Monthly Archives: February 2014


Yesterday saw the start of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. During each olympic games, summer and winter, the knitting community joins in with it’s very own version – the Ravellenic Games.  It’s a great opportunity to challenge yourself whilst watching lots and lots of winter sports!  I’m taking part in the Sock Hockey event, it’s become my own tradition to knit a pair of socks each Olympics and this will be my fourth pair (2008 Beijing, 2010 Vancouver, 2012 London).

Last weekend I decided to have a look through my dyeing note book to see if I had the makings of a rainbow.

Dye notebook

Dye notebook

Excuse the kitchen in the background!

Luckily, it looked like I had all the recipes necessary to make a rainbow, so after much calculating of percentages, weighing and measuring out small quantities of seven different colours and carefully painting the sections, the yarn was wrapped and in the oven.

It was a tense time waiting for the results. With some of the natural dyes, the final colour only emerges after the yarn and dye has been heated. With Logwood Purple for example the raw dye extract looks red and will only develop the purple colour with time and heat. It’s a nerve wracking and exciting time.  It was worth it in the end, here’s the Rainbow yarn:

Hand dyed British Bluefaced Leicester 4ply sock wool










There may have been a small chocolatey celebration once the yarn was out of the wrapping!  And then I had to wait until yesterday to start knitting it!  I cast on during the opening ceremony to the strains of some beautiful Russian music from Sochi. And here’s a rough and ready unedited progress shot from this morning:

Rainbow progress 1

British Wool, KnitBritish and a Giveaway!

I recently got in touch with Knitter, Blogger, Podcaster and Shetlander Louise Scollay on Twitter. She also flies the flag for British Wool.  Having looked at her stash of yarn she realised just how much of it came from far flung corners of the world.  She admitted to being a little ashamed of the lack of British Wool and set out on a mission to knit with as much UK produced wool as possible.

After a year of Knitting British she has launched the KnitBritish podcast to continue to celebrate the wonders of British Wool.  The second episode is available online now and despite the blustery weather is an excellent listen.  There’s a round-up of Louise’s KIP (knits in progress), the Dos and Don’ts of British Knitting and a lovely shout out for Sylvan Tiger Yarn, (thank you!), amongst other things.

Louise is also hosting a giveaway of a skein of my sock wool, so head on over to KnitBritish, have a listen to the podcast and leave a comment to win:

Hand Dyed British Bluefaced Leicester Sock Wool










And, whilst we’re on the subject of British Wool, the Rare Breed Survival Trust released it’s Annual Watchlist of endangered and at risk breeds yesterday.  According to the British Wool Marketing Board there are over 60 breeds of sheep in the UK.  There are 22 breeds of sheep in the 5 most endangered categories on the RBST’s Watchlist.  Boreray being the most critically endangered with less than 300 breeding females.

Whilst I only have yarn from Bluefaced Leicester sheep at the moment, I hope to branch out in the future to explore the wonderful variety of British Wool and support the UK wool producing and processing industry.