Our new line of hand-knit vests was made in partnership with Handspun Hope—a True Vineyards Ministries initiative that helps women in Musanze, Rwanda lift themselves out of poverty by spinning local sheep's wool into high-quality, 100 percent organic merino yarn.
Handspun Hope employs 44 women, most of whom are widows, who spin, dye, and knit locally-harvested sheep’s wool by hand at an artisan cooperative in Rwanda. The sheep are raised on a breathtaking farm, located nearby at the foot of Rwanda’s Virunga mountains. There, the sheep are cared for night and day by a devoted shepherd named Faustin.
Once every eight months, Faustin shears the sheep’s wool (a process that does not hurt the sheep in any way) and brings it to the artisans’ cooperative where the women turn it into yarn. First, they triple-wash it clean and pick out any grass or debris that may remain. They then de-tangle the wool, comb out the fibers, and feed them into a spinning wheel, making one ply of yarn at a time.
Once the yarn is ready, the women dye it by hand using local plant, flower, and vegetable material—like eucalyptus leaves and onion skins—that they often pick on their way to work in the morning. The final result is soft, high-quality merino yarn that is naturally-made, beautifully-dyed, 100 percent organic, and eco-friendly from start to finish.
We absolutely love the quality, texture, and rustic aesthetic of Handspun Hope’s yarn and are so excited to launch our new Pre-Fall collection, which features chunky knits, popcorn vests & more, all hand-spun, hand-dyed, and hand-knit by Handspun Hope’s artisans!
We love supporting this organization which is not only changing women’s lives but creating 100 percent made-in-Rwanda products with a beautiful story behind every stitch.