here’s the skinny.

Meet The Team

Technically, we like to think our team includes the merino sheep and the merino sheep farmers, the men and women who shear merinos (something of an art form), everyone at the mills processing the fleeces, maximizing what merino fibre can do, then us doing what we do, together with retail store owners and staff who continue the engagement, BUT that would require another stand-alone website, so, here, now, of necessity, our team's restricted to those who work directly with us, recognizing that, in fact, none of us are actually employees!  

More like committed nut-bars!
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Rhichard D.

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Robert W.

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Jesse W.-D.

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Annelie B.

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René W.

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Lori S.

Collaboration is a great thing!  It’s what friendships are all about. It’s what life-partnering is all about.  It’s what successful businesses are all about! It’s what rh - aka ‘The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze’ is all about.


about rhichard d.

It was the 5th of September 1981 when I met Robert, and, if some clairvoyant, then, had told me what to expect in the years to come, my reaction would have been . . . ‘What!’  And one thing’s for certain... it hasn’t been boring!

Memories include bathing with Ringed Teal (google!) in our apartment in Toronto, moving to a farm, first to raise Barred Rock chickens, and calculating that the eggs we got were costing us about $168 a dozen, and then to raise Merino sheep, which included having in our lives for too short a time the amazing ram, Peppino. 

Learning how to hand-spin yarn, then learning how to hand-weave and, from the woven yardage, make one-of-a-kind coats, jackets, vests, scarves, hats, mitts and twice-woven rugs, and a few woven tapestries, then getting into hand-dyeing for one independent dyer before, through Robert’s encouragement and insistence and... collaboration...

starting ‘The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze’.  

Through all of our 38+ years together, the thrill has always been the adventures! The people we meet, the memories we create, and I think that has a lot to do with this passion I have for creating colourways that are reflections of those memories, or reflections of anticipations of things yet-to-be-experienced...

new adventures... and always about sharing. 

Though the one thing I haven’t been able to share - mainly because of space constraints in my dye studio - is what I do there and how I do it, but then, to paraphrase Martha, that’s probably a good thing because, when I’m dyeing, I’m more than likely to be bopping to the tunes with earbuds in and feet and body engaged in some sort of disco dance!  

And when I’m not in the dye studio or on the property, it’s likely I’m visiting a yarn shop... something I truly enjoy, because it’s all about engagement, it’s all about interacting with amazing knitters, sharing our love for ‘things-yarn’ and experiences past, present and to be.

 

OR . . . I’m at a dog show!  Or anything French Bulldog!

 


 

about robert w. 

When I was in university, I had my palm read.  It wasn’t really a palm-reading.  The clairvoyant held my and and said what came into his head. 

The clairvoyant, being a high school drama teacher, didn’t impress me much, at the time.  I was told I’d be in a long-term relationship with a male, that I’d become a parent later in life, and that I’d write in the last third of my life. 

None of that made sense at the time. And, fifty years later, there’s Rhichard, our son, Jesse, and I’m naming colourways, where each has a story behind it, and I write to store owners and knitters and still find time to work on an autobiography that will never see the light of day. So it goes without saying that my life hasn’t been boring.

Rhichard and I are huge fans of marketing guru Terry O’Reilly and his various radio programmes have both enthralled us and motivated us to have our yarn business be all about strategic engagement and exceeding expectations. 

We are a small company - and like it that way - that is all about great products for great stores and great knitters.  So, for that to make sense, the yarn we hand-dye and carefully reel, twist, tag and bag has to come from great mills that have to source the fibre from great sheep, and, as former shepherds of an awesome flock of merinos, including the singularly majestic ram, Peppino, we know that fleece is, for us, the best of the best. 

So whether you are a wholesale customer or an online retail customer from a location too far from a local yarn shop, you can be assured you are appreciated, enjoyed, and that there will be dialogue - written, verbal, or both - because that’s the way we like it, because that’s what, in our opinion, and Terry’s, makes for strategically-engaged shopping.  

 


 

about jesse w.-d. 

Like most offspring of parents significantly engaged in a business, and particularly a home-based business, I’m not thrilled with all-things-yarn, but computers do fascinate me, as does accounting, and, as a twenty-year-old, knowing I’m indispensable, at times. 

I’m the occasional help that IS needed, and I’m looking forward to the particular challenge of being the Vlog Manager of Rhichard’s up-coming social interaction experiment - the next step after his very active Instagramming.

It’s also great having parents who work seven days a week to produce and ship product with the highest standards because that gives me lots of opportunity for independence, and, in this day and age, that’s a good thing.

And it IS a good thing that, in a pinch, I can help get incoming yarn from ‘our mills’, off-load and effect better storage, fix most equipment needing such attention, reel, twist, label, bag, box, and offer my own particular perspective, usually when it’s not been asked for!  And I even help out at trunk and trade shows!

 


 

about annelie b. 

Most modelling images you will see on Rhichard’s websites and on his patterns will be of me, and I’m also have experience in all operating aspects of the business, including being the only person, other than Rhichard and Robert, to have dyed yarn in Rhichard’s studio!  

Before coming to Canada, I had a career as a midwife and a career in retail and marketing, and, here, now, mostly, I’m involved in the day-to-day operation of providing internet service, so it goes without saying that I approach Life as opportunity for endless and often totally disconnected opportunities. 

And it would seem that the thread that ties all of my own experiences together is that ‘thing’ that’s connected to Rhichard’s yarn business is all about - strategic engagement and the pleasure associated with taking that approach.  And that’s also particularly the basis of ‘community’ on the Bruce Peninsula, where Rene and I now live.

Enjoy the yarn. Enjoy the experience.  

 


 

about rené w. 

As the website developer and manager, and with Rhichard and Robert regularly wanting to make changes, I have, over the years, become intimately familiar with this business, with other yarn producer and yarn store websites, and, developing and managing a lot of websites for a lot of other businesses, I do truly support Rhichard’s and Robert’s philosophy of strategic engagement, exceeding expectation, and optimizing impact. 

I’m also not afraid to challenge and criticize, and Rhichard and Robert wouldn’t want it any other way.  We build on what we don’t know as much as we build on what we know.  

 Websites have to attract and they have to engage and they have to deliver and they have to satisfy. And they have to establish the ‘want’ to return, over and over. That’s brand-loyalty, and brand-loyalty has to be based on both uniqueness and superiority of product.  Together, this ‘team’ works to ensure that.

It’s great keeping connected. 
It’s great learning. 
It’s great improving product and interaction. 
It’s especially great getting feedback.

 


 

about lori s.

As the ‘Reeler Girl Friday’, I make myself available to help where I’m needed, when I’m needed and being part of ‘the team’ is a joy.  Reeling hanks into skeins, I can almost hear the colourways telling me what they want to be. 

And I get all of the end yardage from the one kilogram hanks, which I knit into ornamental tiny socks and sweaters, colour-crazy shawls, bean-based characters like Gnome, Bunny, Eric the Viking and globe-trotting Chuck Canuk.

 

Helping at The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze is really colour immersion therapy for the creative soul.  Time spent processing yarn is enriched with ‘talk radio’, sparked discussions with Robert, and the warm friendship of Bartley The Cat on my lap while I’m writing out labels and collaring skeins.  

 

‘Reel excitement’ come from four fresh hanks of yarn dyed by Rhichard on the four skein winders in the Reeling Room, inspiring me to come up with ideas for my own original projects.  Perfect colours and the softest touch!