Being a yarn junkie, anything hand-dyed automatically shouts out to me. So having grown up with Colinette yarns (my local hand-dyed yarn) in Ippikins, I consider myself spoilt from appreciating all these gorgeous colours. For me colour is the most important thing, the style of the yarn doesn’t even come close once I’ve fallen for a colour.
You may or may not have heard of Colinette, if you haven’t I highly suggest a quick look at some of the beautiful slub yarns they produced, but the fact they have officially closed the factory has come as a huge shock to some of us. This means in Ippikins we’ve been really struggling to find a replacement for this indie hand-dyed yarn. Suggestions welcome!! I have been set the task to find a replacement brand, or even several to fit this area. This task is near impossible due to the vast range Colinette had ; just to mention a few, Jitterbug – the beautiful 4 ply, One Zero – my personal favourite slubby chunky yarn!
So with this impossible task set I started my investigation, which as I’m sure you can imagine was proving a testing feet. First finding something on the chunky side with a slub was the most difficult part, as not only did it have to have that texture but also without any inspiring colours it would be pointless. We found Bamboozle (140 mts) by King Cole, which I’m sure you know isn’t a hand-dyed yarn but does have that slub texture and also some beautiful colours. We’ve only had it stocked for a short amount of time, but are finding it very popular. I’m going to knit a shawl in it, the colours are truly great.
For the 4 ply, DK and Aran side of the yarns we found 2 solutions; Fyberspates and Manos Del Uruguay. They both are hand-dyed yarns with vivid colours. They are both on the expensive side of things, but good meterage to go with it! Fyberspates has been a really popular yarn for us, the Vivacious 4 ply (365 mts) is a high twist merino that to be honest just knits up beautiful. Having made a jumper in the spiced plum I can not fault a thing about it, just waiting to see how well it lasts after numerous washing. The Vivacious Dk ( 230 metres) is equally as lovely, in fact with the slightly weightier yarn the colour seems to pop even more. We do also stock the Scrumptious Aran (165 mts), which is the largest weight yarn of Fyberspates we currently have. Being a merino and silk blend it has a beautiful sheen to it because of the silk, it really is a luxury yarn that is so soft.
Manos Del Uruguay is my new favourite yarn and ethos, but let me start with the yarn first then I can rant about their fabulous ethos! I’ll start with the Aran weight Silk Blend (135 mts), with 70% extrafine merino wool and 30% silk you can imagine how silky soft this yarn is, with jewel like colours to show it off. So far I haven’t knitted with particular yarn but with 10 projects on the go I feel I can justify myself there. With a very slight slub to it you can use it for really any aran project, at a reasonable price for a hand-dyed yarn this would make any project just a little bit more special.
Now the Manos yarn I was desperate to get on to, Alegria (425 mts), with a 75% superwash merino and 25% polyamide blend its a lovely yarn but most importantly the colour!! It’s a true explosion of colour, Alegria means joy in Spanish and I can see why. The yarn artisans hand paint every skein, I can honestly say that when the yarns were delivered into work I was won over immediately. I am currently knitting up a jumper in A7105 Malvín and A8855 Pindó and cannot wait to show you the final product.
The part that makes Manos so special is their ethos, “MANOS DEL URUGUAY , is a non-profit organisation which assembles women in cooperatives scattered throughout the countryside of Uruguay. The aim of the organisation is to bring economic and social opportunities to rural women”. What a beautiful thought that is for a beautiful yarn. Having been created in 1968 with the sole aim to create jobs for rural women in their hometown, and to still be going 45 years later with the same purpose and that they have developed in so many ways. The economical and social impact on these women is such a triumphant project.
So there we have it, my answers for those who are struggling with the loss of such a valuable yarn company like Colinette. I am still searching and researching any yarns that could fill that gap, but sadly I do think there will never be a spot on answer for Colinette, but I can dream! For any inquiries about Ippikin or the yarns we sell emails or phone calls are always welcome.