Heather Best | 26 October, 2021

            S U S T A I N

Have you met my custom, limited edition DK? It's called Sustain DK, and it's so full of life and represents such a lovely point in my maker journey that I wanted to take a moment to document why it is important and how it came to be.

It may seem like an obvious choice to name a yarn like this “Sustain”, but there’s a deeper meaning for me personally than the obvious ecological representation.

Sustain was the name of my private studio where I taught piano and voice lessons for many years before I morphed into a full time dyer. (In fact some of you may know that I was still teaching up until March of 2020 when the pandemic came crashing down and changed lives forever.) I named my studio Sustain because I wanted the work my students were doing with their music to be the thing that sustained them and fed their souls.

A skein of deep terra cotta is twisted into a little bundle
When I first started dyeing yarn I came across some "small mill" domestic merino that made my whole body light up, and I knew it was speaking to my soul. The mill had a very long waiting list (life long, she said…) and so I wasn't able to get large enough quantities to dye from them, but I kept looking for another mill that could help me get something similar into the dye pots whenever I had a few spare moments. I hit walls everywhere I turned and couldn’t find anyone to help me get what I was seeking, so I tabled that dream and kept the idea simmering in the background.

a little bundle of soft teal yarn sits twisted on a marble plate

Fast forward nearly 3 or 4 years, and I read the book Vanishing Fleece by Clara Parkes. A flame ignited once again, but this time I had more experience under my belt, and I was determined. I started emailing every mill I could find a website for just hoping for a reply.

One person emailed me back. One. So I knew. Once I finally had the yarn I’d special ordered in my hands I knew the name immediately. It feels like a perfect circle the way one thing led to the other. Sustain Music Studio lives on in some small way through this mill project, and it is feeding my soul.

I don’t know what the future holds for me and this Sustain line of yarns. It’s not the most affordable way to dye and sell yarn, and I think this project and I will continue to evolve, but something that sustains your soul is worth exploring, right?

(Watch for some sport weight and a special collaboration to come this spring, but for now...get your hands on this DK before it's gone. I don't know when it will be back.)