Wednesday 1 May 2013

Yorkshire dales and British yarn

Hello everyone, and happy May! It's been a beautiful day here today and I'm feeling rather cheerful! This could also be partly due to how much I have enjoyed looking at everyone's day one Me-Made-May outfits on Flickr. I am amazed by the variety of outfits as well as all the great backdrops that everyone has used for their photographs. There will be a round up post from me coming at the weekend, but it's clear already that I am going to have to up my game!

Last weekend me and Mr.KK went away for a long weekend in the Yorkshire Dales. It was great to get away and although the weather was mixed (sunshine, rain and hail all within an hour!) we still had a lovely time. I do love the countryside. We spent our time walking in the dales through fields and field of lambs of various ages and daffodils a-plenty - it all felt very springlike!

We stayed in a small town called Hawes and on a wander through I was delighted to spy a knitting shop - so of course we had to pay a visit. The shop is called the Knitting Basket and it stocks a great selection of yarns, including a number of locally spun and British yarns. Having spent the weekend surrounded by sheep, I felt it was only right to purchase some local yarn!

I came away with two skeins of blue faced Leicester yarn in the 'owl' colourway (of course!). This yarn is so beautifully soft, and was spun locally in Yorkshire at the mill of the West Yorkshire Spinners. I love the fact that I can show you a picture of the breed of sheep it came from - take that cheap acrylic "wool"! I can't wait to use it - I think it would make a lovely scarf.

For a while now I have been thinking more about the yarn I use in my knitting, what it is made of and where it come from, as a result of reading the blogs of wonderful people such as Roobeedoo, who is an advocate of independent British yarn companies, as well as going to a workshop run by the designer Erika Knight who has her own collection of 100% British yarn. I think the main thing that put me off is the cost - I thought it was so much more expensive - however a bit of research tells me that this is not necessarily the case. True, it may be a bit more pricey than your £1.50 ball of 100% acrylic, but you certainly get what you pay for (i.e. actual wool!). I am coming to realise that quality is so important. If I am going to spend time making something I truly love, then it is important to use good quality materials. That's half the joy of making your own garments - you know what goes into them and where it comes from.

A bit of googling has revealed that so many more yarn companies than I realised have British yarn ranges. For more information and an exhaustive list of smaller British yarn companies, check out The British Yarn Guide. I can't promise that I will only and forever more use British yarn from now on, but I will definitely be thinking a lot more about where my yarns come from and going for quality over quantity!

Do you try and use British or local yarns in your makes? Can you recommend any good companies or stockists?

K xx


  1. I like New Lanark wool, you can buy it online from their mill shop and it's really reasonably priced too. I don't live too far from the mill so I can buy it from there. There quite a few Scottish wool producers, you should look at knitwear Designer Kate Davies blog as she is an advocate of British wool.

  2. That is so inspiring!! I am trying to only stock local New Zealand yarn in my shop, and it's a bit tricky as some of it goes off to China to be spun and dyed so as far as I am concerned that doesn't count. There's such a sense of pride in using local product isn't there. And it is thrilling to hear anyone say they want to invest in their creations too. It's so true!

  3. Yooooorkshire! Did you go to the cheese making factory and pretend to be Wallace and Gromit? Mmmm lovely Wensleydale. Glad you're doing your bit to support local craft suppliers!

  4. hi, thank you for visiting the knitting basket, and purchasing the lovely blue faced Leicester printed owl yarn, hope you enjoy knitting with it too. what a pleasure to read your blog. jenny x



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