. Of course they loved it! Tanis opened a yarn store, too, featuring a wide range of yarns. Once she realized people wanted her own yarn more than anything, she phased out the other brands, expanded her own line, and started doing shows and attracting designers.

     This year Tanis closed her brick-and-mortar store---but her gorgeous yarns are available at The Yarn Company! Caper Sock is fingering sock weight, 80% merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon, 400 yards per 4-ounce skein, 7 stitches per inch on US #3 needles; also fingering sock weight, 3-ply Bluestocking is 80% Bluefaced Leicester and 20% nylon, 420 yards per skein, 8 stitches per inch on US #1 needles; and soft, 4-ply Merino DK is 100% superwash merino wool, 280 yards per 4-ounce skein, 6 stitches per inch on US #5 needles. Tanis handles every skein herself, with truly small lots, never more than 7.5 pounds. She writes, “My dyeing process is only marginally mechanized---just to lift the wet (heavy) yarn out of the dye bath. The movement of the yarn in the dye bath is done only by me, every time, which is how I achieve the colors and interplay of colors that my customers have come to know and appreciate.” And we do!








Hanalei Strings

Hanalei Hand-Dyed Yarn

Aloha! We are pleased to introduce the brilliant tropical colors of Hanalei Hand-Dyed Yarn! These dizzyingly gorgeous yarns come from the North Shore of Kauai, where Karen Sherwood has a yarn & ukelele shop called Hanalei Strings. All of Karen’s colorways are inspired by her tropical surroundings.

Karen has created an exclusive shade just for us: Manoa Valley Orchid!

It is named after a beautiful little orchid that pops up this time of year in a valley full of temples.

Karen feels this place is her own spiritual home—so we are most honored to have this special colorway, a swirl of pinks and purples with white.

We also have Kalalau, a variegated turquoise and reddish brown, named after a sacred valley on a stretch of coastline accessible only by trail or water; Stone Temple, whose chartreuse and gray-black reflect moss-covered stone; Milolii Grass, gray & golden straw of dry summer; Tunnel’s Reef, blue, aqua, and white, named after a world-famous surf spot; the deep earth tones of Koke’e, named after the lush state park up in the mountains; Banana Patch, featuring the multitude of greens you see when walking through the patch and looking up through the leaves; and Makana Sunset---purply brown and fuchsia (Makana means “gift from God”).

We carry three heavenly Hanalei bases: Combed Pima cotton worsted, Combed Pima Cotton Chunky (both lovely and very soft), and Bamboo/Organic Cotton Worsted, a 50/50 blend that is super soft and also has a sheen. Karen loves to knit with cotton, which is tricky to dye but very popular in the tropics. Her bamboo cotton blend makes you feel like you’re still on vacation!

About Hanalei Strings:

Despite coaxing from her grandmother, Karen Sherwood did not start knitting until she was driven to it by her six teenagers (!). She was hooked big time then, but alas, there were no yarn shops on Kauai. With a background in fine arts, Karen was more than capable of creating the colorful yarns she envisioned, and she brought them to her Ukelele store, Hanalei Strings, with the goal of teaching everyone she knew how to knit. (Karen had started out with a video store in 2001, and soon brought in ukeleles to sell as well. Around 2008 the videos were phased out and a variety of yarns introduced.) Karen found that visitors to Kauai were most interested in saturated colors that reflected the island. She does all of her dyeing out of a tent, and tells us “it’s quite rustic, and surrounded by critters.” Hers is a family operation, with children and grandchildren pitching in when necessary. Karen says that every day she pinches herself---she can’t believe her wonderful life. We are pinching ourselves, too---we love the fresh, tropical vibe of Hanalei Strings yarns! 

Click here to buy.







Unique Sheep Gradients

Gradient Colorways from The Unique Sheep!   

We are tickled many shades of pink to be the one and only place in the region where you can find Green Sheep Bamboo Fingering Yarn, in gorgeous gradience, by The Unique Sheep!

Famous for its gorgeous Gradience line of colorways, The Unique Sheep is run by Laura Lough


and Kelly Eells, serious independent dyers who met on Ravelry in 2008.

Early into the new partnership, Kelly discovered the secret to achieving perfect gradience---the art of redyeing yarn so that the color gradually shifts. Lucky world! And The Unique Sheep keeps giving, donating at least 5% of its profits to charities. Favorites include Doctors Without Borders and Amani Children's Foundation; these charities have also inspired colorways---and 50% of the proceeds from these colors go to these organizations! The Unique Sheep also keeps its impact on the environment to a minimum. They reuse water when dyeing; use recycled materials for shipping and recycled paper for patterns, ball bands, and other paperwork; wind their skeins by hand and dry them in the open air to conserve energy; and offer organic yarn---which we in turn are proud to offer you!

The colorways have got to be seen to be believed. First of course is the amazing exclusive Kelly has concocted for The Yarn Company: Twisted Skies!

Each skein in this set is its own delight, but together they are magic. Twisted Skies speaks of a smooth flight into the clear turquoise, through deeper blues, into the dusky dusk, and happy landings in complementary purple-brown dreams. Only at The Yarn Company!

Oh, the possibilities . . . Other exclusives include Box of Crayons (grays, fuchsia, violet, sky blue, yellow);

Monochrome Photo (black & white & in between),


and Reddish Vegetables (juicy pinks and oranges);

Unique Sheep standards include You Zig, I Zag (inspired by Missoni: olives, purples, and finally hot pinks), and Le Petit Prince (inspired by Van Gogh's Starry Night, in which pale yellow moves through blues and greens into deep purple); . All of these are available in beautiful Green Sheep Cotton Bamboo Fingering, a dreamy organic blend with fabulous drape. Green Sheep is 51% organic cotton, 49% bamboo and has excellent drape. Each 150-gram set is approximately 660 yards. Every shade a joy!

 Finally, Irina has designed Let The Sun Shine Through Shrug in our exclusive colorways, Twisted Skies. See if you can resist this one. 

CLick here to buy the yarn packs.