I’m in the middle of what is one of my favourite bits of my job – testing out potential new yarns for the shop.
As our yarns are all spun in the UK it’s always a treat when our yarn suppliers come up with something different.
First up are two bouclé yarns – both feel amazing so the next step is to see how they knit (and crochet) up.
Then something we’ve been looking out for – a British wool with a bit of Sparkle
Finally a new laceweight.
When I’m testing new yarns the first thing I look for is how they behave in the dye pot. In the past I’ve seen yarns where joins haven’t held together, or where the yarn isn’t properly balanced so it emerges as a twisty mess.
Once I know something behaves then I get to torture it. From a dyeing point of view that means more heat than I’d expect to use – so I’m checking how easy the yarn is to felt. As we’re offering less superwash yarn this is important to us. I’m happy to sell yarn that can’t be flung in a 40 degree wash, but I need to know that it will take some abuse. It also means that I know I can use enough heat to set dyes properly without worrying that the yarn will suffer.
Then it’s time to get the knitting pins out and see how the yarn handles. I’m always looking for yarns which will take some degree of unpicking, and that’s going to be interesting with the two boucle yarns. I’m also assessing how likely I am to want to knit with the yarns – if I don’t love it then I don’t want to sell it to everyone else.
Once that’s all done I get to place an order, wait for a big box of yarn to arrive and play with the dye pots.
What new yarns would you most like to see in the shop?