Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Word from Cestari

To the Public:

“Green” is big today, but since the founding of my company in 1946 “Green” was part of our philosophy. From the beginning and today we utilize a system known as IPM, Integrated Pest Management. Simply put it means we carefully inspect our crops and our sheep herd for damaging pests. When the insects, fungi, or parasites start to cause noticeable damage, we then utilize appropriate measures to control damage, first utilizing mechanical means, second natural mans, and third, only if necessary, the least toxic chemical(s) to protect the health of plants and animals.

With our sheep, we started several years ago to reduce the use of chemical dewormers for internal and external damaging parasites by eliminating sheep that are susceptible to parasites and building our herd with parasite resistant sheep and thus, theoretically, eliminating the use of any dewormers. Where once we dewormed every six weeks in the summer, we are down to once or twice a year and only on infected animals. Our herd has been designated by the University of Delaware under a USDA Grant as one of the sheep herds being experimented to develop naturally parasite resistant sheep.

Now for our yarn, which we manufacture in our commercial size wool mill (1 of only 7 left in the U.S.A. ), we do not clean our wool through carbonization. This process gives the wool an acid bath, which I believe diminishes the integrity and quality of the wool. It does burn out all debris and makes a nice clean picture, but only by sacrificing the integrity and quality of the wool.

We use scouring—a means of non-abrasively cleaning the wool through washing, which retains the integrity and quality of the wool. The wool is alive and vibrant—not dead: however, with scouring, you may notice a piece or tow of straw or hay, which is easily removed. Also, we do not use any chemicals such as superwashing or moth proofing, which I believe also takes away form the quality and integrity of the wool.

In the past, we have put mothballs in the yarn bags during packaging. Once the yarn was exposed to the air, the odor and chemical dissipated. We have heard from some that the odor was not acceptable and thus of October 22, 2008 , we no longer use mothballs.

To prevent moth damage, we have installed mechanical units that from 9:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. throw mist throughout our wool mill and warehouse to kill any and all moths. It is odor free and perfectly organic—pyrethrin, which is certified by the government as 0 days for non-entry because it is non toxic.

Because we are so concerned about doing the right thing, our yarn and finished products can be easily dyed better than any other competitor’s product. Advisory: much of the yarn from the mega corporate distributors are buying their yarns from companies that are having their yarns made in China, etc., putting their European label on it making the product appear to be manufactured and produced in Europe. Think again friend!

When you purchase products from Cestari, Ltd., you know where the products come from. Do you really know where the products of the mega corporate distributors come from? Think about it. U.S.A. inspectors have little to no inspection powers in places like China , etc.

I just thought that you, the public, should know the truth.

Sincerely yours,

Francis Chester

New kits ready for December shopping

We will have several kits ready for the month of December. Just in time for the Holiday shopping...

First we will have a 3 piece set "Kids Knit Kit"
This is a set of our own designs - a scarf, a hat and mittens. Made with bright colored yarn in Cestari's beautiful wools. The designs are aimed for the young intermediate knitter (8 year old to early teen). The designs will primarily be sold as a set of 3 where the scarf is available in December and the hat and mittens package will be mail out in January and February respectively.

The second package is the Spinners Surprise Roving Club. Where we select and dye a new lot of roving each month to send out. Spinners can sign up for the monthly mail out for either 3 month, 6 months or 12 months. Of course a greater discount is applied to the longer contract.
I'm out there looking for new exciting blends with a soft hand that will create yarn out of this World.
A fun little treat to any spinner.

Then we have the beginner knitting and crochet kits already in the store at $18.99 (up to a $5 savings from the items sold individually). They contain a TNNA How to book, a ball of Shepherds Classic Wool 100 grams (your choice of color), and a good quality needle/hook appropriate for this yarn.

New patterns made by staff and friends of Piedmont Yarn & Apparel will also be ready in December. More in the next newsletter.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Welcome to Piedmont Yarn's Blog

Hi Fiber Artists,
I have finally got our Blog up and going. I look forward to you contributing ideas, thoughts, designs, pictures, stashes and projects to our LYS.