Huge thanks to everyone who came to say hello to us at Edinburgh Yarn Festival. It’s always lovely to see what people have made from our yarn and to hear what else is being planned.
Now that we’re home there’s some sorting and restocking to do, and we’re planning an update for Friday evening at 1900. As always you can make sure you never miss an update and take advantage of some special offers by signing up for our newsletter.
We’ll have more of the DK sock yarn that’s been so popular, plus some new colours of sock yarn and Britsock. We’ll also have mini skeins sets in the DK BFL Masham base that make up the Otley shawl from Wist Tha Bahn?
The last thing we’ll be adding this week are the new linen tote bags. I’ll be blogging more about those in the next few days, and talking about why we’re moving away from cotton.
My next job (well after I’ve had another mug of tea) is to start clearing emails, so if you’ve been in touch over the last few days then a reply will be heading your way soon.
We’ve been on the hunt for the perfect DK sock yarn for a while. Traditionally sock yarns contain nylon for strength, and we wanted to look at other possibilities.
So we looked for sheep whose fleeces are known for their strength, and that suggested a mountain breed.
We’ve found a DK yarn which is 100% Whitefaced Woodland. The fleece comes from UK flocks and is processed and spun in Yorkshire.
We haven’t just dyed this yarn up and added it to the shop, as we wanted to be sure that the yarn would work for socks. So sample socks have been knitted and worn (and worn and worn). After three weeks of constant wear in the workshop the socks look like new. That’s socks worn inside boots for at least eight hours a day of being constantly on your feet and taking at lot of steps between dye pots and reskeining yarn. So that works.
The yarn isn’t superwash treated, and so over time we’d expect the soles of your socks to felt slightly (although there’s no evidence of this after three weeks).
So how does this yarn feel? It’s certainly not as soft as the finest merino, and thats necessary for this to work as a sock yarn. The best description we can come up with is firm and crisp. It wouldn’t be a yarn we’d recommend for something that’s going to be draped round your neck, but it makes wonderfully comfortable socks. The long suffering yarn guinea pig known as Bobbie doesn’t do well with a lot of wool and she’s been wearing socks knitted in this yarn for well over a month. So it’s a yarn with purpose that highlights the values of a particular breed.
To make sure this yarn wears well we recommend using a 2.75mm or 3mm needle.
There’s one other brilliant thing about this yarn – each 100 gram skein has 300 meters of yarn. So that menas that socks can be longer (or for bigger feet) and still only need one skein of yarn. The socks below fit sizeUK7(40) and there was almost 30grams of yarn left.
The pictures below show Joy’s workshop socks after 3 weeks of wear. To test the yarn further the socks were knitted with a short row heel that hasn’t been reinforced, and that’s showing no wear. The second picture lets you see how the colours behave on a 48 stitch sock knitted on 3mm needles.
When LJ from Rusty Ferret and I discussed this collaboration the initial plan was that it would be for Edinburgh Yarn Festival. But we know that not everyone can visit the festival, and if felt pretty mean to say to everyone else that they could have this yarn, but only if people at the show didn’t want it.
So yesterday afternoon an email went out to newsletter subscribers offering the chance to buy this yarn.
The response was speedy – so the skeins we’d allocated sold out within a few minutes.
I need to apologise to everyone who got a ‘page not found’ error message’ – I’d set the shop up to delete items as they sold out, and I’ve now fixed that so you’ll see a sold out message instead.
So LJ and I chatted, and decided that we’d like to make more of the yarn available online and take less of it to the show.
This time the yarn will be put straight into the shop and will be available to everyone, not only newsletter subscribers.
If you click that link before 1900 UK time on Friday 8th February you’ll see the sold out banner on the picture – and at 1900 that banner will disappear and more stock will be added. Once this batch sells out there will be no more of it for the online shop until after Edinburgh.
This week it’s not about yarn. It’s about all sorts of other excellent stuff.
First up are keyrings made from wool and resin.
Bobbie has been working on these for a while, so batch one contains the most successful experiments – and a lot of one off pieces. Rather that photograph each one we’re making them available on a lucky dip basis. We also wanted to do something extra to celebrate these making it to the shop – so 50% of the purchase price will be donated to The Trussell Trust. They run our local food bank as well as many others round the UK.
First a reminder that if you want to sign up for the March clubs you need to do so now – we close the clubs off on the 1st of February to give us time to get everything organised and posted to be with you for the start of March.
First an apology. I sent out a newsletter last Thursday letting everyone know that we had new mini skein sets. However I completely failed to put the same information on the blog, and I know that’s where many of you look for updates.
So to recap – we wanted to offer mini skeins in a yarn base that didn’t contain nylon – and we’ve opted for the BFL Masham base.
I love this base for lots of reasons – it’s a pure wool which isn’t superwash treated, so it’s kind to the environment. The yarn is spun in Yorkshire and all the wool comes from UK flocks. That and it’s gorgeously soft and bouncy stuff, making it ideal for shawls, sweaters and mitts.
Each set has 120 grams and 480 meters of yarn split evenly between 12 colours.
You can find these mini skein sets here.
Then onto what I should be telling you about.
More mini skeins.
These are dyed on our Britsock base, so there’s a bit of nylon which makes the yarn harder wearing and more suitable for socks.