Read the story about why the Dreamy Wool Brand was created.
As some of you may know, in February 2018, I came up with a very unique design idea for a blanket that turns into a toy when folded with a separate head and legs.
My Cuddle and Play blanket crochet patterns had an amazing response, and I received hundreds of amazing reviews stating not only that the patterns were easy to follow but, most of all, that the resulting blanket was an absolute hit with parents of new babies. They were grateful and positively surprised with the blankets, which made my customers feel proud of themselves. But what happened after they received the blanket and they initially loved it? Have they actually used the blankets?
Read the rest of the story to find out.
The first hurdle.
Since I published my first pattern, I started receiving many requests for different animals, and that's when I came across a big hurdle. I couldn't find a yarn brand in a chunky weight with all the colours I needed to design all the animals my customers wanted.
After designing 4 more animals (pig, elephant, monkey, horse/unicorn), the worst thing happened. The brand of yarn I have used so far has discontinued 3 colors that I have used in 3 of my patterns. I started getting emails from customers who struggled to find the yarn in the correct weight and colours to make my blankets.
It was very frustrating for me as a designer, and I started considering creating my own yarn to have more control over the colours. Still, I did not have enough motivation to start such a major and difficult project like producing yarn.
Until something worse has happened...
I saw this comment about the yarn I was recommending in my patterns:
I went straight on to check the yarn I was using and started pinching the surface. I was absolutely shocked by what happened next. With each pinch, I was pulling out a bunch of fibres that were about 5 cm (2 inches) long (see the yarn on the right in this video: https://youtu.be/RvS60E8ZwT0). I realised that the baby could potentially pull out a lot of fibres and then put them in their mouth as babies do! What would happen then? In the best-case scenario, the baby would spit it out or swallow the plastic fibres which would then go through the digestive system.
In the worst-case scenario, the baby could choke!
That’s when it dawned on me that over the years, there have been thousands of those blankets made in this and similar yarn. As you can imagine, I was as horrified as Luci was when her daughter told her about her worries. I started to think about how many babies were at risk and how many more of my customers were upset that they hadn't seen their blankets being used by the worried mums. I started to feel guilty that I had never thought of that.
That's when I decided that I would create my own yarn.
- Yarn that will be shedding to a minimum, made with non-toxic substances and breathable making it a safer choice for baby items.
- Yarn that will be soft and gentle on the baby's skin.
- Yarn that will be durable, machine washable, and easy to maintain for busy parents of young children.
- The yarn that will come in the exact colours my customers and I will want and with no risk of them being discontinued!
After months of research and tests I performed with various types of yarn currently on the market, I established what makes the yarn shed excessively. Thanks to this research, I could give our manufacturer detailed instructions on the exact fibre content and structure of yarn (number of plies and twist type) to produce our dream yarn.
The biggest risk we took in our lives.
I loved the sample yarn the manufacturer from Turkey sent us. It was exactly as I imagined it. Without thinking twice and knowing nothing about importing or selling the yarn online, we used all our life savings and ordered a whole container with the initial 9 colours I needed to make all the animals (with a plan to order more colours once we sold the first lot).
It was a very stressful few months trying to find, lease, renovate and fit out a warehouse (which took 3 months) in time for when the yarn would be produced and shipped to us. So many slip-ups and so many problems we had to solve on the way. So many things we had to learn (I even had to design my own website because someone let us down)!
We finally launched our shop on the 15th of December 2021, and anticipation began.
We were very nervous about what our customers going to say, are they going to love the yarn as much as we did? Will they agree that our yarn is much better and safer for babies than standard acrylic yarn? We wondered.
The big relief.
We didn’t have to wait long, with every feedback, we felt a sigh of relief. Yes! They like it! They are noticing the difference!
And then we felt it, the pride and the sense of accomplishment, the feeling that all this effort we’ve put in over several months was absolutely worth it!
Especially when we heard reviews like:
“It’s a totally different texture to what I’ve used previously but is so smooth with no ‘pile shedding’ unlike a previous brand that I’ve used for these cuddle blankets, which unfortunately, prevented my daughter allowing her new baby play with it due to the choking hazard that it became.
…I will be able to gift this blanket to my son & daughter in law with no fears of it being a choking hazard.”
“……….There is a massive difference between ordinary baby acrylic and these ones. Definitely would use only dreamywool for the baby blankets.”
“I was impressed by the quality of this yarn. …………….. If I did another blanket, I would use this again with no hesitation.”
What happens next?
Now that we have this wonderful yarn, we are on a mission to help crocheters and knitters make the most amazing gifts that will not only impress at the time of giving (because of their uniqueness and practicality) but will also impress afterward when being used (thanks to our easy to maintain yarn). And we plan to accomplish that by adding more amazing yarn kits to our shop!
Many thanks for being with us on this journey.
Aneta and Rafal Wawro
Founders of Dreamy Wool