ULA+LIA: Mongolian Yak Down, Cashmere, and Camel Wool Yarn

Created by Jon Hetts

From herders to home, our yarns are made with exotic fibers from nomadic, free-range animals on the remote Mongolian plains. Enjoy our super soft cashmere, yak down, and camel wool yarns in a variety of colors and weights!

Latest Updates from Our Project:

EVERYTHING is out! And some closing notes!
about 2 months ago – Sat, Sep 29, 2018 at 01:24:31 AM

Hey everybody,

Everything is officially in the hands of the USPS! They said it was a bit much for them to scan at the local office, but you should have shipping information with tracking numbers either late tonight or tomorrow when it scans at the regional center. I rented a U-HAUL with my dad to bring everything over to the post office, which definitely made everything easier. I meant to take a picture of the stuffed truck for you guys, but it slipped my mind at the last minute.

Quite a journey we've had with this one! I started off planning to just buy fiber on the open markets, and with the huge support we had, we ended up getting fiber from a co-operative that sources directly from local herders. We also ended up getting some awesome baby camel wool as well, which I'm really excited to see some finished projects with. 

I haven't quite figured it out yet, but I'd love to do some competitions or something along those lines where people could vote on finished products, and I could send the winner out a few balls of yarn or something. Having that as a blog of some sort on the website could be a great way to stay in touch.

For future projects, I'm considering revisiting the project I did about a year ago, which offered wool, yak wool, and cashmere throws. I also still want to do a project out of Mongolia for felt slippers. There are a few communities there that make really nice felted products, and I think it could make a great project. I'm just trying to find the right group and right quality. I'll be back in Mongolia at the end of October and hit the ground looking for the next project.

Hopefully in another year, we will be doing ULA + LIA Knitting Yarn Part 2! Even if raw material prices stay high, I'm confident I can continue to offer these fibers at a great value from a responsible source. Most of the sources I saw for cashmere and yak had prices about 4x higher, so I'm still confident we can make a market here.

Please, definitely send me any feedback you guys have about the yarn, both good and bad. While I was stressed out and spinning some balls of yarn here, I felt a few knots and immediately bugged out, as I do, when things aren't perfect. I went crazy googling, and touched base with some knitting friends I've made through this project and asked how common it was. 

After realizing it wasn't really an issue, I'm still a little concerned you guys might find a few more knots than normal, but it really shouldn't be more than 1 or maybe 2 in 50 grams. Knots that I did find were also small, usually just 1 ply knotting together out of the 3 or 4 plys, so if you do find one, they should be easy to hide or splice. I was considering if I even wanted to say anything and draw attention to it, but I figured it would be better to make a note. Since I shipped over 3400 balls, there might be a couple that are a little worse off. If you get into a project and the ball seems a bit rough to you, just let me know and we'll figure it out. 

Also, don't be afraid to wash these fibers! With the long fiber lengths, the yarn and fiber will just open up and get softer as it ages. Use woolite or even baby shampoo, and you should be just fine.

Let me know when you guys start getting your stuff. I'm super excited to see some finished projects!

Happy Knitting!

-Jon

Shipping Progress!
about 2 months ago – Wed, Sep 26, 2018 at 02:00:09 AM

Hey everybody,

Fulfillment has been a bit more of a process than I had anticipated, but we're almost there! I started hard-headed and going solo, but had to tapout and ask for help. With the help of my mom (and also my dad, and even brother a bit!) we've been able to get 90% of orders tagged and bagged!

fulfillment desk in the basement!
fulfillment desk in the basement!
A few of the many boxes and bags filled with packages!
A few of the many boxes and bags filled with packages!
Broke one winder spinning the bonus balls!
Broke one winder spinning the bonus balls!

I'm going to start shipping out packages tomorrow. For some of the larger orders and fiber, I had to order some boxes that will be here on Thursday. I'll finish filling those orders and have everything finished and sent out on Friday. Postage is already paid and printed, just need the boxes!

In the meantime, everybody will be getting an email with tracking numbers beginning tomorrow or so, but some orders might not be dropped off until Thursday or Friday, so don't worry if there isn't any tracking info when you click on the link.

Excited to get everything out! I'll do another update when everything is officially on it's way. Holler if you have any questions!

-Jon

Update for People Buying Raw Fiber!
2 months ago – Fri, Sep 21, 2018 at 12:13:27 AM

Hey guys,

Sorry for neglecting those that are just picking up the fiber, I know the updates have all been focusing on the yarn lately. I had a backer nudge me last night to send some info about the fiber as well, and post any inventory I had left. It's about time you guys get some attention too!

I went through and packaged everything today in 100 or 200g packages, and was able to calculate the exact inventory I have left. I posted the products on the site if you want to add on, but I don't have much left! Here's what I've got:

Dark Brown Yak : 100g ($20)

Light Brown Yak: 600g ($20)

Baby Camel: 500g ($13)

Taupe Cashmere: 500g ($30)

Cream Cashmere: 200g ($30)

Crimson Cashmere: 300g ($30)

If you'd like to add on, use "backer15" on the website during checkout for a 15% discount and free shipping. I'll tie everything together with your backerkit order this weekend and ship it out together next week. Here are some quick pics!

