Chances are you’ve seen—and fallen in love with—those super-chunky knit blankets that have been popping up in home-goods shops and catalogs for the past year or two. But if you’ve actually snuggled up with one, you’ve likely also noticed that their beauty can be fleeting. The problem, according to Denver textiles expert Camille McMurry, is that many of those blankets are made from delicate wool roving (unprocessed wool), which tends to fall apart—and shed like a Persian cat.
Lucky for us, the former fashion buyer—who first noticed the chunky-knit trend while planning the fall/winter knitwear collection for the English brand Jaeger—has a solution: hand-dye and felt the raw wool into yarn first, then knit it into luxurious (and much more durable) blankets. When McMurry created her technique—and her Denver-based business Broadwick Fibers—in late 2015, her inventory consisted of blankets, scarves, and rugs. These days, her focus has shifted to creating custom weavings, tapestries, and wall hangings, as well as plush rolls of felted yarns, which her customers transform into all sorts of hand-knit creations—with help from McMurry’s instructional YouTube videos @Broadwick Fibers—such as seed-stitch blankets and macramé pendant lamps. “There are so many creative consumers out there who would rather make these pieces themselves,” McMurry says, “and I absolutely love teaching them fun and creative ways to use my yarn.”
That irresistible material—made from superfine merino wool—comes in 22 hues (we’re obsessed with deep-blue “Peacoat”) and costs $90 per kilogram (enough to knit a baby blanket). Every bit is ethically sourced from an Australian mill, then hand-finished in McMurry’s southwest Denver studio by McMurry and her colleague Saadia Saleh, an Eritrean refugee. “I really believe in the healing power of creativity and community, and it gives me so much joy to pay a fair wage to someone who is still learning English,” McMurry says of the partnership that yields home decor that feels so good—in more ways than one.