These are the three things that sisters Wendy Partain and Susie Cassel were passionate about when they created LucyBlue Knits in 2007.
Each item they create is compellingly unique, focusing on texture, color and beauty. With a commitment to sustainability, all pieces are made from previously worn wool and cashmere sweaters.
Every LucyBlue Knits piece has a history — from the relationship with the artisan to the life of the wearer. We design each of our mittens and scarves with the intention of creating pieces that can be passed down through generations, with minimal waste and a minimal carbon footprint. Our artisans consist of a strong group of local women who want to make a difference in the world around them.
It all begins with the hunt for the rejected sweater. Most likely, we will find them in thrift stores throughout the midwest. We look for 80-100% wool or 100% cashmere, dense texture, interesting design and beautiful color. We take great pride in doing our part to reduce garment waste. In 2020 we rescued over 800 sweaters. We hope to double that in 2021.
In order to achieve the right texture and density, we wash all our sweaters in warm soapy water. This makes the ‘fabric’ thicker and warmer — perfect for mittens and scarves. Often the sweaters must be washed 2-3 times to achieve our standard of texture.
After removing the seams and buttons, we carefully cut our sweaters into our precise patterns. Then we design each item coordinating the texture, color, and weight of fabric to create a stunning one-of-a-kind winter favorite.
We expertly sew the items together, creating a lovely and functional accessory. Recently we hired an immigrant woman named Giti, from Iran, who helps us with this part of the process. Together we bring it all together and celebrate each completed piece.
This is an article written by our sister in law in the American Academy of Ophthalmology: From Mittens to Millions