Natural Light Brown Yak
Natural Light Brown Yak
Natural Dark Brown Yak
Natural Dark Brown Yak
Natural Baby Camel
Natural Baby Camel
Natural Taupe Cashmere
Natural Taupe Cashmere
Natural Cream Cashmere
Natural Cream Cashmere
Crimson Cashmere
Crimson Cashmere
The Whole Fam!
The Whole Fam!

 As always, holler if you've got any questions!

-Jon

Yarn's Here! 48 Hour Notice for Address Changes!
2 months ago – Thu, Sep 20, 2018 at 12:47:41 AM

Hey everybody,

Just a quick update to say the yarn has arrived safely in all its glory! I've just sent out a notice through backerkit to lock addresses. I'm planning to start shipping out in bulk come Monday.  If you need to make changes, please follow the link in your email!

Thank you to everybody that has added on to their orders on the website, www.ulaandlia.com. I'm quite low on the Light Brown Fingering weight of the Yak, and the DK Cream cashmere, but still have a good amount left of the other fibers. If you'd like to add on, please use the code "backer15" for free shipping and a 15% discount at checkout! I'll keep the code open until Saturday, so I can combine orders for the website with kickstarter rewards. After that, the code won't include free shipping, but I'll leave the discount up for a bit!

I double checked, and the crimson fingering weight and DK weight orders were indeed switched at the factory, so I am a bit short like I previously mentioned. I'll be messaging the people on my list to confirm the switch. Thank you guys again for your help!

Not the best lighting, but here are some pics!

Yarn Storage!
Yarn Storage!
Fresh Baby Camel!
Fresh Baby Camel!
Still Plenty of DK Crimson Left!
Still Plenty of DK Crimson Left!

 It will see you guys soon! Holler with any questions, as always. Thank you!

-Jon

Baby Camel (!?) is out, e-store is open, and everything is on the way to America!
2 months ago – Mon, Sep 17, 2018 at 02:04:04 AM

Everything is officially in the hands of DHL, headed to America! I'm heading back to the States tomorrow morning (need to pack after sending this out!) and shipping will start either late next week, or beginning of the week of the 24th, depending when the shipment gets through customs and is delivered.

Camel Wool (younger than expected)

One last surprise here... Due to availability and quality issues, I had to upgrade the camel wool to baby camel wool. The color is the same, but it's softer, doesn't have guard hairs, and will be just as durable due to the long fiber lengths. It's really close to the level of the yak wool and cashmere, so you guys will be fully stoked when you get your hands on it. With cashmere, yak down, and baby camel, this is truly the Mongolian fiber trifecta! If anybody is upset about it and feels slighted that it's not the regular camel wool, let me know and we can work it out, but I promise this is MUCH nicer than regular camel wool in every way!

Sweet Baby Camel!
Sweet Baby Camel!

Inventory

Baby Camel:

Due to availability of even the baby camel, I had to run the yarn in two batches. I originally received 75kg, and was going to be about 5-10kg short of the total order. I was worried I wouldn't get the rest of the fiber on time, so I put that 75kg into production and figured I'd deal with being a few kg short if I needed to, either by delivering some late, or bribing what I was short with other fibers. However, I was able to get more fiber in time, but I had to run another full 50kg batch of yarn. So the good news? If you want a chance to get your hands on some excellent, exotic, baby camel wool, I have plenty available!

Other Fibers:

Due to the excellent quality of our fiber (long fiber lengths), loss during spinning was pretty low, so I do have a bit left over, especially in baby camel wool and the natural taupe cashmere. For those that wanted to pitch in a bit more to help cover the higher-than-expected costs of the project, I would be super grateful to send some extra yarn! I have a 10% discount still for 400g bundles, and will have a further discount for the natural taupe cashmere and the baby camel, as I have the biggest supply of those.

The website is www.ulaandlia.com, and I got a small shop set up there today. It's a bit basic, but it's secure and will definitely do the trick! I'll try to make it prettier soon. For anybody that wants to add to their order, please use the coupon "backer15" during checkout. It will be a 15% discount to cover some of the increased prices, and free-shipping, as long as I can tie it to your kickstarter shipment! After I'm done shipping, I'll leave the 15% discount, but will need to add for shipping again. If you want to ship somewhere else, just use the code "noship15" to still get the 15% discount.

On a final note, it looks like the factory may have switched my yarn order for the crimson fingering weight and DK weight. I needed a bit more fingering weight, so I might actually be 6 or 7 balls short in the crimson fingering weight. It may just be a mistake on the accounting sheet, and I'll cross check when the yarn is delivered to me in America. I unfortunately didn't notice this until I figured my inventory and the boxes were already shipped. But! if I have a handful of people that I can bribe to switch their crimson fingering weight to the DK weight, I'd gladly throw in an extra 100g ball of your choice. I'll keep you guys posted when I double check, but send me a message if you would like to be put on that list, it'll help me sleep better if it's handled!

Alright, I've got to start packing! My responses might be a bit sparse for the next 24 hours, but once I'm settled back home I'll be connected as usual. Can't wait to get everything out!

-Jon

He's more of a teenager than a baby though!
He's more of a teenager than a baby though!