Who Grew Your Yarn?
Bloom creates high-quality knitting yarns made in small batches from wool grown, spun and dyed in and around the Western Massachusetts Fibershed. With a special focus on woolen-spun yarn, we work with the mills in our regional fiber system to design and produce lush and lofty yarns that are a pleasure to knit with. When you purchase our yarn you support small family-owned farms and help preserve New England’s enduring textile tradition.
Knit with Bloom and create an American made heirloom.
T H E B A C K S T O R Y :
WOOL LOVE + LOCAL FARMS + PANDEMIC = ABUNDANCE OF YARN !
Bloom was begun at the end of the long 2020-21 winter by an enthusiastic knitter with a passion for slow food and slow fashion, local farms and local economies. Founder Lisa Fortin began to dream about creating a high-quality knitting yarn from local wool. She'd had the wool from her flock of Shetland sheep mill-spun in the past and, lovely though it was, this time she envisioned something more than the rustic “farm-yarn” that made sweet sweaters for her family. She imagined a lush woolen-spun yarn that would delight knitters and mirror the quality of the best brands at her favorite yarn shops.
With fleeces from her own flock piling up and some gifted wool and alpaca, Lisa drove Bloom's first batch of fiber off to the mill. She then reached out to other local farms to inquire about purchasing additional wool. The timing was ideal. Sheep all over had been shorn as usual the previous spring. But as the pandemic swept in, markets and festivals were cancelled and farmers did not have access to their customers. With four kids in tow, Lisa traveled to farms both familiar and newly-discovered, listening to stories and learning more about wool from the hardworking folks who raise the animals. Over the course of 6 weeks she strategically stuffed 600 pounds of wool into the family vehicle and marveled at the rich resource available within her local fibershed region.
She procured hand-spinning quality fleeces at wholesale prices along with a large backstock from a shepherd and retired weaver. She paid a fair price for wool that would have been sold for very little to a wool pool and also purchased usable fleeces that were destined to become compost. Each of these types of fibers desires to be it's own unique yarn or product. Lisa is working closely with a handful of mills within a small geographical radius to bring her vision of Bloom's potential into fruition.
A large part of Lisa's motivation stems from her long-time passion for natural fibers and recycled textiles. When only 2% of the clothing that Americans buy this year will have been made in this country, knitting with locally produced yarn is a protest against fast, disposable fashion and a vote for local economies and regional fiber systems.
Not all the fiber Bloom finds is suitable for producing a good knitting yarn; but even the coarser fibers we collect - wool with a higher micron count - has significant use value and product development is underway to create items for the home that have the potential to replace synthetic, imported counterparts. We hope you continue to follow this journey as we release our full line of yarn and woolen products over the course of 2022 and this small seed of an idea begins to fully Bloom.