I know I’m not alone when I admit that one of my favorite pastimes is exploring local yarn stores. And sometimes there is more to discover than just yarn.
So it was during my first visit to the Lucky Ewe Yarn store in New Braunfels, TX. Besides some of my favorite commercial yarns and several interesting indie dyed treasures, a line of merino wool that was clearly hand spun, in worsted weight and therefore perfect for TURTLE looms, caught my attention. A closer look at the label revealed “handspun hope – Perfectly Imperfect, 100% Organic Merino Wool … Made in Rwanda”. Made in Rwanda?
A very long story short, Handspun Hope is part of the True Vineyarnd ministry which helps over 100 women in Rwanda to fight poverty. The approach is to offer an entrepreneurial, innovative, and holistic work solution to women in Rwanda who otherwise probably would not even have a chance to survive.
And it is interesting to know that while many of us are familiar with Fair Trade coffee or chocolate … Handspun Hope is the only creator of yarn certified by the Fair Trade Federation!
I left the store several hours later with a bag full of Handspun Hope, a brain overflowing with information, and a heart filled with the desire to support this wonderful ministry.
For our first Handspun Hope project, a Poinsettia Table Accent for the holidays, we used two colors of the Merino wool, “Cosmos“ for the poinsettia center, and “Rich Topiary” for the leaves. I wanted a classical red for the flower petals, and at the Lucky Ewe I found “Put a cherry on it” from local indie dyer “Morningside Road Fiber”. If you don’t have access to that yarn, you can choose any other worsted weight yarn, and it does not have to be “red” … consider white, pink, yellow … the Handspun Hope in Cosmos and Rich Topiary is very accommodating.
All hexagons are woven on the original TURTLE Loom™. The wool is a thicker worsted weight, so it is important to pack the weaving after each row. Use the diagram to assemble the hexagons. This is a great project for beginners and experienced weavers alike, and the yarn offers “food for thought” for everyone.
The Poinsettia Table Accent makes a wonderful gift for a friend, and you will have a story to tell along with it. If you have time, make many and use them instead of chargers on your Christmas table and let your guests take them home afterwards. Great way to spread the spirit.
I have many ideas for future projects from table runners to bags and more, but even existing TURTLE projects will be an excellent fit, for example the felted bag.
Tip: Besides the merino, Handspun Hope also carries a line of amazing Egyptian Cotton which offers even more possibilities!
The instructions for this first Handspun Hope project are free of charge available on Ravelry, click here.
Let this project get you into the holiday spirit, creatively and givingly.
And … may the Poinsettia Table Accent be the first project of many.