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Story #1 — Urth Yarns

Story #1 — Urth Yarns

THOUGHTFULLY CURATED COLLECTIONS. This is our promise. Each and every item in our shop has been hand-selected for a reason, and most often, this reason is rooted in a story. Today, we're delighted to begin sharing these stories with you. Each one will deliver another glimpse into who we are, what we value, and what makes Izzy Knits unique.

Story #1 — Urth Yarns

When we first met Urth Yarns in 2018, we were attracted to their wonderfully, earthy-hued Harvest line of yarns, which are hand-dyed using roots, fruits, and nuts (see more below), as well as their vast array of hand-dyed, self-striping yarns in a rainbow of colors. But we were most impressed by their super friendly staff and their story…

Urth Yarns in southeastern Turkey hand-dyes its Harvest yarn with roots, fruits and nuts

Keeping it all in the (extended!) family

Urth Yarns is a family-owned and operated business based in southeastern Turkey. Emre Koc is the company's president who oversees sales and distribution. His brother Emir oversees production, while his brother Efe oversees the company's website and the pattern design team. Efe is the company's photographer too, and his models are…you guessed it...family members! Not to be left out, the boys' mom and dad help too. In fact, Mom is one of the skilled artisans involved in the hand-dyeing process.

But it's not just family working for the company. One of Urth's goals is to employ as many local women as possible. In their studios in Mersin and Istanbul, these artisans skillfully hand-dye every skein of yarn that Urth produces. Others put their "making" skills to the test, knitting and crocheting sample garments to show their yarn off to best effect.

And we would be remiss if we didn't mention Urth's US-based staff. These men and women are as much family as anyone blood-related. They love their jobs and are some of the most thoughtful, helpful folks in the yarn biz.

A passion for the environment and giving back

The folks at Urth believe that man trumps machine. They value the art of creating with one's hands, not only as a means of soothing the body and soul, but also of protecting the environment (i.e. sustainable clothing production).

Personally, we believe we are all "blessed to be a blessing", and so we love to support organizations that choose to "give back" in the course of doing business. At Urth Yarns, they pair their commitment to people and the planet by supporting Trees for the Future. This non-profit's mission is "to end hunger and poverty by training famers to regenerate their land" across sub-Saharan Africa. They do this by planting thousands of trees that protect and bring nutrients back to the soil, which in turn increases crop production.

For every skein of yarn sold, Urth plants a tree through Trees for the Future, which writes on its website, "Planting trees provides families with more than just food. It provides income, empowerment, unity, leadership, education and even saves lives. When we can teach people to value themselves and their environment, they see amazing improvements in their standard of living." As of this writing, Urth has planted over 219,494 trees!

Urth's Harvest yarns embody all the company stands for

One of our favorite Urth yarns is Harvest, which comes in both fingering and worsted weights.

Harvest yarns are hand-dyed by skilled, local artisans using only roots, fruits and nuts. In some cases, what goes in comes out exactly as you'd expect. Crushed cinnamon results in a warm, spicy, burnt sienna color. Orange peel results in, well, orange. But other ingredients result in rather surprising colors. For example, thyme results in a soft, silvery gray and pomegranate results in a startlingly vibrant golden color!

Urth Yarns Harvest Fingering & Harvest Worsted are hand-dyed with all natural ingredients

Because they are dyed without chemicals, Harvest yarns are a wonderful choice for garments worn next to the skin. They're delightfully soft and machine washable too! But note...each dye lot is subject to slights variations, as each harvest varies depending on sun, rain, and other environmental conditions. Makers who need multiple skeins for large projects should considering buying an extra skein in order to ensure they don't run out.

The photo below was taken in October 2020, showing this season's collection of Harvest fingering yarns. The colors are deep and rich and earthy. And because Urth uses the same 100% extrafine, superwash merino base for all their yarns, the Harvest line pairs beautifully with Urth's more dramatic, self-striping Uneek line in both fingering and worsted weights.

Urth Yarns 2020 Harvest Fingering collection of hand-dyed, 100% extrafine, superwash merino

Patterns, patterns, and more patterns!

Finally, I can't end the Urth story without acknowledging that they are one of the most customer-focused, small, independent companies in our industry. Their "family" extends to us, the local yarn shop owners.

To assist us through this difficult year (2020), they have implemented an invaluable drop shipping program that allows shops like Izzy Knits to continue offering a full range of products without having to purchase thousands of dollars of inventory.

Likewise, they continue to produce innovative, unique designs for knit and crochet which assist us greatly in selling their yarns. Every day, customers fall in love with yarns and buy them, only to discover they don't know what to make with them once they get the yarns home. Urth makes it easy! Just visit their website to scroll through pages of designs created specifically for their yarns. Then, contact your LYS to purchase the yarn, either as a kit or as individual skeins.

We have many of their kits listed on our site, but if you find one you like that isn't listed here, feel free to let us know. We'll gladly order it for you!

Quick Links:

Harvest Fingering (Izzy Knits)

Harvest Fingering Patterns (Urth Yarns)

Harvest Worsted (Izzy Knits)

Harvest Worsted Patterns (Urth Yarns)

Urth Yarns Collection (Izzy Knits – All Urth Products)

Susan Watkins

Susan Watkins

Prior to launching Izzy Knits in 2018, Susan worked professionally as a freelance marketing consultant, specializing in branding, graphic design, and copywriting. Today, she puts these same skills to good use at Izzy Knits, where she gets to delight daily in the fiber arts, satisfying her passion for color and texture. Outside of work, Susan loves to spend time with her family, including her parents, husband, and two children. She enjoys photography and travel, knitting to unwind, and serving the global Church in southern Haiti.