Robinson: a fresh, tender new yarn to build our happy days

I hope you are well and that the return of the good weather, at least on this side of the hemisphere, brings a little sweetness and light despite all the challenges of the world today.

Building a harmonious daily life and imagining a desirable future in the midst of the doubts, upheavals and pains of our times is not easy, and breathing in the scent of roses, lingering in the daisies to observe the beauty of this marvellous rebirth and nourishing oneself with the thousand and one glorious nuances of everything that grows are very precious balms

In order to be able to bring some of nature’s beauty into our creations, I started dreaming about the yarns that will be created this spring… It has been a long process, involving a beautiful chain of skills and a pinch of audacity and, after many twists and turns, I am very happy to finally be able to share these first photos with you!   

Among the first yarns I had imagined when Dererum existed only in my head, there was one that on my notebooks was called “petite laine”: a mixture of wool and cotton, which would not scare soft skins or those who are always too hot. 

Except that cotton doesn’t grow here and its need for water and pesticides make it a very false friend. So I concentrated on the good and beautiful materials we were lucky enough to have around us until I met Fabrice and his invention to recycle the cotton from our old T-shirts into long fibres. After passing through a series of machines worthy of Honka Wonka’s inventions, the clothes at the end of their life are transformed into a soft and immaculate cloud ready to live a new life! As this recycled cotton comes from garments often sewn with synthetic threads, 5% max. of the total recycled fibres are considered to be “other” (compared to the 30% of recycled cotton in the composition, this corresponds to the 2% specified on the yarn labels). That’s also doing with reality!

This recycled cotton is mixed with the beautiful wool of organically farmed Merinos d’Arles that allow us to financially support the breeders in this virtuous process.

In order for this project to take on its full meaning and coherence, I decided to combine it with another area of my research that has so far been unsuccessful: natural dyes. The cost and unpredictability of natural dyes make it very difficult to use them on a large scale, and although there are many people who want to develop these ecological processes, few projects actually succeed once they are confronted with the imperatives of production. However, by using the technique of dyeing in fleece and not on skeins and by selecting the most resistant natural pigments, it seemed to me that we could get around some of these difficulties. So, with another company in the Tarn, we patiently worked out a very gentle palette, playing with the richness and subtlety of natural colours (from indigo, reseda, madder, cochineal or chestnut) and the nuances offered by the blend of the dyed in fleece process.

Here are the eleven soft and light colours of this exciting adventure!

Robinson has the same technical characteristics as Gilliatt: it is a 250 m / 100g yarn, with a round 3-py structure.

The presence of cotton in its composition gives it a little more softness, a fresher feel and more compactness than its pure wool brother. The small cotton flakes give it an original texture and create a mottled look, more or less pronounced depending on the colour. It is a rather dry yarn which, like many woolen spun yarns, gains in softness and fluffiness once washed. 

For an even result, we recommend using slightly finer needles (4 to 4.5 mm) than for Gilliatt and aiming for a 10 x 10 cm swatch size of around 20 sts for 28 rows. 

We particularly like it in textured stitches but it also brings a very nice natural and relaxed touch to stockinette and garter. It can be used for a wide range of patterns written for worsted or heavy DK yarns.

It is an ideal yarn for mid-season projects that will benefit from the lightness of wool and the coolness of cotton.

Robinson is named after the shipwrecked hero of Michel Tournier’s book “Friday or the other island” who learns to live in harmony with nature and his fellow man where happiness seemed impossible. A beautiful program that I wish us and that will inspire you, I hope, to put this Robinson on your needles :).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *