Guys and gals, I’m pretty sure I’ve peaked. How many crafters get to get a yarn named after them?! Ok, well, if you’ve been following this Our Tribe blog hop, you know the answer is FIFTEEN, but still! I’m one of those fifteen! I can still hardly believe it. There’s a yarn out there named Canadutch, and Canadutch is ME!
I don’t even know where to start… so I’ll just go back to the beginning.
In May of 2014, I received a vague messages about some craft collaboration or another. Like any other comments / mails I get like that, I slammed it into my spam folder and moved on. A while later my friend Nerissa, you may know her as Miss Neriss, asked me if I had gotten a message from someone from Scheepjes. I wasn’t sure what she was talking about, but apparently someone was trying to get a hold of me.
After some pushing by Nerissa, I got back in contact with Simy Somer and we started chatting about my knitting. I was still very dubious and skeptical (and super insecure about why on earth they’d be interested in me) but I trusted Nerissa, so I went ahead anyway. I was a bit different than the other bloggers at the time. I was 100% a maker and not a designer, and I made this very clear to Simy. Give me a pattern and I will knit it like a boss, but I’m just not creative in that way. I was not, and never will be, a designer. Those were my words. Her replies were things like “We’ll see” and “Oh you never know”. Whenever I tried to close that door, she’d quickly stick her foot in it to make sure I couldn’t.
One day, I had an idea for something I wanted to make. A thing I wanted to make from scratch, to design myself… and I could hardly believe it. That prospect scared me more than any of my previous fears, but I had some really supportive people around me and I thought screw it, I’m going to do it!
There was only one, painful, excruciating thing I had to do first. I had to tell Simy and eat some humble pie while she did the “Told ya so” dance around me. Not literally, as we were on opposite ends of the country at the time, but I could feel it. From all that distance… it was that strong, how utterly pleased she was with herself, and with me.
So, fast forward a few years, and here I am. I’ve worked on a number of commissions, been published a number of times, have a lot of really exciting things coming up. Oh, and I HAVE MY OWN FREAKING YARN NAMED AFTER ME! HAVE I MENTIONED?!
The yarn line is called Our Tribe and it’s made up of 15 colourways, 13 colourways created by the Scheepjes bloggers and two contributed by members of the Scheepjes family, Simy and Marie. Mine is called, well… Canadutch (975)! It’s so amazing to see my name on something like this!
Ball Weight 100 grams
Length 420 meters
Needle Size 2.5-3mm
Blend 70% Merino Superwash 30% Polyamide
It all started over a year ago at one of the blogger weekends. I wasn’t able to attend as I had just moved to France, but thankfully Nerissa (again, my savior!) Skyped me in on the fun. Scheepjes had told the group that they wanted to create a yarn line and have each of us put together our own colourway. We were to choose up to six colours which would be put together to create our own self striping yarn.
As I wasn’t there at the time, I wasn’t able to see what the other girls were putting together and I didn’t have the paint chips to use… but Nerissa took photos of each of the girls creations so I could be sure not to end up with the same, and I went to work in photoshop. This is what I put together for my colourway. It’s a very moody (like me! haha), with dusky purple and teal and dark greys mixed in. When you have the yarn in your hands you can find hints of each colour all throughout.
I really love it. This swatch was knit up quickly on 4mm needles as I wanted to see how the colours worked out. It doesn’t show the full range of colour changes, but it shows the beautiful purples and teals. It’s so pretty! You can’t go wrong with garter stitch when you want to show something like this.
Here’s the thing about this experience, though, as much as I love the yarn itself, I love what it represents even more. I wrote such a long blurb up there about how I met Simy and became a Scheepjes blogger, but there’s so much more to tell. Being a part of this group has been such an incredible experience for me. Not just for my own progression as a knitter, but in the way that it has given me something I don’t have in my day to day life, a crafty family – a TRIBE. That’s what this yarn represents, our group and what we are creating together.
