I have had a hankering to knit with some non-merino breeds and that has led me down the rabbit hole of small farm websites, both here and in the UK, and serious yarn envy for all the rustic gray wools out there (I do love me some good gray yarn!). I suspect the Laine publication of 52 Weeks of Shawls had a fair amount of influence here but it’s also spring sheep and wool festival time so who doesn’t love to shop for yarn right now?
I ordered myself 721 yards of Uist Wool fingering weight yarn in this gorgeous silvery gray color. It’s a blend of scotch mule and black wensleydale wools, grown and then spun on the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. You can, of course, order directly from them but I opted to pick up these 4 skeins while I was over surfing product at The Woolly Thistle. If you haven’t visited their shop, they have a lovely selection of traditional yarns (including Rauma, Blacker Yarns, Jamieson and Smith, and loads of others), as well as patterns, kits and notions/accessories. They also host some fun KALs if that’s your thing.
I don’t have a specific pattern in mind for this beautiful yarn. With 700 or so yards, I am leaning towards a lace wrap of some kind, which I think will allow the yarn to bloom beautifully, but honestly, I think a cabled or textured stitch pattern would look equally nice. I have loads of things on the needles right now, so I’ve got plenty of time to make a decision (and change my mind several times).
I also took advantage of John Arbon Textiles virtual yarn weekend sale and ordered two other heritage-breed yarns from them. I picked up two 200 meter skeins of their Exmoor Sock 4-ply in the colorway Dimity, which is a gorgeous teal green. This is a blend of Exmoor Blueface, Corriedale, Zwarbles and nylon (60%, 20%, 10% and 10%, respectively). It has a gorgeous sheen to it and is nicely wooly. The Exmoor Blueface wool component is superwash, so theoretically you could toss these in the washing machine but I’ll just wash them like I do my other handknit socks and lay flat to dry. I could envision some cabled or lace socks from these skeins. The twist is nice and tight and is a multi-ply that looks like it’ll hold up nicely. (The skeins all came in a fun screen-printed cotton drawstring bag too.)
Finally, I picked up a gradient set of their Knit by Numbers 4-ply. These are all 25-g mini skeins with 100 meters per skein. There were six in the set so that’s a total of 150 g and 450 yards. They range from a pale dusty rose through a dark raspberry – gorgeous! (The color pack colorway is Raspberry Pink.) The fiber base is 100% Falkland Merino and it is lovely and soft and beautifully spun with just a hint of tweediness in the colors. My original thought was to reknit my Beach Cove Shawl (Ravelry Link). I do think the yarn would work beautifully in that pattern and it’d be a completely different look but since this, like the other lovely yarns above, will be marinating in stash for a bit, I’ve got time to decide!