While Wool and the Gang have dozens of knits to choose from on their gorgeous online store, they fundamentally give you two choices: DIY using their supplied wool and patterns, or purchase pieces ready made by their team of artisans in Peru. All their snuggly knits are made from 100% alpaca wool or a merino and alpaca wool blend, and just in time for winter they have released their new Baby Gang collection for ages newborn to 12 months old.
The Baby Gang range comes in sizes 0–6 and 6–12 months. At point of purchase you can choose whether to knit the item yourself, receiving wool, easy-to-follow instructions, buttons if necessary and a knitter’s version of online tech support. Alternatively, you can purchase an item “made by the gang,” a team of Peruvian crafters based on the outskirts of Lima. Knitting for Wool and the Gang enables the artisans to hand craft from home-based workshops, using domestic-scale knitting machines. There are two prices for each item, based upon which production method you choose.
Choosing the DIY option significantly increases your color palette, with 12 fabulous shades of wool to choose from. Depending on the design, the items are made from either Peruvian Sheepaca – a super soft 50 percent merino and 50 percent alpaca blend – or the team’s favorite Sugar Baby Alpaca yarn, which is hypo-allergic and also has thermal properties. Items in the collection range from simple hats, to blankets, dresses and leggings, and most designs are an easy knit if you decide to DIY and are new to the challenge (don’t forget, help is only a click away too!).
Wool and the Gang’s approach to their business is the opposite of fast fashion. Designers Aurelie Popper and Jade Harwood teamed up with former model and self-confessed yarn lover Elisabeth Sabrier to develop a better way to produce clothing than cheap, low-quality items sourced through exploitative industry practices. They wanted a business model that allowed them to wear their designs with pride and sleep soundly. They also celebrate knitting as a viable means of production and are particularly enthusiastic about its meditative qualities. In addition to the Baby Gang collection, they also have a Mini Gang range for ages one to 10.
Photos by Wool and the Gang