Posted by Kristine Vejar on November 19, 2013 0 Comments
This weekend the shop will be overflowing with Habu Textiles yarn. There will be nearly 100 sweater samples knit out of Habu.
Habu yarn is unique in that a number of it is sourced from small Japanese mills who have been spinning yarn to produce Japanese textiles for generations. It is fascinating to witness the transition this yarn has made from traditionally used in weaving in Japan to be now used for knitting in the US. Much of the yarn Habu offers is unlike any other yarn found on the market today. The content, pineapple fiber for instance, and the construction, paper, are really an amazing little world to wander through.
Julie Weisenberger of Cocoknits uses Habu yarn in a number of her knitting patterns and will be on hand to help guide you with your Habu yarn and pattern combination.
Takako and Julie are hosting two yarn tastings this weekend. Click here to learn more and to sign up.
Bay Area Debut! Habu Textiles now has a line of ready-made clothing named Ripin. You'll find tunics, dresses, skirts, and pants made of exquisitely woven Japanese fabric made in Japan. Choose a garment, and we will have it shipped from Japan, especially for you.
Habu and Ripin Trunk Show
Saturday, November 23, 10-6pm, and Sunday, November 24, 11-6pm
Habu Yarn Tasting
Saturday Nov 23 or Sunday Nov 24, 1:30-4:30pm
Attendees receive 15% off Habu yarn.
Questions? Call us at 510.595.verb
Posted by Kristine Vejar on November 18, 2013 1 Comment
Sarah, Adrienne, Chris, and I traveled to Point Reyes Station last Saturday to attend the Fibershed's 2nd Fine Wool & Fiber Symposium. It was tremendous to think about everything that has transpired over the last year since the last symposium. In particular for us, it was at the last symposium that I met Sally Fox for the first time, and began to develop Pioneer.
In terms of the community, Matt Gilbert, one of the most prolific shearers in Northern California, spoke at last year's event about shearing and about building a mill - which we so desperately need in this area. And this year, he announced the start of his indie-go-go campaign for the mill!
I am so excited for Matt. He has worked really hard on writing a business plan. He is in escrow right now for a new home and building where the mill will be housed.
If Matt receives the funding to build this mill, we will be able to send wool just up the road, about 100 miles from here, to be washed, carded, and spun into yarn. This means that it will be better for the environment than us shipping the wool 2000-6000 miles round trip. It will also save on the the expense of shipping the fleece and all of its grease to the Midwest or East Coast. By saving on these expenses, it means that it is more likely we will be able to continue making yarn from local fiber producers' wool.
It means that we will have more jobs created in this region related to the production of materials made to make textiles.
And it means that we invest in one of the best things of all - wool. I hope if this kind of thing interests you - and you would like to see the local textile market grow and flourish that you will consider making a contribution - even if it is a small contribution. Every penny counts!
Posted by Kristine Vejar on November 13, 2013 2 Comments
This Saturday, November 16th is Fibershed's 2nd Fine Wool & Fiber Symposium in Point Reyes Station.
Fibershed is a local non-profit dedicated to using materials grown and processed within 120 miles to make clothing. As Fibershed is very conscious of ecology and the climate - this year's focus is on clothing and the climate. It is great to wear clothing made out of materials grown in the area - though there is still a lot to discuss regarding how those materials are grown and harvested. Fibershed promotes the creation of materials locally - and - that are created as sustainably and consciously as possible in light of preserving the environment. Presently, the symposium is sold out. Though for the first time, you can watch the symposium streamed live over the internet.
Don't let the fact that the symposium is sold-out stop you from taking a day trip out to Point Reyes Station. There will be a pop-up shop featuring materials raised by and products made by Fibershed members. Here is a list of those participating.
A few weeks back, I led a community indigo dip using indigo grown locally by Fibershed members. We used naturally colored brown organic cotton fabric. The cotton in this fabric was raised by Sally Fox. We used Sally's cotton because it is beautiful and because it has been raised in California - within this Fibershed. Afterwards, I received an email from an attendee at the indigo dip. She expressed her disappointment wishing that we used white cotton so she could see the indigo blue better. I see the attendee's point - though feel strongly that we create space and use what is available regionally. In some ways, the indigo event was an assessment of what we currently have to offer in this region. Some are happy with what we have, others desire more (and some have never even considered our region as a place to obtain textiles and materials).
Watching the symposium streaming live and / or coming out to the pop-up shop are two ways in which we can actively participate and contribute to our Fibershed - in products that we would like to see developed further. It is the people who are at the symposium and the pop-up shop who have committed themselves to this process, who need our support, and who I am sure would love to hear what types of things you are looking for. For instance, if enough people desire white cotton fabric, then we as a community could come together and help create that white cotton fabric.
We are so used to having everything, or nearly everything, or what we think is everything available to us. When really, there are so many great things available to us that we don't think have value or are unaware of their value. Or have gotten used to the shoddy quality of what is available to use that we have forgotten what beautifully woven cotton or linen feels like. Keeping an open mind is so important in the aliveness in the practice of making especially when giving consideration to the sustainability and the environment. By listening to the process, treating it as a journey, you will inevitably make something beyond your original conception, filled with people and places, and beautiful.
