School of Flock

My new limited edition, custom spun, yarn will launch this week. I’ve been working on this project for over a year now.

The Yarn

Is 100% British, the fleeces come from Shropshire and Somerset, and were scoured, prepared and spun by the Natural Fibre Company down in Cornwall.  Once back in the Yorkshire, the finished yarn has been dyed by me using natural dyes.  It will be available in six hand dyed colours, as well as in it’s natural state.

The story so far

The yarn has a 70/30 split of two British Breeds of fleece, I’ll tell you more about them later in the week.  The bulk of the fleeces come from a good friend’s flock down in Shropshire.  Having been at university together I’ve known the flock in passing for quite a while, I wasn’t knitting then like I do know, so I never dreamt I’d be asking for some fleeces to be spun into yarn!  But, I broached the subject back in December 2015 and the response was an enthusiastic yes. The flock was clipped in May 2016 and we went down to visit in July 2016 to collect some fleeces from the shearling ewes. It was a hot day, in a black car, with two large bags of raw fleeces, but luckily there was only the faintest whiff of sheep!

Fleeces in car boot2

I then hand sorted the fleeces to remove the muckiest bits and any guard hairs or coarse fibres.

Fleece sorting13

Finally it was bagged back up and sent off to the Natural Fibre Company for processing.  The post man was slightly bemused when I asked to take a picture of the bags next to the van. I assured him it wasn’t that I didn’t trust him, I just wanted to record the occasion for posterity!!

Bags to NFC

The finished yarn finally came back to me in January, and I’ve been test knitting it and dyeing it ready for release.  I’ll be releasing it in batches, just to keep things manageable for me.  The first batch will be released on Thursday 11 May, sign up to the newsletter (over there on the right hand side) to be first to hear when batches are released.

Check back later in the week for more details of the yarn itself.

New Year, New Plans, Yan Tan Tethera Club

Happy New Year! It’s been a while!

I took a good break after Yarndale last September, but now it’s time to warm up the dye pots again and get cracking on making 2017 woolly and colourful!

Yan Tan Tethera Club

The first plan for 2017 is to dye for Baa Baa Brighouse’s Yan Tan Tethera yarn club. Elaine selects an inspiration photo, taken by her husband Gary, then I choose a yarn and make it colourful.  This is the photo that Elaine has chosen this time, it’s called ‘Red Cloud’ and was taken in the hills above Rastrick in West Yorkshire:

Red Cloud

The yarn I’m using this time is something a bit different, a 100% British Jacob DK weight yarn, made by West Yorkshire Spinners.  Sign ups are open now, and will close on Friday 20 January. There are limited places, so be quick! Pop over to Baa Baa Brighouse’s website to see what extra goodies you might find in your subscription box and to sign up.

Whilst you’re there, have a look at the gallery of photos of things people have made with previous Yan Tan Tethera club yarns.  I’m just one of a group of Yorkshire yarnies who dye for the club in rotation.

New year, new yarn

In exciting news, my very first custom spun yarn should arrive with me next week.  This yarn is made of all British fleeces, and is wholly processed by the Natural Fibre Company in Cornwall.   More news to come once I’ve got my hands on it and sent it through the dye pots.  This is what it looked like when we picked up the main component from a friend:


Just one more thing…

Prices of undyed yarn have increased recently, so I shall have to reflect that with a small rise in prices. I’ll be updating the shop over the next couple of weeks, yarns priced £7 will go up 25p and yarns priced £14, £15 or £16 will go up by 50p each (except the Shetland gradients, they’ll stay the same). So if you want to get in before the increase…here’s where to go.

Dates for the diary

I shall have a stall again at Leeds Wool Festival on 3 June at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills.

And I shall be applying to Yarndale again, so fingers crossed for that.