A Decade With Wool
Ten years ago I was experiencing a morning not so unlike this one — sitting silently in my home, processing my thoughts at a keyboard. Expressing words of gratitude and hopefulness to my community amid swirling waves of emotion. A dual presence of hope and uncertainty. An electric combination of excitement and trepidation.
That day, the time had come to reveal my passion project to the world: a fledgling handknitting startup offering a modest, single batch of domestically sourced and manufactured yarn. I was excited to share something that meant so much to me, and unnerved by the vulnerability inherent in that very act.
The project was the culmination of a year of my life spent asking questions: Can yarn be made differently? Is manufacturing closer to home still viable? How many unique varieties of wool are grown in the USA? How can knitters play a part in supporting and preserving traditions of domestic textile manufacturing and wool production? What and who can this effort meaningfully support?
Important questions. Many of which still drive the work we do at Brooklyn Tweed ten years later.
Present-day me exists in an outwardly similar snapshot of that moment in 2010, but in a world that looks very different. Today I’m typing quietly at home as we enter month seven of a global pandemic, working with my colleagues in a completely different way than ever before. Today, I’m expressing my gratitude to this community for a decade(!) of generous support and belief in our efforts at Brooklyn Tweed. Feeling again a steady emotional churn, that familiar combination of hope and fear unfolding in a time of transition. Sitting with still more questions: How does a small business adapt to the tectonic shifts in the world around us? How can we contribute to a more equitable and inclusive industry (neighborhood, city, world)? What changes can we embrace in order to continue serving the needs of our community? How can we deepen our commitment to sustainable agricultural and manufacturing processes? What new endeavors will bring more meaning and fulfillment to our work in the coming years?
In spite of this new tangle of questions, I’m humbled in reflection as I look out across the passionate community of knitters, fiber lovers, designers, ranchers, manufacturers, and colleagues that has rooted and grown around Brooklyn Tweed, giving it a life and vitality beyond what I ever imagined. What a beautiful gift.
As BT turns ten and we enter this month of joyful celebration, I offer my deepest thanks to you, our loyal customers and supporters who have made this decade possible. Thank you for allowing us to explore this dream. We are honored for the opportunity to continue serving you, and walk forward together through times of change. You’ve inspired us for years with your creativity and passion, and strengthened us in our efforts to think differently about how and why we make yarn and patterns.
Wherever this note finds you, and with whatever questions you’re sitting with, I hope you’ll enjoy celebrating (virtually) with us throughout September as we contemplate this beautiful journey we continue together — thank you.