100% American-Made High Desert Yarn

In 2020, Knit Picks began looking for more ways to support local fiber by creating a 100% American-made yarn, and we found the perfect partner incredibly close to home. Just 120 miles east of Knit Picks’ Vancouver, WA offices is the Shaniko Wool Company, located in Oregon’s high desert region. The Shaniko Wool Company was founded by rancher Jeanne Carver and is a collective of ranches that raise Merino and Rambouillet-Merino sheep to produce Responsible Wool Standard (RWS) certified wool. The RWS certification process confirms a fully traceable and sustainable wool supply and helps ensure responsible animal and land management. “I saw this partnership as a valuable opportunity to bring [Knit Picks] its first yarn from America,” said Carver. “The fact that we are 3rd party certified to this international benchmark is something that I and the other ranchers have felt the yarn industry and its consumers are ready for. In addition to premium quality and performance in the wool, it gives added confidence in our practices.”

To turn our American wool from the Shaniko Wool Company into American yarn, we worked with a fleece processor in South Carolina, and from there the fiber is dyed and spun at a mill in North Carolina. The end product is a beautiful, bouncy wool with a nice twist, and as a tribute to the source of our fiber, we named the yarn line High Desert! After being dyed and spun, High Desert gets shipped to our warehouse in Ohio before being sent directly to knitters’ homes.

In addition to thinking local to source our fiber, we also wanted to bring that element to High Desert’s color choices and names. The initial twelve colors featured jewel tones inspired by the dramatic Oregon high desert landscapes, the ranchers who work there, and native flora and fauna, and they had such a great response that we couldn’t help but add more options, including heathers. Last autumn, we expanded our High Desert yarn line to include tweeds, and the tweeds continue the focus on locally-inspired colors. We even paid tribute to one of Jeanne Carver’s hard-working sheepdogs with a black tweed colorway named after Sadie, a very good sheepdog dog.

High Desert is a great choice for garments and accessories and comes in sport and worsted weight. Its tight twist provides beautiful stitch definition, and it makes wonderfully accentuated cables and textured stitches. The 100% American wool is incredibly soft, perfect for pieces worn next to the skin, and it’s hard to resist High Desert once you try knitting with it!

1 comment

  1. Bobbie carey / March 2, 2024 / Reply

    Worked on the mystery phrase for a discount. The only word I came up with was fun, because I could not find it in the word search. However I did find three words that had one letter wrong in it. But they really didn’t spell anything. So can someone please give me a hint on how this works as there is nothing on the card.