North Light Fibers designs and produces handmade knit and woven garments and home decor. We are now focused on producing lovely garments and home decor items for your enjoyment as we are no longer making and marketing handcrafted knitting yarns. For the past 14 years, we started and operated a Micro Yarn Mill that produced high quality handcrafted minimally processed yarns made 100% on Block Island! The primary lines of yarn range from Water Street (Cashmere/Merino), Atlantic (100% Falklands merino), Spring Street (100% Merino), Forever lAce (alpaca/bamboo lace weight yarn) and Seaside (50% Supima cotton/50% merino wool). We were always excited to develop new yarns from exotic fibers such as yak, camel, mohair, qiviut, etc and plant fibers!
While Laura and I are now leading the company, we had a great team that included Karyn Logan who truly made North Light Fibers the great success it has become. We would like to thank everyone who worked with us and are excited for the next adventure.
North Light Fibers has been highlighted in many publications over the past few years including: Vogue Knitting, Knits, Piecework, Knitters Review, Cast-On, Hand Woven, Shuttle Spin & Dye Pot, Yankee Magazine, Providence Journal, Providence Business News, Block Island Times and many national Blogs and Newsletters.
In order to make beautiful garments and home decore items, we work very closely with island knitters such as Renate Fitzgerald and organizations such as the Hartford Artisans Weaving Center that is comprised of blind, visually impaired and senior citizen weavers and we work with Stitch 22 (Women for Women) which is a non-profit organization that helps women in war torn countries such as Bosnia. These socially responsible organizations are great partners and are philosophically aligned with North Light Fibers’ beliefs and principles.
While our yarns and handwoven/hand knit items are central to our vision, we are also very focused on demonstrating that year round manufacturing can be viable on Block Island. There are approximately 900 residents in the winter with well over 15,000 people in the summer! Given the seasonal nature of the island, the economy is based on summer tourism. Unfortunately, year round employment has been limited to government, education (The Block Island School), construction and service businesses like the grocery store and bank. Now there is manufacturing and the potential to create items on the island that are exported off island for sale. North Light Fibers is working hard to strengthen the foundation and diversity of the island’s economic base.
In order to run North Light Fibers, we had to actually re-write the zoning regulations to establish a permitted use called “light assembly.” In fact, manufacturing or “Light Industry” was not a “permitted use” on the island but after 12 public hearings and a lot of work, we were able to apply for a building permit. Justin Abrams has truly helped our cause as he built and is leasing the mill building here on the farm. Justin, his daughter Rita and so many others have been helping us create commerce on the Block Island – evidence the island’s true character.