An Update on COVID-19 and the H+W Supply Chain
First of all: we hope you and your families are well and staying safe during this difficult, confusing time. Whether your state is increasing restrictions or starting to tentatively "open up," we hope you're finding things in your days that fill your buckets, and we hope that knitting is a source of comfort in an uncertain moment. We've gotten some questions from some of you about availability of our beloved fingering weight Weld, and we wanted to give you all a brief update on the state of our supply chain at the moment as we navigate the evolving COVID-19 crisis.
By and large, we've been incredibly fortunate that our supply chain is in large part continuing to run, albeit at a slower-than-usual pace. We were fortunate to have secured a large clip of Corriedale in early February, so we are in a good place in terms of raw materials. However, in order to comply with New York state's current restrictions and to allow for social distancing, sanitization, etc., our wonderful mill Battenkill Fibers is currently operating with a shoestring staff, which has slowed our production time to some extent. Fortunately, our dyeing, finishing, and fulfillment processes continue to operate with only minor delays, so once the yarn is made, we're able to get it dyed and to you on a relatively normal schedule. And unless you count Sloane's kids making occasionally unscheduled appearances at Virtual Knit Night, things at both HQ West and HQ East continue on basically as normal.
So, what does this mean for Weld? While we were bowled over by your response to the lightweight garments and accessories in our Spring 2020 collection, we aren't totally out of our bouncy, ethereal fingering weight base. So the straightforward, good news is that we've got Fawn and Charcoal in stock, and Aspen is being scoured early next week, and will be ready to ship in about two weeks. Raven is also being dyed early next week, and is on a similar schedule.
What about the other colors? As many of you know, our signature heathered colorways are dyed over our light grey base, known in its native state as "Ash." We've got about 1000 skeins more Ash in production at the mill now (which, remember, is operating with one employee per shift). It's spinning this week, and will be plied and processed for dyeing and scouring next week, with a goal to ship to our dyehouse late next week. Assuming the shipping deities are kind, this means it will be ready to ship to customers 4-5 weeks from now. The first colors to dye will be those which have been in pretty consistently high demand since the beginning: Gold Leaf, Lake, Red Feather, Jam, and Midnight, with the others to follow in (hopefully) short order thereafter.
So, what does this mean for you? Well, first, that we'd like to thank you for your patience! We hate not having the yarn you want, and we very much appreciate your patience as we all navigate this crisis together. Second, if you need Weld immediately, your best bet is to check with one of our wonderful flagship stockists (who have received the great majority of the remaining Weld stock we had as of mid-March). Third, we're opening limited pre-orders of certain colors of Weld, a few colors at a time, from here on our website. These work just like a normal purchase (you'll click a button that says "pre-order," rather than "add to cart,") and you'll receive your yarn as soon as it's available to ship. As of now, we're opening preorders for the colors I mentioned above: Gold Leaf, Lake, Red Feather, Jam, Midnight, Ash, Aspen, and Raven.
Finally, if you're hankering (pun intended) after a color that's not currently available for preorder, email us! Knowing what you want helps us make plans to get the yarn you're interested in available to you as efficiently as possible. Our goal is always to have all or nearly all of our colors in stock at any given time, but given the nature of small-batch manufacturing (and particularly, small-batch manufacturing during a nearly-unprecedented global pandemic), this isn't always the reality.
Thank you again for your support of H+W, and for your patience during this complicated moment. We'll keep you posted as we navigate this process, and in the meantime, wish you happy knitting, and a wonderful weekend.