BRITISH WOOL FROM A BRITISH MILL
I have been looking around for a while to see if I could source some new yarns for knitters and weavers, and it’s not as easy as you would think!
At one time there were hundreds of mills preparing wool from British sheep for cloth making, and export – in fact in Shakespeare’s time, wool was the largest export from Britain and made many a fortune! But things have moved on, and whilst there is now a growing market for wool again (for years farmers have had to sell their fleeces for practically nothing), the mills have slowly disappeared, and the costs of scouring the wool, carding & spinning it, make it very expensive for small producers to supply yarns to crafters.
I have, however, found a commercial mill in the north, who supply garment manufacturers worldwide, and who specialise in British Wool, who are willing to sell me cones from their stock of discontinued colour ranges.
They are not seconds, but simply odds and ends of colours that are no longer on their current catalogue. The cones are sold by weight, and are around 1Kg each – rather more than most knitters and weavers would normally buy for themselves – and as they are a thin 2 ply (as used by manufacturers), there are over 5,700 metres of yarn on each cone.
They can be knitted or woven as they are, or ‘doubled up’ to give thicker yarns, and as I have chosen for this first trial order, colours that will work together well, you could easily combine the colours when doubling, or trebling the thickness. If you are weaving with them, all you need to do is check the number of wraps an inch (dpi) round a ruler – if you want to knit with them, then you would need to knit a test piece to check whether you need to make any adjustments to your pattern.
I have got these yarns at a reasonable price, but the price per cone works out at £21.99 per kilo, or more if the cone is heavier, and although this means that you are getting the wool at only £2.20 per 100 gm, I appreciate that not everyone will want to buy several cones at once, especially as they will have to go parcel post, which can add to the cost.
However, if you are part of a knitting group, or spinners & weavers guild, and can arrange to share the cones – this will be a very good deal!
To see the full range, and put an order in, please go to my listing on ebay (click here).
As I said, this is a trial order, and there are lots more colours, and other yarns available, but I wanted to test the idea out first.
Please let me know what you think, even if you are not buying at the moment.
OTHER NEW ITEMS LISTED…..
In Wales, we have had to pay for plastic bags at shops and supermarkets for about a year now, so people are turning to buying nice shopping bags again!
The stock photo of the striped storage bags shows it in use for towels & even plants, but they are great for keeping odds & ends of wool, especially when you are working on a project and could become your favourite knitting bag!
Thank you to everyone
who has referred friends and colleagues to add to my mailing list, after I lost the whole list – the CALENDAR COMPETITION (see previous blog) runs until 10 February, and I would welcome any further contributions! Please just fill in the form on the blog.
I also decided to print up a couple of the images as posters, and have just put them up for sale on etsy – see here
If you want to get in touch with me its firstname.lastname@example.org, to add a comment at the end of this blog, and please do have a look at the ‘ABOUT JULZ’ PAGE FOR INFO ON ORDERING DIRECT ETC
All the best