If we would like to see things change, less abuse of labor practices, more consciousness when working with the Earth, and simply all around better materials, transitioning from consumers of fiber, yarn, and fabric - those unattached to the people or place of where a material is grown and gathered - into community members who invest in fiber, yarn, and fabric grown locally or grown by a group of people you know and respect is how we can come to see change.
Currently, to have fabric milled in the USA, it is tens of thousands of dollars. Either consumers and business owners are going to have to come together and commit to one another in order for these types of things to make progress or a very large corporation can own the process. Sometimes during the early stages of a movement or of a business, we know we believe in their practice or in their establishment though they don't carry what we want or what we think we want. Sometimes, in order to support the businesses and institutions who carry our ideal ethics, means making compromises in what we want, for what they currently have, and requesting what it is that we do want to see. It is a process and an evolution. One that we all must participate in for change to occur. We might have to use brown cotton fabric until white cotton fabric becomes available. Even though I might desire white cotton, I know that by investing in Sally's brown cotton could mean we are one step closer to one day getting white cotton fabric. Especially if I tell her, along with my investment in her brown cotton fabric, that this is something I would like to see in the future.
I am intrigued by the creative means in which we could help people who are trying to make the change to longstanding ways of doing business. CSAs would be one example of creative business models in which some organic food growing farms have come to thrive. In this model, the consumer becomes a community member by prepaying and investing in the farm. How could these models evolve to help textile material growers establish their businesses? How can people come together, to decide on a body of materials they would like to see cultivated in the region, and then help share the heavy burden of making these materials. It's an interesting and complex quagmire.
I am looking forward to the lively and engaging discussion at this year's Fibershed Symposium. Will I see you there?
Posted by Kristine Vejar on November 13, 2013 0 Comments
It's that exciting time of year in California - the weather grows colder and crisper - and Brooklyn Tweed releases his curated line of patterns, Wool People, to go with his rustic, tweedy, yarn - Shelter and Loft.
Wool People 6, the entire collection, makes me want to set aside all of my current projects, and start fresh!
The first pattern to catch my eye is Carpino by Carol Feller. I love the minimalist shape - and the color! So good. That said, we don't yet carry Loft. It is still at the mill being spun. Though soon we will have it! For the moment, this sweater goes into my queue. That's ok - because their are many more patterns in this collection I'd like to get started on such as....
Little Wave by Gudrun Johnston - a unisex cardigan sized for both men and women. I've been pinning the heck out of oversized pullovers and cardigans on Pinterest. I'm a sucker for a big, cozy sweater. This pattern is the perfect candidate.
Skydottir by Diana Walla - This sweater design is derived from one of my favorite icons of all time, the national sweater of Iceland, the lopapeysa. Diana has paid particular attention to a streamlined fit and flattering, ever-so-slightly scooped neckline highlighting just the top of the collarbone. I love the geometric shaped motifs she uses and the particular attention she has paid to where the motifs stop - at the very point of the bust's fullness - highlighting the upper half of the body. While this could be made in a thousand color variations, I really like how the BT team chose to use neutrals. This color choice creates a sophisticated balance between the motifs and the body of the sweater.
For those of us who need a little respite from big sweater projects, and who just might have holiday knitting in mind, Bough, by Leila Raabe is a hat and cowl combination which fits the bill.
All of the patterns in Wool People 6 are beautiful. I hope you will take a few moments to peruse the entire collection. As always, the Brooklyn Tweed team has pulled together a collection which has a little something for everyone.
To celebrate this collection, I thought it would be fun to have a flash sale! Today only, if you purchase Shelter to make any of the patterns in Wool 6, we will throw in the pattern for free.
And yes, we do take phone orders.
Today, we are open from 11-7pm.
Posted by Kristine Vejar on November 12, 2013 3 Comments
On Sunday, November 10th, we celebrated our 3 year anniversary in our San Pablo Avenue location. Moving to this location meant that we would have the space to hold classes, invite teachers from around the world to broaden our textile-making-garment-making skills, house the materials and patterns needed to inspire and make accessories and clothing, and last but certainly not least the space to host our students and customers. We asked people to bring in an object they made from materials sourced from Verb. Here are just a few of the beautiful pieces and the people who made them! I am so proud. Beyond the fact that they are wearing what they made, I adore seeing their faces light-up when talking about their process of making and when showing what they have made.
I drew this design for a special project bag made for our anniversary. I incorporated the 3 things that anchor Verb: knit fabric, woven fabric, and a blank space to apply dye. I started an indigo vat and helped people dip their project bags.
We re-released Pioneer. People were carrying bundles of it. Better yet, people were wearing sweaters made out of Pioneer! Sally, the farmer, and her daughter, Marcella, came for the afternoon. It was wonderful to have them with us.
Huelo designed a new pattern using Pioneer called Lake Merritt. For a limited time, this pattern is free with the purchase of a kit.
Other than that, just an all around beautiful day, people streaming through the door, hugging one another, learning about each others projects.
Thank you so much to everyone who came to the party - and to those who could not be at the party - though support Verb in so many other ways. I am so very grateful. You have helped me to achieve the dream of having a shop and an occupation within the subject of and making of textiles - my very favorite thing.