Anyone who has known me a while or been a long-time listener of the podcast will know that I view knitting as a gateway drug. I was only going to knit a baby blanket, which quickly became wrestling with DPNs to make a whole Christmas full of hats, which leapt to a shocking sock addiction, which in turn lead to revisiting crochet, which then meandered into learning to spin, which became dyeing that perfect shade, which then developed into weaving on a rigid heddle loom, which in turn lead to multi-shaft weaving, a college course and total change in direction career-wise. The irony is that as much as I love it, I’ve knit very little so far this year. All my time has been spent weaving for college or crocheting samples. But I am delighted to be able to show you the fruits of those crochet labours now. My trip to Fluph saw the hard launch of the first in a series of crochet kits that have come about as a collaboration between Valerie Bracegirdle of Agrarian Artisan Designs and myself.
The first was Autumn Beaches, in Mobberley DK, offered in both a single colourway and a two-colour option.
It works up very quickly; in fact I worked up the purple and green sample within five evenings, dipping in and out of other jobs at the same time.
Second up is the glorious Swirling Seas.
The kit is currently available in shades of green, but I am working on a blue option too. (I actually didn’t work this sample up, but I am loving my blue one so far!). This is using Knutsford, a new base yarn comprising 80% Organically farmed Falkland merino and 20% silk.The green sample has been blocked hard and consequently is gloriously lacy and has the most fabulous drape.
Finally we have Sigrun’s Scarf.
This is worked up in 15 colours of Stanley Sock. Stanley is a well loved favourite here, 100% Organically farmed Falkland merino, but is a finer yarn than Stanley Sport (formally Stanley 4ply) at 400m per 00g (as opposed to Sport at 333m per 100g). Even at the finer weight, Stanley has a lovely plump squooshiness to it and it absorbs the colour so well!
All three kits are available now in the Kit section of the shop, so please go over and have a look.
In my last post, you may have noticed some cute little guys on the table. I was delighted to be able to offer Dizzy Sheep spinning kits at Kendal at the weekend. In fact they proved so popular that my initial stock had sold out by lunchtime! Luckily my amazing friend Mandy dropped some more off on Sunday and I’ve now uploaded the remaining stock into the shop.
At last! A simple kit that allows you to separate out the steps involved in spinning. The Dizzy Sheep is great for beginners and experienced spinners alike, allowing you to spin on the go. Small and compact, Dizzy Sheep can be popped into a pencil case to take out and about. As you draft horizontally, it’s easy to spin sitting down with Dizzy. He even tells you which way to twizzle to spin or to ply!
We’re delighted to offer Dizzy Sheep, designed by Crafts From The Dungeon, for £16 or as a kit put together especially for Yarns From The Plain for £20.
The kit comes with everything you need to get spinning:
•One Dizzy Sheep raring to go
•50g of hand dyed British fibre
•Detailed photo tutorial.
They are currently available in 5 different hand dyed shades of Cheviot from here.
Today’s update is all about the DK – Mobberley DK, that is! I popped into the big newsagent in town today, on the hunt for Inside Crochet Magazine, issue 69. I have to be honest, I don’t really buy knitting, sewing or crochet magazines at the moment as I have so many back copies of so many different titles. I had a reason to seek this one out though:
Valerie Bracegirdle, aka Agrarian Artisan, has designed a scarf which is featured on the front cover, and it is designed in one of my yarns! I am so excited by this, I can barely squeak! She used a skein of Mobberley DK in the Malted Chocolate colourway, which is now in stock in the shop. Mobberley DK is a custom blend of 70% Exmoor Blueface and 30% British Alpaca, spun in Devon form local fibre sources and dyed here in Cheshire. It is a truly British product and a yarn that I love to work with. I’ve not crocheted anything with the Mobberley yet, so I can’t wait to make an autumn Beaches scarf of my own. My problem is I just can’t decide which colour!
To mark this pattern publication, this week’s update is all Mobberley DK. Here are a selection of the colours now available:
There are other colours avaialable. The skeins are 100g, 250m and cost £13 each. I hope you’ll find something you like!
Wowsers! this weekend has passed in a blur of yarn winding, labelling and uploading to the new shop, which will launch tomorrow morning – woot woot! There are now only 2 items left in the Etsy shop, but I’ve uploaded over 13 kg of yarn alone to the new shop, so I sincerely hope you will be able to find something you like!
For the lovers of twist style yarns, we have our DK BFL/Masham blend, Wilmslow:
We also have a number of colours in the workhorse BFL/nylon blend Chelford:
Finally, we have limited colours in my current favourite bases, Mobberley, the custom spun 70/30 Exmoor Blueface/British Alpaca blend:
There is also some fibre for the spinners amongst you, mainly Cheviot and Shropshire, but I am hoping to add some more fibre within the next coupke of weeks. To keep up-to-date with the news and updates, sign up for the Yarns From The Plain newsletter on the main website front page, here.
As a little thank you for signing up, there will be a time-limited offer code for 15% off purchases, valid until 13th July 2015.
So in our geographical tour of Cheshire, this week we land in the heart of the footballers’ wives territory, Wilmslow. Wilmslow is just over 10 miles south of Manchester. According to Wikipedia the town “is known for its upmarket lifestyle and its many rich and famous residents. It is one of the most sought-after places to live in the UK after central London, and … has one of the highest proportions of wealthier residents in the North of England. The town has boutique shops, cafes and restaurants, and high-marque car showrooms which cater for those associated with the “Cheshire Set” lifestyle.” Somewhat removed from my life then! However I do like Wilmslow, it has nice shops and one of the first Starbucks in my part of Cheshire! I think today’s featured yarn is a bit special, hence the name.
Wilmslow is one of the first bases I dyed, but it’s been unavailable for a while, so I have held back all my stocks for the launch of the new on-line shop (so excited that it’s finally happening next week!) It’s a DK yarn, made from a blend of Blue Face and Masham and is, of course, 100% British. It was spun in Yorkshire. It’s a 2 ply with a marked twist structure and has been Superwash treated.
Wilmslow is dyed in a range of semi-solids and tonals. You may be able to spot what my inspiration was when I was during these! It comes in 100g skeins, with 240m per skein (approx) and retails for £12 per skein.
Ok, so I know it’s a bit quiet over here as we build everything (who am I trying to kid? As my web designer friend builds everything!) but I thought I would show you some yarn…
Last year I dyed a colourway, Bewitched, on my Mobberley 4ply base. Mobberley is a custom spun yarn, 70% Exmoor Blueface, 30% British Alpaca. It proved popular, but someone messaged me on Etsy to ask if I had it on any heavier bases. Not one to refuse a challenge, I picked up the gauntlet ad set to to dye it on both the DK and the Aran weight bases. I’ve had to change the technique slightly, as I heat set the original 4 ply in the microwave, and that has now bitten the dust, but I still love it! Both can be found in the shop.