I have met some amazing people as a result of being in this group and I feel like we are all in such a good place right now. I missed two of the previous gatherings, one because I was ill and another because I was just after moving to France. During this period, there were some stressful times for us as a group as well. Times that left me tense, tired and sometimes at the end of my tether. When the latest blogger weekend was planned, I really knew I had to be there and I couldn’t stand to miss another. It was torture sitting at home, watching their photos and hearing about all of the fun they were having and I was starting to feel sort of disconnected from the group.
In September my husband and I drove back to the Netherlands for a weekend and I got together with my Tribe. It was the most fulfilling experience I’ve had in quite some time. I’ve forgotten how much I missed being around crafty people, around these people. I’m not sure what it was, but I feel like that weekend was different than previous times we all got together. It felt like a strange healing experience for everyone, or at least for me, somehow.
We, the bloggers, spoke together with our friends from Scheepjes about how we feel about our working relationship with them, where the group has come from and where it’s heading. We talked about our fears, we looked back on the previous year and what we’ve accomplished and discussed our hopes for the year(s) to come. We were all very honest in our feedback about how we felt about ourselves, each other and our craft. Nerissa and I sobbed when we saw each other for the first time since I’d left the Netherlands a year before and that was ok, they weren’t the only tears shed that weekend. They were all healthy tears, though. Healing tears. Happy tears. The weekend was about supporting, teaching, inspiring and motivating each other and I came away filled to the brim in every one of those areas.
This is my tribe, my people. The ones who I know get it, who have my back and know (I hope) that I will have theirs. We’re all in this together. I feel so lucky to call them my friends, my Scheepjes Sisters!
So, as you can imagine, this yarn and the meaning behind it is all very special to me and to the group as a whole, which is why this post is a mile long and I’m not even nearly finished yet! I could waffle on for a decade about the group and my experience with Scheepjes, but I know you are here to see the yarn so YES I will stop with the sappy stuff and get back to sharing the pretties.
I started playing with a sock design, which I’m not sure I love… but that’s about the design, not the yarn. I’m going to be curious to see how this yarn is for socks, so I will be making some whether it’s this pattern or another. This sock felt really great when I put it on. I’m thinking I may change my original plan and have a go at something in fair isle or mosiac, using another colour together with mine. I love having a different coloured heel and toe as well. I feel like since I did that the first time, I always want my socks to be multi-coloured.
One comment I saw a few times is how close in color some of the blueish colours are. Mine, Lilla Bjorn and Marie in particular. Sometimes, depending on how the balls are wound and what photos you are looking at, it can be difficult to see the difference in these shades. For example, on the official release photo, some found it hard to tell how the shades differed exactly.
Perhaps it isn’t an issue now that most of the bloggers have discussed their shades, but I thought I’d whip up a quick swatch of each for a side by side comparison.
(L-R: Lilla Bjorn (969), Canadutch (975), Marie (962))
Like I mentioned a little further up, these swatches don’t show the full range of colour changes, as I didn’t have time to knit more of them, but it’s enough to show that, when worked up, they are actually quite different in their colours and pattern. Lilla Bjorn has blue with more natural grey stone and beige colours, mine is a mix of deep purple, teal blues and greys and Marie is more blues and greens with brownish gold throughout.
Each are different but all beautiful, don’t you think? It’s amazing how three colourways that look so similar from a distance are actually so different once you work with them. There are all sorts of little hidden surprises in those skeins. Hopefully the photos will help you if you’ve been scrutinizing the photos of the skeins to try to see the differences!
Want to get in on the action and pick up some of Our Tribe yarn?
UK and International customers can find it at Woolwarehouse and Black Sheep Wools.
North American and International customers can get their hands on it via Knotty House.
In the Netherlands, Caro’s Atilier is stocked up and ready to go!
You can also ask your preferred Scheepjes retailer or find a shop near you!
This post contains affiliate links. This is a way for you to support Canadutch and me as a designer. It is no extra cost to you, but if you shop via one of these links, I get a small percentage of the sale!