Today is International Women’s day 2017 and seems the perfect day to introduce you to a new free pattern and a very special new yarn called “From the Mountain” – Afghan Cashmere. The yarn is distributed by Michelle du Plessis of Scaapi and available from April at Knit with attitude in the UK, Trollenwol in the Netherlands and Ekolikka in Finland, with more stockists in the pipeline. It is a 100% Cashmere, Hand Spun & Undyed Sport Weight Yarn available in four natural colours on 100g/250m hanks with a gauge of 22-24 sts using a 3.5 mm needle.
Like all the yarns Michelle supplies, this one comes with it’s own very interesting story.
War torn Afghanistan is home to some 73 million cashmere goats, but only about 30% of them were being harvested for fibre according to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Susan Inglis, the founder of From the Mountain met Abdul Basir Hotak, the owner of a cashmere processing business in Herat, Afghanistan while working as a consultant for USAID in 2011. Contracted by the Sustainable Agriculture Programme to work with him and to bring new opportunities to rural areas, she and Mr Hotak seized the opportunity to invest in building a supply of this premium fibre.
He sourced a network of spinners in remote areas and is now managing a cottage industry that supports 100 women. After over a decade of conflict, many of these women have been left head of their household, with very few safe and socially acceptable ways to earn an income. Spinning this cashmere provides families with an economic alternative to growing poppies for opium.
From the Mountain cashmere is available in 4 natural shades. The yarn is untreated and is handspun using a drop spindle. It is deliciously soft and has been described as “absolutely luscious”, “silky as butter” and “incredibly soft”.
I absolutely loved working with this yarn and know that you will too. By purchasing this yarn you will help women and their children who have paid a high prize due to the many conflicts of war in their beautiful country.
For further information please visit the Scaapi website or get in touch with Michelle via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Free Pattern can be downloaded by clicking on this link HERE.
Enjoy and happy knitting!
Note: Some information & photos supplied by Scaapi