“Our passion is that Kyrgyz cashmere can be an engine for social and economic transformation.”
Please join Spun in welcoming June Cashmere’s Amy Swanson to Ann Arbor on February 16!
Amy will be bringing a swoon-worthy quantity of cashmere handknits to Spun on February 16. (Scroll down for a preview.) She’ll be spending time at the shop all day, giving a special presentation at 3:00 about life high in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan and how the region’s fiber and textile history led to the founding of June Cashmere. Amy will show us footage documenting shepherding life under extreme conditions, and she’ll also teach us about cashmere--its history, its qualities, and how June Cashmere transforms this special fiber into special yarn. We’ll also hear from company founder Sy Belohlavek (perhaps via recording, since it will be 2:00 a.m. in Kyrgzystan). A reception will follow from 4:00 to 6:00pm.
On Saturday, February 16:
Purchase any June Cashmere yarn, in either weight, and receive a coupon code good for one free pattern download (limit one per customer).
Purchase any three skeins of June Cashmere yarn, in either weight, and receive a free June Cashmere Work + Shelter drawstring bag (while supplies last).
Receive an entry for our door prize drawing for each skein of June Cashmere purchased.
Receive an entry for our door prize drawing for attending either Amy’s presentation at 3:00 or our reception from 4:00 to 6:00. Attend both events, and enter to win twice!
You may have noticed that we are finding lots of ways for you to enter the door prize drawing. What gives? Why so much enthusiasm? WHAT THE HECK IS THE DOOR PRIZE?
Spun and June Cashmere are partnering to give away a kit to make Norah Gaughan’s stunning “Waves Poncho,” first published in Vogue Knitting last winter. That’s six skeins of cashmere, my friends, along with a knockout pattern. Will you enjoy your knitting? You will. Will you enjoy the subsequent wearing? Oh yes, you will.
If you can’t make it to Ann Arbor that day, we have you covered. Just contact Pete or Carol ahead of time at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll figure out a way for you to participate long-distance.
The June Cashmere Story
June Cashmere is based in Kyrgyzstan, a remote land of mountains and nomadic shepherd communities that demands adaptation for survival. The region’s cashmere goats have responded to the elements by developing a soft and exceptionally warm downy undercoat; Krygyz shepherds depend on animal fiber (june in Kyrgyz) for warmth and sustenance.
June Cashmere took root in 2007, when J. C. Christensen and his family met a group of Kyrgyz artisans who were traveling in the U.S. and came to understand the need for revitalization of the Kyrgyz fiber industry: While the country’s cashmere goats had long produced elite fiber, shepherds had virtually no access to international buyers offering fair market value. J.C reached out to Ohio’s Sy Belohlavek, who moved to the country with his wife and children in 2010.
Over time, Sy developed programs to help Kyrgyz shepherds collect and sort their fiber. Now Sy and his team travel from village to village purchasing raw cashmere that has been gently hand-combed from each goat, ensuring that the shepherds receive fair compensation for their fiber and reinvesting a portion of proceeds into this mountainous community.
Once gathered, the cashmere fiber is shipped to Europe, where it is cleaned and spun, and then makes a final stop at Maine Dye & Textiles, where it is organically dyed using environmentally friendly methods.
The final product is soft, warm, sustainable, durable, and very special. We hope you’ll join us to learn more about it.