Today I am so happy to introduce you to Gina, owner of Natural Yarns
Tell us about the beginnings of your business and how it has developed and grown?
Natural Yarns is my ‘passion project’. It is an ideal project for me, as it offers the opportunity to harness my knowledge and experience in the world of Graphic & Web Design, and my love of natural yarns. The idea to start an online yarn shop sparked when I fell in love with the Manos del Uruguay’s Fair Trade yarns and it became my dream to bring their range to South Africa’s shores. In the early stages developing my website, I contacted Carle’ from Nurturing Fibres and we put together the first of Natural Yarns’ exclusive Nurturing Fibres colour range (I am very excited about the new colour range that Carle’ and I have put together – some of these colourways will be launched next month!).
I have met so many wonderful people who have been so supportive by way of becoming customers, friends and/or designers contributing patterns to my shop – and in this way, so far my business is growing in a direction I am very happy with.
Who or what is your inspiration?
The experience of life and living.
I love the textures and colours of things… on the knitting front, these factors determine which projects I choose – which yarn type & colourway I feel inspired to knit a particular project in.
I really love and appreciate how colour contributes so much to the decisions I make – from which clothing I decide to wear on a particular day….to which colour I choose to paint my home..
Growing up in George (on Western Cape Garden Route), the highlight of each year for me was our annual trip to Cape Town. I always knew I wanted to live here, and now, after being here for so many years, I increasingly realise how beautiful and diverse this and it’s surrounds are.
The combination of Cape Town’s rich diversity of its people, excellent food and contrasting natural habitat gives Cape Town a great advantage over most destinations one could ever chance upon. There is much opportunity here to mix with highly creative people, and so I find it easy to explore my creative ideas to the full living here.
Tell us about the different yarns you stock.
All of the yarns that I stock are hand dyed – many of them are hand spun.
My Manos del Uruguay range includes:
- Lace – a gorgeous Baby Alpaca, Cashmere and Silk blend
- Serena – Pima Cotton & Baby Alpaca blend
- Silk Blend – Silk & Merino Blend
- Maxima – gorgeous superfine Merino
- Clasica – a single spun, lovely textured handspun Merino yarn
In my Nurturing Fibres range, I carry:
- SuperTwist Sock Wool – pure Merino fingering weight yarn with a lovely twist which is great for socks as well as shawls, scarves & cardigans
- ManSock – 400m of fingering weight Merino & Mohair with Nylon to make it really strong.
- Spaghetti Aran – Mohair, Merino & Silk..a luxurious firm favorite!
- SuperTwist DK – Soft, squishy and very versitile
- DK Singles – Soft with a lovely sheen – this is a really special yarn!
- Merino Lace Singles – perfect for lace scarves & shawls
Nurturing Fibres has just launched a few new yarns which Natural Yarns will also stock soon.
I also have a range of Adele’s Mohair yarns including:
- Roving Yarn – lovely and soft, pure Superwash Merino
- Skinny Wool – Superwash Merino lace weight
- Magic Balls – a fun novelty yarn comprised of Mohair, Wool & some sparkly bits to make it extra special.
- Medium Brushed Mohair – Handspun out of the finest Mohair & hand dyed.
My LeLana Merino Soft Spun yarns are hand spun Superwash Merino. They are hand painted by Lana on the West Coast of South Africa. These skeins are incredibly soft and ‘airy’ – a joy to work with.
I have a few other yarn brands / sources that I am currently perusing which I am very excited to launch later this year.
What do you enjoy most about your business?
Interacting with the people I meet through my business — seeing all the beautiful creations on Ravelry that people have made with my yarn range is really exciting. When one is developing a young business as I am, it is very rewarding to see customers come back. I love my yarns and I feel so proud to send them out, knowing that they will be enjoyed by the knitter and wearer of the garment / accessory that are created from them! It is a pleasure to be able to share my love of natural yarns with others in this way.
Are there any new exciting products you would like to tell us about?
I have a lot of new products / brands planned.. In particular, there is a very special & exciting new South African yarn range which is currently in it’s development phase — I will announce the launch of these and all other new items on my Ravelry page as well as Facebook & Twitter as soon as they are available.
A Note for Overseas Customers from Gina’s FAQ page on her shop:
It is not currently an automated option on our site (we are working on automating overseas shipping calculation & payment)
If you would like to order from abroad, please place your online through the website as normal. For Shipping & delivery options: Select the “Overseas customers” option.
We will send you a payment request from PayFast (our South African payment gateway for this website) which includes the cost of your yarn, postage & a tracking number.
If you would prefer to pay via PayPal, please comment in the order notes & we will send you a PayPal payment request which will include postage, tracking number + a small % added for extra Paypal and bank commissions. No orders will be shipped before payment has cleared.
Gina’s Social Media Links:
For the give-away, Gina would like to offer 1 reader the choice of 1 of the yarns from the above photo from her current South African inspired colourway collection!!
Together with this giveaway I will be offering 2 patterns to the winner, the Sherpa Hat and the Seaglass Cowl
See below how to enter this lovely giveaway:)
Each of the South African inspired colourways have personal meaning for Gina:
- Cape Town – Man Sock: Cape Town is my home & the place I dreamed of living when I was a child. It really is a dream come true to live here.
- King Protea – Spaghetti Aran:
I have always found King Proteas to be majestic! The Protea is South Africa’s national flower — I’ve always loved Protea – their petals are hard, but often soft to touch, and I love their colours.
- Springbokkie – Spaghetti Aran:
The Springbok (Afrikaans: spring = jump; bok = antelope, deer, or goat) is our national animal – I have family in the Karoo & have spent much time there Springbok spotting.
To enter this giveaway to win one of Gina’s beautiful yarns and 2 Mamma4earth Patterns:
Leave a comment below, to earn extra entries, share about the giveaway on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook or Instagram, remember to leave an extra comment here each time you share.
This giveaway is open worldwide.
The winner will be chosen on Thursday the 30th of May and will be announced here in this post.
Gina, thank you so much for sharing about yourself and your lovely business and for offering such a generous giveaway.