Making No. 2 / FAUNA Sponsor Feature: Twig & Horn
As an independent publisher, we are grateful to all of our sponsors! Enjoy an interview with Twig & Horn creative director Whitney Hayward.
What’s unique about your company or brand?
Pam Allen, founder of Quince & Co. yarn, found it difficult to find nice knitting notions made in the US, and the foundation of Twig & Horn was built on creating things Pam wished were available to her as a knitter. Keeping her guiding force in mind as we create new products is incredibly important to me. We work closely with makers based in Maine and throughout the United States, and I lean heavily on their expertise when designing new products. I might have the knowledge from a knitters perspective, but each of our makers brings their own set of skills to product creation, and that collaboration feels unique. When we were developing our Bone Tapestry needle, the maker and I went back and forth to find the perfect dimensions; my experience came from that of a knitter, and his from a jeweler who fully understands the tensile strength of the material. It was so rewarding to bring our two backgrounds together to make something useful to knitters.
Tell us about a challenge you’ve had to overcome.
What makes Twig & Horn unique can also create a set of challenges. Working with small makers and a locally-based sewing team means it can be difficult to keep products consistently in stock. Our Wood Yarn Bowls are made by one person in Maine, and there are times where our supply of those bowls are in flux because it’s a one-man team hand turning them on a lathe. For our Red Oak bowls in particular, the trees actually come from our maker’s land, which means he has to wait for the wood to dry before shaping the material into bowls. A few of our products are a slow burn, and I’ll say this at the risk of sounding incredibly cheesy, I think the extra time makes the objects special.
What project of yours are you especially excited about, either current or forthcoming?
I’m incredibly excited about our first millspun yarn, Stone Wool Cormo. Stone Wool is a small venture I started to sell my handspun yarn, named after my mother’s family who still farm where I’m from in northern Missouri. We spent a long time reaching out to breeders associations, ranchers, and spinning mills to find a wool source which felt right. Despite the boon we’re seeing as knitters in breed and sheep diversity in our yarn, the wool industry is still struggling in America, and finding the right fiber from the right ranch was just as important as nailing a beautiful spin which was enjoyable to knit. Eventually we found a spinning mill which had a great contact with two ranchers, one in Wyoming and one in Montana, and their commitment to maintaining the wool industry out west was a definite benefit to the springy crimpy wool they raise. Although making yarn is much different than making other Twig & Horn knitting notions, we wanted to maintain the same devotion to sourcing in America, as close to the producers as possible.
Thank you, Whitney!