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Hanalei Strings

Yarn Drying

Hanalei Hand-Dyed Yarn

Aloha! We are pleased to introduce the brilliant tropical colors of Hanalei Hand-Dyed Yarn! These dizzyingly gorgeous yarns come from the North Shore of Kauai, where Karen Sherwood has a yarn & ukelele shop called Hanalei Strings. All of Karen’s colorways are inspired by her tropical surroundings.

Kalalau with the goat goddesssmallest

Karen has created an exclusive shade just for us: Manoa Valley Orchid!


It is named after a beautiful little orchid that pops up this time of year in a valley full of temples.

manoa valley orchid inspiration

Karen feels this place is her own spiritual home—so we are most honored to have this special colorway, a swirl of pinks and purples with white.

We also have Kalalau, a variegated turquoise and reddish brown, named after a sacred valley on a stretch of coastline accessible only by trail or water; Stone Temple, whose chartreuse and gray-black reflect moss-covered stone; Milolii Grass, gray & golden straw of dry summer; Tunnel’s Reef, blue, aqua, and white, named after a world-famous surf spot; the deep earth tones of Koke’e, named after the lush state park up in the mountains; Banana Patch, featuring the multitude of greens you see when walking through the patch and looking up through the leaves; and Makana Sunset---purply brown and fuchsia (Makana means “gift from God”).

We carry three heavenly Hanalei bases: Combed Pima cotton worsted, Combed Pima Cotton Chunky (both lovely and very soft), and Bamboo/Organic Cotton Worsted, a 50/50 blend that is super soft and also has a sheen. Karen loves to knit with cotton, which is tricky to dye but very popular in the tropics. Her bamboo cotton blend makes you feel like you’re still on vacation!

About Hanalei Strings:

Despite coaxing from her grandmother, Karen Sherwood did not start knitting until she was driven to it by her six teenagers (!). She was hooked big time then, but alas, there were no yarn shops on Kauai. With a background in fine arts, Karen was more than capable of creating the colorful yarns she envisioned, and she brought them to her Ukelele store, Hanalei Strings, with the goal of teaching everyone she knew how to knit. (Karen had started out with a video store in 2001, and soon brought in ukeleles to sell as well. Around 2008 the videos were phased out and a variety of yarns introduced.) Karen found that visitors to Kauai were most interested in saturated colors that reflected the island. She does all of her dyeing out of a tent, and tells us “it’s quite rustic, and surrounded by critters.” Hers is a family operation, with children and grandchildren pitching in when necessary. Karen says that every day she pinches herself---she can’t believe her wonderful life. We are pinching ourselves, too---we love the fresh, tropical vibe of Hanalei Strings yarns! 

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