Introducing: High Desert Yarns

We’re beyond excited to introduce High Desert, our first 100% American-made from farm-to-skein yarn line.

In 2020, Knit Picks’ had a dream to develop an all-American-made yarn line. To source high-quality, 100% domestically grown wool to use as the foundation for building a yarn line sourced and milled in the U.S. In parallel, Shaniko Wool Company was looking for a long-term U.S. brand to sell their prized, Responsible Wool Standard (RWS)* certified wool harvest. Most importantly, to find a company that would develop and produce high-quality yarn for knitters and crafters alike. 

Our vision? To create a sport and worsted weight yarn that was soft, smooth, and structured for beautiful garments — be it texture, colorwork, or cables. And to build a color palette inspired by the beautiful colors of Oregon’s high desert landscape, wildlife, and skyline.

The result? High Desert yarns. A match made in (wool) heaven.

From Fleece to Finished Goods

The journey of High Desert begins in the meadows, forest lands, and deserts of the American West. From there, the wool travels to South Carolina to be cleaned and processed for spinning, then onward to North Carolina, where it’s dyed and spun. Once finished, the yarn is sent to Crafts Groups Ohio warehouse before being shipped worldwide to you, our valued customers.

The wool used to create the High Desert yarn line comes from Merino and Merino/Rambouillet-cross sheep, raised on family ranches where both sheep and land are husbanded thoughtfully across generations.

The difference can be felt with your first touch of the yarn — soft heirloom-quality wool makes each skein shine with an earthy brilliance. This is a yarn made to stand the test of time, much like the resilient spirit of the land where its story begins.

* The Responsible Wool Standard (RWS), developed by Textile Exchange, is an international benchmark program for responsible land and animal management.


14 comments

  1. AnnM / April 6, 2021 / Reply

    This is so exciting! Gorgeous colors and the weights I prefer. And, even better, I’ve been waiting for exactly this kind of yarn–all-American. Can’t wait to order! I’ve already picked out my patterns too!

  2. Vivisky / April 6, 2021 / Reply

    I can’t wait to try this new yarn—-LOVE that you are putting it up in Sport weight, my favorite =)

  3. Jill / April 6, 2021 / Reply

    Nice that eastern Oregon’s longtime responsible wool production is being teamed with KnitPicks. Small note: there is no circumstance where its’ is used. Where possessive, no apostrophe; where a contraction of “it is,” ‘s.

  4. Elaine Lim / April 7, 2021 / Reply

    This is an exiting development in the wool fiber world! Congratulations on developing this yarn after sourcing the wool from Merino/Rambouillet sheep here in the US and having it processed and dyed here also.
    I’ve used your yarns for many years and look forward to trying the new High Desert.

  5. Kari / April 7, 2021 / Reply

    Looking forward to trying this! Thank you for investing in America! We need more of this,

  6. Leslie Parkes / April 7, 2021 / Reply

    Great work! I live in the west, Colorado to be specific, and I love what you have done. You are supporting Americans, especially the ranchers of the west.I live in a high mountain valley, just west of the front range in southern Colorado. Many of my friends are cattle and sheep ranchers.I knit exclusively with your yarns and am proud of your efforts.

  7. Wendy / April 7, 2021 / Reply

    Sounds amazing, I’m so looking forward to trying it!

  8. L. Wiberg / April 7, 2021 / Reply

    Kudos to you KnitPicks; great decision! I have long been a proponent of the farm-to-needle, and the similar farm-to-table and slow fashion movement(s). Sustainability, responsibility, working with small businesses are all on my hot list. Shaniko is not too far from me which makes this closer to my heart. The colors look to be a great addition to your offerings also.

  9. Janet McLain / April 7, 2021 / Reply

    As an Oregonian that lives in the High Desert I am thrilled to see this collaboration with Shaniko Wool!!!

  10. Katharine Beffa / April 7, 2021 / Reply

    Love that it is totally American sheep and processing up to the knitter. The Merino/Rambouillet sounds really interesting — should give the merino the extra bit of resilience it needs.

    Bet your booty I’m getting some right away!

  11. Cindy Schaufenbuel / April 8, 2021 / Reply

    I’m looking forward to trying out this wool! Any chance for some crochet patterns?

  12. Brook / April 10, 2021 / Reply

    I wonder if the term “Farm to Table” and “Farm to Skein” are a bit misleading. These terms are meant to say that the product goes directly from the farm to the table, no processing, no middlepeople, avoiding high costs of storage, travel and packaging. This yarn finds itself traveling thousands of miles before it’s a skein. Maybe being a little more transparent with the term “out West” and name the sheep breeds. I understand your need to enhance the romance yet a lot of us just want the facts, especially us natural knitters.

  13. Kate Magrath / April 21, 2021 / Reply

    I am excited to finish the thing(s) on my needles now, so I can try this yarn! (It’s a promise I made to myself.) I may lose patience, though…

  14. Patricia Zizza / April 23, 2021 / Reply

    You had me at American! A beautiful red cardigan I think. Yep, can’t wait.

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