Wednesday, July 20, 2016

New Colors from MJ Yarns!

When we announced our new house colors last month, we hinted that more was yet to come. This month, we are pleased to unveil 5 gorgeous new limited edition colorways from MJ yarns which are available on our popular Tibetan Dream sock yarn base, as well as an exciting option we're calling Big Bijou Bliss.
Big Bijou Bliss in Joseph
Big Bijou Bliss (or BBB for short) is a worsted-weight version of our well-loved Bijou Bliss sport weight yarn, and both are a soft and springy blend of 50% Tibetan yak and 50% Cormo wool. Each skein has 160 yards, which is perfect for lots of small projects such as hats, fingerless gloves and more.
Big Bijou Bliss in Cerulean Twilight
BBB is a limited run yarn base, which means that once it's gone, it's really, truly gone! We think that these gorgeous variegated colors are the perfect way to get ready for fall (it'll be here before you know it).
Big Bijou Bliss in Mice and Men
The Bowline hat pattern from Tin Can Knits is a great one-skein BBB project that you can knit for the entire family: it's sized for baby through Adult L, and the unisex stitch pattern looks good on everyone!
Tibetan Dream in Lakeside
Sock yarn lovers, take note: we also have these new hand-dyed colors available in our yak and nylon blend, Tibetan Dream. One skein is all it takes for a variety of projects, from socks to beautiful shawls and wraps. If you've been thinking about casting on for the Spindrift Shawl or Pebble Beach Shawl, both by Helen Stewart, any of these new colors would be the perfect choice!
Tibetan Dream in Purple Dragon
Of course, the Purple Dragon colorway has us thinking about Game of Thrones, and there are a lot of great GOT-inspired patterns on Ravelry that would be a great matchup for Tibetan Dream in this color, such as: Mother of Dragons by Laura Smoot, Winter is Coming by Sally Cameron, and Lord Varys by Jill Bickers. We'll make it easy for you, click here to view more GOT-inspired patterns for fingering weight yarn over on Ravelry!

Whatever color & yarn you choose, we hope you'll share your project with us here in our Ravelry group or over on Instagram using the #bijoubasinranch hashtag. Happy knitting & crocheting!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Made in the USA: Behind the Scenes at BBR

L-R: Eileen Koop, Donna Vessey
(host of Hittin' the Road) & Carl Koop.
 
Here at Bijou Basin Ranch, we are a family-owned ranch that raises fully registered Tibetan yaks that have wonderfully glossy coats and produce a high quality fiber. If you haven’t knit with yak yarn (or a yak blend) before, you are missing out! Tibetan yak fiber is warmer than wool and has a softness similar to cashmere, making it ideal for lightweight garments and accessories.  As yak fiber takes time to develop, we work with other ranchers in the western states and abroad in Mongolia to supplement the fiber needed to produce our extensive range of high-quality yarns.
Processing and Dyeing
Since our big focus is raising happy yaks (happy yaks produce better fiber!) we also work with a variety of US-based mills and independent American dyers to turn this precious fiber into the kind of yarn that you can’t wait to work with in colors which range from vibrant to subtle in both solids or variegated. For us, it just made sense to work with dyers who were already at the top of their game and doing amazing things, kind of like a party with some very talented friends. Here are some of the indie dyers you'll find in our online store:

  • Miss Babs, based in Tennessee
  • MJ Yarns, based in Colorado
  • Lattes & Llamas, based in Pennsylvania
  • ModeKnit Yarns, based in Minnesota
  • Lost City Knits, based in Oklahoma
Of course, we think that the perfect way to care for your gorgeous knits in our yarn is with Allure Fiber Wash, which is made right here in the USA. This all-natural, biodegradable no-rinse wash is perfect for your special handwash-only treasures. After all, you spent so much time making something beautiful, it makes sense to keep it looking its best!
ModeKnit Gradient Yarn & Allure Fiber Wash
Show me the Yaks!
I bet you don’t think ‘cute!’ when you think of yaks, but they are actually quite cute. We were recently interviewed for a PBS show called Hittin' the Road (click here to watch the episode!) which recently aired - you can check out the interview with Carl & Eileen Koop (aka, the "family owned" part of the business) at the 3-minute mark in the video linked above. It's worth clicking over for the immediate joy of seeing our yaks frolicking in a field - who knew yaks were so bouncy!? Well, we did, but people don't usually believe us...now we have video proof!
And for some very short clips of seeing the yaks in the field being a bit less bouncy but every bit as cute, this three-part series of videos from Interweave is required viewing:


If you haven’t had a chance to touch a skein of yak yarn before, we hope to see you at one of the many yarn shows we are attending this year. We'll also be sharing some new hand-dyed colorways with you later this month, so stay tuned for more updates!