Creative Process ~ Equinox Sweater
The Equinox Intarsia Merino Wool Sweater is made with 100% GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), mulesing-free wool and knit via the intarsia method by artisans in Tuscany, Italy.
Using thick merino wool yarns, the sweater is gloriously chunky, warm, and weighty. It's the same feeling as being wrapped in a cozy weighted blanket on a chilly day.
An early sketch of the Equinox Sweater.
Equinox is named after the autumnal equinox, with the moon taking precedence over the sun. The symbols embroidered into the sweater are motifs of collaborating artist Jamie House.
"This design is a play on yin-yang, balance, sun and moon, and the lines between them. Opposites can't exist without each other, and all the nodes in between are necessary and part of the bigger picture. Enlightenment in the Buddhist sense is about being light, i.e. lighten up! The sun and moon combined with the autumnal colour blocking is both aesthetically and symbolically appropriate for the turning of the seasons."
Jamie House's equinox art prototype.
The Equinox is our gold standard of sustainability. Our merino wool yarn is sourced from Italy and carries GOTS and mulesing-free credentials. Our supplier is also in the process of receiving RWS (responsible wool standard) certification. Mulesing-free wool means the supplier's herd of sheep are not subject to cruel mulesing practices, which is the painful removal of the skin around a lamb's buttocks with the purpose of preventing flystrike.
After sketching our idea for the Equinox, we enlisted the expertise of artisan knitting studio Manusa, a social cooperative based in Tuscany, Italy. 'Manusa' in sanskrit means 'human'. Upon our first meeting we realized our values as businesses were closely aligned; we both cared deeply about preserving artisan craft, sustainable design, and ethical manufacturing.
As a social cooperative Manusa hires and trains socially fragile people to encourage rediscovery of personal creative skills while preserving local artisan craft in their area of Italy. They typically work with deadstock and upcycled yarns, though we chose to source direct from a mill in order to have traceable wool and remove the chance of using oil-based yarns, such as acrylics.
The intarsia method used for the Equinox is a traditional artisan style of knitting, where different patterns seem to be 'inlaid' into a garment, rather than embroidered on top. Using a manual 3 gauge knitting machine, the Equinox was meticulously knitted then finished with a hand embroidery of Jamie's sun and moon motifs.
Equinox knitting underway in Manusa's Tuscany-based studio.
Creating the Equinox with Manusa was a wonderful process. Their incredibly accurate interpretation of our sketch was amazing to witness, and it was an honour to experience their level of expertise in artisan craft.
Our Equinox Intarsia Merino Wool Sweater is limited run and made in very small quantities. You can purchase it here.