Tag Archives: Leeds Wool Festival

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:


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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.


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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.

Here be Alpacas!

We recently popped over to visit the boys and girls (human, feline and camelid!) of County Alpacas.  Julie asked me a while ago to give a box of her alpaca yarn the Sylvan Tiger dye treatment and it was time to deliver the goods!

The boys seemed please to see us, though that might have been the bag of carrots we were carrying!

Alpaca helloFeeding the alpacas is not without it’s dangers to future knitting efficiency.  Alpacas only have teeth on their bottom jaws so in order to get a chunk of carrot they grip and then tug to snap off a section. Once they get a bit nearer your fingers with their distinctive dentistry it’s a bit hair raising.  A final digit count didn’t reveal any losses!

Alpaca with teethWhen we saw them a couple of weeks ago the alpacas had their full coats on and are due for a date with the alpaca barber in about a month now. Often when an alpaca has been shorn you’ll see a skinny looking beast with a big fluffy head.  They are left with this unique hair cut to act as a sun shade with their gorgeous big eyes. You learn something new everyday!

Here are the five lovely colours I dyed, all dyed with natural dyes; cochineal, fustic, pomegranate, saxon blue and lac.

Alpaca testsJulie will have the yarn for sale at Wonderwool this weekend, so do pop by and say hello.

Finally, one more photo, this time of the girls, looking superior as the boys were rough housing down the hill!

Alpaca girl trioPS, whilst I won’t be at Wonderwool this weekend, there are two upcoming outings for Sylvan Tiger Yarn:
Wharfe Wool Fair – 9 May at Otley Courthouse just outside Leeds
Leeds Wool Festival – 6 June at Armley Mills, Leeds Industrial Museum