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Cassandra Harada is a knitter. Like millions of women (and some men) around the world, she uses two simple wooden sticks and a single skein of basic yarn to create items from simple socks for daily use to exquisite sweaters. Unlike most knitters, Harada uses yarn from sheep she raises on a farm in the United States, then exports the locally spun yarn around the world, including to her own business in Fuchu, western Tokyo.

“Wool has always been my passion,” she says, “and it ended up being a way for me to create a community in Japan.”

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