Prosper Yarn, based in West Auckland New Zealand, started with owner Lester picking up knitting again, twenty-plus years after learning initially then setting it aside when the kids started school and sports. Lester's goal is to grow her business into a Social Enterprise which encourages an ethical, kind, and sustainable paddock to skein process.
An overly-ambitious attempt at a new knitting pattern led to Lester reaching out to the online community for knitting support. Out of that sprang a local knitting group, and from there Lester was introduced to hand dyed yarns. Suffice to say she was blown away!
What started as an experiment in her kitchen with a big pot, white vinegar, pink dishwashing gloves, and some food colouring was quickly follwoed by Lester answering a Trade Me listing for 100 kilos of lambswool... and Prosper Yarn was born.
The yarn base is key and where Lester's passion has come to focus: the fibre. Visually, hand dyed yarn can just take your breath away but if the fibre itself isn't satisfying then the whole experience feels hollow. So everything begins with the yarn. The MOHE base is a result of this. It’s a bespoke base designed by Lester and the mill using a distinct New Zealand heritage fibre called Halfbred (Merino Cross).
As a sustainable architect by training, Lester shied away from the more treated superwash yarn instead consciously focusing making all her yarns locally sourced and untreated.
When she chooses her colour names - Lester thinks about what the colour looks like - what kind of vibe it's giving off.
"Sometimes it's a statement like I Aim to Misbehave (which is a legendary quote from Firefly - a science fiction show with a huge cult following), or something obvious like Broken Pen (a hazard in my other job of teaching architecture), or after someone I care about like Grace's Garden (Grace is my daughter in law who loves to garden). I love what I do and am so grateful to my wool mill, my creative customers, and the amazing yarn stores who support my work. Thank you a million times, thank you!"
All Prosper Yarn fibres are grown and processed in New Zealand - milling is done in an independent mill in Christchurch using heritage equipment. Yarns are specially commissioned by Lester so she can specify the character and feel, and they're all non-superwash so can be wet spliced (your projects will have no ends to weave in!) Lester hand dyes her yarn with professional acid dyes from Australia or New Zealand in small batches of 4 to 12 skeins.