sparrow, ahoy!

Hand-wound balls of natural linen yarn in a ceramic bowl, sitting on a stack of booksSparrow sighting—at last!

For months, we’ve been on the lookout for Sparrow, our little linen bird that always arrives in time for spring knitting. Every year in February, we look forward to unpacking bags and bags of our lovely linen yarn and arranging them on our shelves—a welcome reminder of eventual summer.  This year, however, the pandemic interfered with best intentions and advance planning, as it did with so much else. And as late as last week, our Sparrow shelves were almost empty.

But—good news!—our bird has made it home. And today we’re busy organizing our long-awaited shipment of Sparrow and getting ready to ship. At last!

We love our Sparrow—as linen yarns go, there’s none better. Sparrow is a versatile fingering weight, spun in Italy from flax grown organically in Belgium, home of the best linen fiber in the world. The yarn is cool, soft, has a slight sheen, and softens and drapes with every washing, just like woven linens.

While we wait, we’re reminiscing on our first years with Sparrow, which we launched in 2011. That first year, we offered only Sans, the undyed version (also shown above).  Perhaps you remember?

A woman in a white dress and blue jeans stands reading a book, wearing a small purse knitted in undyed linen

I don’t think one can improve on linen in its natural incarnation, but because it takes dye so beautifully, over the next few years we introduced Sparrow in colors. We took our first color palette from native wildflowers—we called them: Nannyberry, Butternut, Juniper, Little Fern, Blue Spruce, and Birch.

Skeins of colorful linen yarn lay in a white ceramic dish, sitting on a linen cloth

The following year we added peppy, peppery colors—bright and tropical.

Five brightly-colored whorls of linen yarn rest in the bowls of five handmade wooden spoons

The next year we went deep and rich.

Five skeins of richly colored linen yarn sit in neatly twisted piles on a white background, with white flowers in between

And then, because it turns out it is quite possible to improve on a good thing, we brought forward Sparrow marls, yarns with a subtle tweedy effect created by twisting plies of different colors together. 

Skeins of marled linen yarn laid flat on a white linen backdrop, with their paper tags spread below them

Soon we’ll have all 28 of our lovely Sparrow shades, our 8 marled yarns, and, of course, our wonderful, classic Sans.

Ready to cast on your own Sparrow project? Be sure to subscribe to our e-letter for news of new patterns featuring Sparrow (coming VERY soon) — and, if you are subscribed before Monday, 5/31, we’ll even send a little gift to your inbox to celebrate Sparrow’s long-awaited arrival!

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published

Shop now