Allure Fine Fiber and Fabric Wash Developer Eileen Koop of Bijou Basin Ranch

Allure Fine Fiber and Fabric Wash Developer Eileen Koop of Bijou Basin Ranch visited with the Yarn Thing bijouBasinlogoHorizontalPodcast with Marly Bird this morning. Bijou Basin Ranch is one of the smart folks who sponsor the podcast so it’s always nice to catch up and find out what’s new for the upcoming year!

Eileen, on the left, and Marly.

Eileen Koop has a background in product development for consumer product companies, beginning in New Jersey for Airwick Industries (now called Reckitt Benckiser), then to Collegate-Palmolive, then to Colorado with Scotts Liquid Gold and then Orange Glo International. When she first started out, besides product testing, she invented a breath spray called Binaca. later came Collegate Gell toothpaste, Brut aftershave men’s cologne with Karl Lagerfeld, and the Alpha Hydroxy, invented anti-aging skin care category.

While at Orange Glo, it was sold and as an executive she received a nice financial package, which she then needed to invest. So she and Carl bought a ranch and then began researching what to do with it agriculturally. Carl discovered YAKS, and Eileen used her contacts to develop yak fiber and yarns. She also used her chemical background and researched how to get stains out of fibers and fabrics.  She researched this so that her finished yarns had a soft feel and therefore more sale-able, which then became Allure Fine Fiber Wash.

Eileen explained how it works as a no-rinse product. The wash lifts the oils from the fabric into the water and when it’s drained the oils and dirt go away. It also has an agent that smooths the fiber rather than leaving the fiber standing up. Some cleaning products uses optical whiteners which makes the eye think because it’s brighter that it’s cleaner, and amazingly is used in some products that considered fine washes or even baby’s clothing washes. She is careful with chemicals and fragrances. Prairie Breeze is lavender and citrus scents, and the Woodland is sandalwood, a bit a eucalyptus with cypress, vanilla and jasmine. For those who are strictly Scent-sensitive there is the unscented option as well. AND is machine or hand soak compatible, even the HE machines, still can be taken through TSA if necessary.

Eileen continues to consider other products like hand-moisturizers, but is continuing to market Allure to everyone, in a range of sizes. She credits Carl with having come up with the name.

Bijou Basin Ranch has some wonderful videos of their Yaks, so to include them in the show notes, here is the link to their YouTube channel, there are three videos created by Interweave. Watch them with your kids!

If you missed hearing this earlier, it is available in the archive: or in iTunes.


Maria Bittner, Pattern Paradise

Maria Bittner, Pattern Paradise called from New York as part of the Yarn Thing Podcast by Marly Bird’s focus on crochet bloggers.patternparadiselogo

Maria remembers when she was very young always wanting to craft, playing with a friend who’s aunt brought home scraps from her job in the garment industry and profile IMG_4931dressing their Barbies. A friend of her mother’s often came to chat and always brought her handwork. When she noticed Maria trying to imitate her, she taught her a few stitches, and later Maria would borrow books from the library or purchase when she could from the local Five & Dime store.

She knew she wanted a business of her own but never found the right fit. Maria’s tradition was always to welcome new babies in the community around her with a blanket and other goodies. A woman who owned a vintage linen shop asked her to create products for sale in her shop. Later, with her son’s encouragement, she sold items online in an Etsy Shop. She was often approached for the patterns to her products and that evolved into her website:

One of the things that Maria’s challenged herself to do with her website was to create a series for her community to participate in. Last year she created the Chameleon Hat and with it she changed the style every month to fit the seasons. This year she is working on a series of patterns using X-stitches.

Maria patterns include tips and tricks, rather than strictly ‘publisher’ written. She finds for herself that she needs a little variety in her written directions.

If you missed hearing the podcast live, it’s archived at it’s original location: or in iTunes.


Celina Lane of Simply Collectible Crochet

Celina Lane of Simply Collectible Crochet was our guest on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird. Her website is

Simply collectible logoCelina remembers visiting her grandmother, who had a basket of yarn next to her chair. Instead of doing nothing, she made a chain that stretch across the house, then take it apart and do it again. Later, with a toddler and going out her mind, she got to the point where need YouTube and needed something to keep her hands busy. She purchased a crochet hook and a skein of yarn. Learning from YouTube she became a visual learner and had to adjust to read patterns.

Her first pattern, Love Baby, was a joy for her to create and she began to try to figure out how to explain it to someone else for them created. She posted the pattern and sold three copies the first week and was elated. This was 2010, at that time, for her it was a learning experience. She recommends starting where someone else has built on before rather than starting from the ground up. 

When people come to the website, she’s hoping people see simplicity, with beautiful pictures, round-ups of patterns, giveaways and community. She hopes they walk away from it with knowledge and creativity, with joy. Her website contains about 60 to 70 patterns currently, including the new Coraline wrap.

Simply Collectible Crochet can be found on Facebook. Her page is popular and she shares not just her projects but other things she finds around her, too! She also has a Ravelry Designer page.

If you missed getting to hear the program live, you can still listen at: or iTunes.


%d bloggers like this: