Today marks one month since the launch of Shelter — and what an incredibly rewarding month it’s been. In the weeks leading up to October, I had gotten so deep into the work that I had completely lost my grip on an objective opinion. I realized I didn’t know what to expect as a response from the community. How would this project be perceived by the world? Would it be welcomed into the already vast universe of yarn and fiber as I so desperately hoped?
Fast forward four weeks and I can tell you that the actual response has been overwhelming and humbling. My inbox has seen a steady stream of beautiful, passionate e-mails from readers who are excited about buying American. Excited about woolen. Excited about Harrisville. There seems to be a strong collective desire to preserve and support our own textile history (and to knit with woolly wool) — and for this, you have made me such a happy man.
When I decided to pull the trigger and make SHELTER a reality, I felt like a was taking a major gamble with my targeted inventory levels (I had high hopes) — I invested as much as I could in an amount that I thought was quite possibly overkill, resolving that, if no one was interested in buying American Wool than I’d just have enough wool to keep myself busy for a several lifetimes. It was one of the more scary decisions required of the process.
Only a few days after launch, it became clear that we were actually going to need to get the whole process started from the beginning — sourcing more wool and sending it through the magical yarn-making machinery — much sooner than I had anticipated. Making that call felt like such a collective affirmation and was a very proud moment.
I’ve felt like such a doting parent, watching SHELTER make its way into all corners of the world (in our first week we had orders from Shetland, Taiwan, Norway and New Zealand, among others) as knitters have begun folding it into their Fall and Winter knitting plans. Seeing fabrics and forms take shape in the hands of others has been a distinct pleasure.
The downside to all this wool-love is that we are already feeling a strain on our most popular colors. The process from wool to yarn can take up to two months or more, and even though we’re already in the midst of that process, I was hoping we’d be able to make it to Batch Two before running out of any colors. But! Rest assured that more yarn is on the way. If you’ve been shopping on our site or in one of our Flagship Stores and find that your chosen color is low or out of stock please know that we’re working on it. A few of the colors have been astoundingly popular (I’m looking at you, Button Jar) — but many others are still available in healthy quantities if you’re dying for a Shelter fix and don’t want to wait.
In the meantime, creative work behind the scenes is going strong — the crisp chill in the air has brought on a goodly amount of woolly daydreaming and some much-needed time for designing. Today is the first day I actually considered turning on the heat, but turned towards my recently-freed-from-storage sweater pile instead.
Mostly what I want to say to you today is simply, Thank You. For supporting a project that not so long ago seemed like a pipe dream. For being excited about American wool and most of all for providing generous support – your e-mails, comments and orders have been very warmly cherished.
Onward to the next!