Last fall at the Indie Untangled trunk show at Woolyn in Brooklyn, I was chatting with Alice of Backyard Fiberworks about collaborating with dyers on exclusive colorways and doing something to raise money for a good cause. It was a few weeks after the election and just before the holidays, so many of my knitting and non-knitting friends were feeling compelled to give back. Alice asked me if I followed the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Instagram feed, which features gorgeous images captured by park employees and both amateur and professional photographers. She then came up with a brilliant idea: have dyers create colorways based on photos from the feed and donate a percentage of the profits to the parks.
I’m excited to finally debut this latest project, Knitting Our National Parks. Over the next year, several indies will get inspiration from the natural beauty found across the U.S. Dyers who have signed on for this year include Pigeonroof Studios, Jill Draper Makes Stuff and Duck Duck Wool, with others to participate in 2018. Vicki of That Clever Clementine will also be creating project bags with fun national parks-themed fabric. 10% of all yarn sales will be donated to the National Park Foundation.
When you see more stars than you can count, the moonlight is reflecting off snow-capped mountains and you hear the whisper of the wind in the trees, you’ll know you’re in North Cascades #NationalPark in #Washington. With almost 400 miles of trails and geographic diversity that will surprise you, #NorthCascades is the kind of park that will keep you coming back for another adventure. Photo @ncascadesnps by Andy Porter (www.sharetheexperience.org). #findyourpark #usinterior
Since this was Alice’s suggestion, she has kicked off the project with a colorway based on the above photo of North Cascades National Park in her native Washington State (fittingly, her father once worked in the park through the Youth Conservation Corps). The yarn is available to preorder now through June 30.
Another exciting part of this project was getting to work with the talented Erin Kate Archer, a fellow Brooklynite, on the Knitting Our National Parks illustration. I discovered Erin’s work while I was browsing knitting art on Etsy. Erin creates both travel watercolors and knitted landscapes, and I knew right away that her work would be perfect for this.
Erin has made prints of the illustration, inspired by Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State, available for sale. She has also generously donated a couple of her 8×10 prints as prizes, so I will be hosting a giveaway on the blog. To enter, comment here with your favorite U.S. national park, either that you’ve visited or hope to visit. The giveaway will run through midnight EDT on Friday, June 30 (which is also when preorders for Alice’s colorway close). A winner will be chosen via random number generator.
I hope you enjoy coming along with us on this fun journey through the parks!