Our Story

Climate change can seem like an overwhelming problem, as complicated as it is serious. I used to feel helpless in protecting our planet and making sure my children would be able to enjoy the beauty of our world. I have turned those feelings of helplessness into the driving force behind my life and my business, The Mermaid’s Purse Yarns. 

The journey started in 2015 when I started a small business crocheting baby blankets and hats. Many of my customers started asking for sustainable and environmentally friendly products. I was very disappointed with the selection I found and thought there had to be a better way. After some research and lots of messy trial and error I realized hand dying my own yarn and wool was the best option as well as lots of fun. 

Soon the focus of the business changed to dying yarns and wool especially as the number of people looking for eco friendly yarns skyrocketed thanks to more awareness of the terrible things happening to the planet. The Mermaid’s Purse Yarns grew by word of mouth and I was soon able to offer a whole selection of colours and yarns. I quickly changed the perception that cotton yarns have to be pastel and babish.

 I love the bright and bold taking inspiration from nature and especially the sea. Some colours like “Pebble Beach” are delicate with just a hint of colour and speckles where others are a riot of bright colors like the stargazing inspired “Starfish". Every single one of my colours has a story behind its creation and I’m always looking to the future of colour and trends. One of my newest collection is the “Back to Basics” series. Texture and semi solids are tipped to be the next big thing in knitting and I’ve fallen in love with the hand painted textured look of my “Kelp” colour. **INSERT KELP PHOTO** My special technique creates several changes in colour from one solid colour and that’s something impossible to find in commercially dyed yarns! Almost all of my yarns are available in both Cotton and Wool

The newest addition to my extensive product collection is spinning fibres and spinning/weaving accessories. This was actually requested by my 7 year old daughter who is a keen weaver (and sometimes dyeing assistant)! She wanted to graduate from her little peg loom so we decided to add plant based fibres and British wool to the shop, some classics like Linen, Cotton, Bamboo as well as some more unusual fibres like Banana, Mint, Seacell and Soybean.

Part of what makes The Mermaid’s Purse Yarns unique is my ethical standpoint on the dyes, yarns and wool I use. I love wool, It’s not something often heard from a vegan like myself. I love its sustainability, warmth, and biodegradable properties. I only source my wool from museling free farms and kill free farms. Everything is British keeping down costs as well as the carbon footprint. Every shepherd I’ve met is dedicated to their animals and it’s a partnership that has been keeping sheep healthy and people warm for centuries especially in my adopted home, North East England. I capture rainwater and use solar power in my dyeing and keep up to date with the best ways to make my business eco-friendly.

We knitters, crocheters, weavers, spinners and felters can help by switching some of habits. Like buying only sustainable fibres like wool or organic cotton, using up scraps and only buying what we need. A small change magnified by many creates a huge change!

Sheena Proudlock

The Mermaid’s Purse Yarns