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PO Box 414
Tracy City, TN 37387
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A FIRST HAND INTRODUCTION INTO THE WORLD OF RAISING FIBER ANIMALS, SPINNING, WEAVING, AND NATURAL DYEING.

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Reunion Yarn: A Workshop Collaboration

Kacie Hodges

The Universe has a way of bringing like minds together. If you're lucky, the path you choose leads you back to special people that you once knew, allowing a resurgence of quality time together.

Such is the case with my dear friends Michael and Emily.

We first met years ago in Asheville, North Carolina through a mutual acquaintance. I knew Emily was the real deal when she offered me Echinacea Tea and didn't give a damn about staying up until midnight to celebrate New Year's. Fast forward 5+ years and we all find ourselves living in Tennessee, unknowingly within an hour of each others' door step. Thanks to a serendipitous run-in at Mary's (Twenty Two West) studio, we eventually connected the dots while I silently sent praises to the heavens above for reuniting us. 

Michael and Emily are the definition of a power couple. They really do encourage goodness in the world and make it a better place by being together. I am constantly inspired by their incredible teamwork, respect, and dedication to each other while building a responsibly sustainable business model via Reunion Yarn Company.

Throughout the past year we have had the opportunity to share booth space at several events, allowing for ample time to dream up big ideas and set about making them a reality. Our first such endeavor materialized from a conversation we had while vending at Stitches South.

                                                                                                           Photo | Reunion Yarn Company

                                                                                                           Photo | Reunion Yarn Company

A few months later, we found ourselves sitting in my garage with a room full of amazing people, delicious food, and a unique collection of thrift store sweaters.

Emily taught us that a typical sweater can contain up to TWO MILES of useable yarn. She taught us how to see past the outdated style of the garment and into the fiber content of the yarn, explaining different plying methods to create new colors and textures.

Emily shared her knowledge of what to look for in the ideal sweater candidate, how to de-seam, "finding the braid" and gave advice for working through over a dozen different conundrums that are encountered during the deconstruction process.

We combined our machine inventory and filled the work space with various fiber machines to allow participants time to experiment with different processing methods.

My favorite machine was hand built by Michael using 3-D printed parts he designed. This version includes a sensor that will slow the machine down when yarn becomes tangled during the unwinding process.

At the end of the day, participants walked away with usable yarn ready to be made into something new.

I am excited to see what becomes of these re-purposed skeins.

Endless gratitude to all who came to the workshop and spent a day among the alpacas (+ Penelope).