As if the 2016 summer hadn’t treated us with enough new goodies already, the newest addition to our new Autumn/Winter yarns is the pure luxury bundles from Lux Adorna, in 100% cashmere, carefully selected colour ways and irresistible softness.
The Menage a Trois bundles are just perfect for the 3 Color Cashmere Cowl, and the choices are just wonderful; from muted and monochrome to bright and eye catching, there’s sure to be a bundle for everyone. And the gorgeous Fun Size Bundles, the 8 colour braids come complete as a kit to make the Lila Chevron Stripe Cowl and come with the pattern printed right on the label – a perfect gift for any knitter with a taste for luxurious softness.
Cashmere truly is the crème de la crème of the fibre kingdom, and if you’ve ever worn or worked with cashmere, you know exactly why it’s such a highly regarded material. We were lucky enough to spend some time talking with Heidi Hennessey, the founder and powerhouse of Lux Adorna Yarns to find out how the company came about and what inspires her.
Colour and natural fibres are really important to Loop and what inspires us – how have these two things informed the kind of yarns that you make?
Wear what you love. For me, classic and luxury always wins out in my closet. One driving force in my own life is to own less stuff and have the stuff that I own be my favourite things. Cashmere garments just happens to be one of my most favourite things! When I dove into the manufacturing business I knew 2 things for certain:
1. I wanted to sell a product that is congruent with my own values.
2. The market for well priced, fun and colourful cashmere yarn was underserved.
Combining colour and luxury was the perfect pairing.
How did you get into the yarn business?
I have been a knitter and spinner for almost 20 years. When I was a young mom, my knitting time was spent mostly on making durable sweaters for my 4 rambunctious boys. Once they grew up, my knitting turned selfish and I began knitting for myself! Not having a good source to purchase luxury yarn in my area, I began buying cashmere sweaters at second hand stores, unraveling them then plying that recycled cashmere on my trusty Ashford spinning wheel so that I could have the luxury yarn I always wanted to knit my own garments with. Hunting down cashmere sweaters and turning that recycled yarn into usable yarn became a sport to me. My gadgety husband turned our Kitchenaid table top mixture into an electric skein winder that sat permanently on our kitchen counter which I used to unwind cashmere sweaters.
Eventually I had more recycled cashmere yarn than one person needed in a life time so I began selling it online. It sold like wildfire! That is where I learned that the colourful cashmere yarn market was underserved and the lightbulbs in my head started lighting up! As a lifetime entrepreneur, I knew there was an opportunity for me in the fibre industry to sell brand new, colourful and affordable cashmere yarn. After several months of product testing, creating a business plan, and testing the market, I dove in! I brought my first 100% cashmere yarn to the market in 2013. Now, 3 years later, I have a wonderful staff, a studio manufacturing space, and work with exporters who produce some of the worlds finest cashmere fibre.
What inspires your work and the colours you create?
I am a city girl. Bright lights, store front signs, street performers, graffiti art or a vibrant tie worn with on a nice suit have always made me stop and appreciate the colourful life they bring to a concrete jungle. Therefore, the first colour palette I introduced, was a reflection of that city life inspiration. My first colours were bold and primary. As the business has grown, the colour palette has also. I have moved a lot and certainly can attribute a growing colour palette to the places I have lived. I spent my young adulthood in the Seattle Washington area and can attribute a lot of colour inspiration from there. Grey skies, ferns and pine trees, dark silvery buildings and stormy weather have all played a part in my colour choices. Perhaps a European trip is in order to inspire my next colour palette!
Tell us about your ‘hands-on’ approach at Lux Adorna.
I am so glad you asked this! As a maker and garment knitter myself, it was important to me to manufacture a garment yarn that I would knit with myself and be proud of. Therefore, I wanted to have my hands on as much of the manufacturing process as possible. In the research phase of the company I learned that one of the big bottle necks indie yarn makers have is the dying process. To eliminate that stress, I chose not to dye in-house, but instead work with large manufacturing companies in China who do the dying for us. We then take that dyed yarn and ply it on our milling equipment in our studio in Boise Idaho. Being in control of the plying process was my best decision! With a proprietary twist, our process produces a superior garment yarn that shows incredible stitch definition, has great longevity and has less pilling. We are proud of that.
What’s on your needles now?
Almost always I have a sweater (or 3) on needles. Currently I have the Seashore sweater by Isabell Kraemer on needles using our sport weight yarn in colours Brunch and Kitten. I recently finished the Naima cardigan by Ankestrick using our DK weight yarn in colour Tree Frog. It is an amazing design and my most favourite sweater I’ve knit so far. I’ve had a pair of socks on needles for 3 years and, if I’m honest, I will never finish them. I’d rather knit 100 sweaters over one pair of socks. I knit a lot of sample products for yarn stores too and currently I have a 3 Colour Cashmere Cowl on my needles that, when finished, is headed to Loop as a sample for your lovely shop!
What’s one of your favourite patterns to knit with you yarn?
The Gretta Hat by Tanis Gray is my most favourite pattern to knit with in my yarn. It is a fair isle hat that uses 7 colours which really shows off our colour palette. The pattern comes with charts for 3 different colour palettes. My favourite colour palette for the Gretta hat is Wedding Day.
Thanks Heidi, we can’t wait to see the cowl! Click here to browse Lux Adorna Yarns on our website.
Happy knitting, yarn friends!
P.S. And it’s the last time we’ll mention this, promise! There’s still a few days left to vote for us in the British Knitting Awards 2016, until the end of August! Please show your support by clicking on the image above to vote for Loop to win best knitting shop in the South East! Thank you!