Ten years ago, my last two nights were as white as the days when something happens, a brand new website had been lovingly cobbled together, the living room was overrun with boxes full of wool and I was presenting you with butterflies in my stomach with our very first batch of Gilliatt.
The piles of hanks to be tied every night have turned into lovely round balls, the rudimentary hand-cut labels have given way to pretty custom-made bands, Gilliatt has surrounded himself over the years with an increasingly diverse and colourful family of characters, and knitters from all over the world have given them thousands of stories full of beauty, softness and emotion.
Today, thanks to them, thanks to you, there are exactly 28,616 projects knitted in our yarns on Ravelry this morning! Each one tells a little piece of life, a moment taken from the race of the days to imagine this new project, to dream about its colour, its material, to reserve a special time in your day for it, to make your hands and your head work, to learn new things or to enjoy this so particular music of the stitches sliding on the needles and to savour this sensation at the same time soft and powerful to see our hands making beautiful things. Each of these projects is also a gift, which we make to ourselves, which we make to cherish the other, charging these stitches with kindness and attention.
I wanted to create these yarns to reweave links between the sheep who offer us their wool, the women and men who take care of them and perpetuate pastoralism, the links in the very human chain that from shearing to fluffing through washing, combing, dyeing and spinning transform a raw fleece into a pretty ball of yarn, and to give birth to yarns that root our pleasure in creating in a conscious reflection on our link to nature and a search for beauty and harmony that makes us happy.
I’ve learned over the years and through a thousand and one things that don’t work out the way you want them to that beautiful ideas have to come up against harsh reality if they are ever to exist and that despite all our good will things are rarely perfect. But for every morning of discouragement, there was a word of encouragement that gave meaning to this adventure, for every moment of doubt, the joy of seeing the wonders imagined by admired designers and your incredible creations.
So when I think about what De Rerum will be like in ten years’ time, I look at the path we have travelled, at the precious Céline who has been working with me for the past four years, at Judikael, my eternal and valiant supporter who finally joined us in the team a year ago; I think of all those who work and make this adventure live: Lionel, Michael, Antonio, Aline, Benoit, Alain, Corinne, Magalie, Chantal, Fabrice, Eric, Fatima, Julie, Quentin, Vanessa who produce and make your wool and prepare your packages; to all the shop owners who trust us and make our yarns shine all over the world, to Nadia, Anne, Ysolda, Sari, Isabell, Katrin, Ankestrick, Heidi, Veera, Anna, Melody, Marianne, the teams of PomPom Mag, Laine Magazine and Making stories and all the designers who imagine their patterns in our yarns and make you want to knit them; and to you of course.
I don’t know if we’ve created a more beautiful world, but we’ve certainly created some beautiful things together, and I hope we’ll continue for a long time to come to help you create your happy days in a world that needs beauty, harmony and gentleness more than ever.
Thank you all for this great wave of memories, emotion and kindness! Thank you for this journey and thank you for making me, and us, want to continue it. You are wonderful!
In your stories, you have spoken of pleasure and harmony, of joy and mourning, of the magical power of knitting to soothe sorrows, of knitting as a healing talisman, of refuge blankets that are still cuddled, of transmission, of comfort, of poetry, of self-affirmation, of the unexpected destiny of woolly creations and of the immense pleasure of creating and weaving links that give meaning to our existence.
We had to choose and it was so difficult that there will finally be 4 winners:)
and to Ita for her colourful account of the adventures of her Lila jumper in Gilliatt “printemps”!
Thank you for this story which, thanks to you, has been written over the years by many, many hands, and has been enriched by a thousand nuances that I had not dared to hope for. I hope that the next chapters will inspire you too!