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New gradient yarns

New Shetland 4ply gradient packs are here!

Gradient six together

Gradient packs seem to have taken the knitting world by storm recently. I thought it would be interesting to explore the possibilities of gradients, but with a little twist.  My gradients are created by over-dyeing four natural shades of Shetland 4ply with natural dye extracts. Here’s how they start out.

Natural x600

Undyed natural shades of Shetland yarn.

The yarn

The yarn I chose to work with for my gradients is of course British. It’s a Shetland 4ply, processed by Blacker Yarns in Cornwall.   The fibre is woollen spun to give it a really light and airy handle, it really is very bouncy.  (The postman delivering the parcel lobbed it over our six foot high gate into the back garden, I’m surprised it didn’t bounce straight back at him!) . Blacker take the natural shades of the Shetland fleeces and blend them together to create a range of natural shades.

Copyright Blacker Yarns

Copyright Blacker Yarns

The fibre that makes the yarn

I asked Blacker Yarns about the Shetland fibre that is processed into their yarn and Sue replied that most of the Shetland fibre comes from one farm in Somerset, Fernhill Farm. Andrew and Jen are working hard to be self-sufficient on their farm, with the livestock being part of their holistic approach to land management. Hopefully I’ll have an interview with Jen soon, so she can tell their story more fully.

The gradient packs

So, let’s introduce the gradient packs more closely!

Chocolate Orange

Chocolate Orange

Each 100g pack contains four ~25g mini skeins with 350m/380yds per 100g.



There are currently six different colours to choose from.

Grass Green

Grass Green

The packs would make great shawls, hats, gloves or scarves.



They can be used one their own, to really show off the gradient.

Dilly Dilly

Dilly Dilly

Or, they could be used alongside a plain white, or even dark brown, background.

Raspberry Ganache

Raspberry Ganache

The possibilities are endless!  Have fun, play around.  I’m working with local knitwear designer Gwen Wagner-Adair to bring you some patterns specifically for these packs. The patterns should be ready for release early in May in time for Wharfe Wool Fair.  In the meantime, the gradient packs are available now in my Sylvan Tiger Yarn Etsy shop, go have a look!

New Year, New Yarns

Now that we’re into February, the winter dyeing break is over and it’s time to look ahead to new plans and developments for 2016.

New Yarns – Gradients and Stripes

I have two new lines in development for launch this Spring. The first is a very special gradient yarn, using Shetland yarn processed by the Natural Fibre Company in Cornwall.  I’ll share more about this yarn later in the month and it’ll be launching during the first week in March. Here’s a sneak preview of one of the colourways:


Do sign up to the newsletter to be the first to hear all about the yarn once it launches.  The sign up form is just over there on the right hand side bar.

The second new line I’ll be introducing is the result of a happy accident, so to speak.  When I was ordering fresh undyed yarn from the wholesaler, my usual 100g skeins of BFL HT sock yarn were out of stock, but he did have the same yarn in 50g skeins.  I decided to order the 50g skeins anyway thinking they’d be perfect to dye up in a range of nice bright colours to then mix and match together for stripy projects!

So, keep an eye out, probably in April, for bright, bold combinations just begging to be knitted up into stripy socks, stripy hats, stripy gloves, stripy…you get the idea! I already have a sample pair of stripy socks on the needles in sky blue and raspberry.

It’s show time!

It’s also coming up to show time.  In May there’s Wharfe Wool Fair, previously held in Otley the fair is moving to Ilkley this year to a bigger venue with a car park just across the road and with good public transport links. We’ll have both new yarn lines on show for the first time, as well as the usual favourites.
Wharfe Wool Fair – 7 May 2016, 10am-4pm, Clarke Foley Centre, Ilkley, LS29 9DZ

Next up is Leeds Wool Festival to be held at Armley Mills Industrial Museum.  Some parts of the Museum were quite badly affected by the Boxing Day floods, but clean up is well under the way and the Museum should be open again soon.
Leeds Wool Festival – 6 June 2016, 10am-5pm, Armley Mills Industrial Museum, Leeds, LS12 2QF

And, of course, there’s Yarndale in Skipton in September. The application has been submitted and fingers are crossed until we hear back in mid-April.


Don’t forget, sign up to the newsletter to hear as soon as the new gradients are released!

In the meantime

Until you can see us out in the wild, the Sylvan Tiger Yarn Etsy shop is stocked up with plenty of British yarn, all dyed by me, by hand, with natural dyes.