What’s more Canadian—maple syrup or Hat Trick Hockey Yarn?

Ok, well, every time our kids and grandkids come over for supper, we end the meal with Breyer’s vanilla ice cream and real Canadian maple syrup.  So, in our family, the dessert would win hands down.  But to me, I have a sweet spot for Hat Trick Hockey yarn…and because it's only available thru River City Yarns in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada that makes it pretty "hometown" to me. 

Shortly after we launched our first house brand yarn, Adam and Eve, and Eden, our luxury MCN (merino, cashmere, nylon) base, I started looking for a quality merino sock yarn with great meterage, so our customers could make socks for a “big sized” foot - a size 13 or larger, without having to buy two balls/skeins of sock yarn.   

And it seemed natural to incorporate a Canadian theme to it.  What could be more Canadian than hockey?  My husband Mario and I often reminisce about hockey - how he used to play shinny at the local rink from morning to night, and how we loved going to games during the 80’s when the Great One was playing here in Edmonton.  In fact, Mario had the perfect name for our hockey yarn….he’s the one who said, “Call it Hat Trick!”  The name stuck - it was perfect! 

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From there the search was on to find a dyer.  We knew we needed someone who could transition an image (hockey colors) onto yarn. And that is no easy feat…do you know how many reds and blues there are in national hockey??  In my mind there was only one person for this job….and that was Caroline Sommerfeld of Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts.  We had just discovered Caroline’s Meow and Woof collection of yarn, and from that I could see that she knew how to transition a “color image” onto yarn.  

Our first priority were the Canadian teams.  Edmonton, Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver and Winnipeg started the ball rolling.  Caroline dyed amazing colorways that striped, pooled and spiralled and others that had dashes, dots and speckles interspersed along the skein.  The skeins were huge with 510 meters (550 yards) on each 150gram hank. It was a happy day when the first box arrived.  Kinda like pre-season! 

With Caroline now at the dye pots, we were freed up to work on pattern design with our friend, fashion and knitwear designer and teacher, Fiona Ellis.  Fiona is working with some of the best and brightest designers and teachers to develop tried-and-true in-house patterns.  

We now have 31 colors of Hat Trick hockey inspired yarns and six patterns for Hat Trick (with more in the works), all with interesting techniques that are fun to knit and showcase the yarn. 

What’s next?  Who knows - maybe a nice Rambouillet?  Suggestions anyone?