Well, I'd have to say that 2009 was one of my most exciting years. Opening Little Red Mitten was definitely a dream-come-true, full of wonderful people, challenges, great experiences, learning by-the-seat-of-my-pants, and ...oh yes, I can't forget all that fibre!
Maybe a bit more importantly (wink, wink), 2009 was declared the International Year of Natural Fibres by the United Nations. The goal was "to focus world attention on the role that natural fibres play in contributing to food security and poverty alleviation".
If you'd like to explore this further, http://www.naturalfibres2009.org/ has lots to offer, from an interview with Linda Cortright (the founder of Wild Fibres magazine) to stories about 15 natural fibres and their micron count. You can also learn 5 main benefits of natural fibres and how they are a healthy, sustainable, high-tech, fashionable and responsible choice.
As we look forward to 2010, we can hope that 2009 caused a change in how people think about their fibre choices. Maintaining the diversity of animal breeds and plants should be on our minds as we see how our ecosystem will handle potential climate change. Awareness is half the battle.
One of our customers started a mini-craze with the "Ilene Bag" pattern from Ravelry. It is an easy-to-knit, lacy shopping bag (green idea!) that she knitted in our Hempathy yarn. Granted, the yarn is only 20% hemp, but that's a lot more than was available a few years ago. And considering the fabulous benefits of hemp, promoting the fibre has got to be a good thing!