Why do you love wool so much? Don’t you find it itchy and scratchy? These are questions I’m often asked….until a customer feels how Gorgeous our Yarns are! Of course, there are still itchy, scratchy wools, but we don’t sell them. I do extensive research and testing before I add a wool or fibre to our collection. I swatch test with knit and crochet, wash the samples, pull them and rub them to see if they bobble quickly, but most importantly of all, I smoosh them! I feel them next to the soft skin on my neck to see if they are the tiniest bit itchy. If they are, they don’t get in to the Gorgeous Yarns range.
The softness of wool is very dependant on which breed of sheep it comes from. Merino is commonly accepted to be the softest wool, due to the length of the individual fibres, and the fineness of each strand. (measured in microns.) Sheep with shorter fleeces, with thicker fibre tend to be more itchy when they are spun; commonly the island and highland breeds which live in harsher weather conditions have tougher fleece, such as Ronaldsay and Jacob’s sheep. Their wool is often used for upholstery fabrics and tweeds which are tougher and more hardwearing.
It would be no good making every garment out of merino though. Some patterns, stitches and garments need more oomph, and a firmer texture than merino which is very soft and drapey. So jumpers, cardigans etc which are worn over a blouse or shirt can be made from a wool yarn like Polwarth or Blue Faced Leicester or brand like Pirkka Lankka. Still a soft yarn, and passing the smoosh test, but better suited to the structure of a garment. If a yarn is better for a particular project, I tell you in the product description. Lastly, some yarns are best suited for blankets etc. They are warm and cosy, but not always supersoft next to the skin with a smoosh test.
Of course, not all our yarns are wool! We have an extensive range of fibres from other animals, such as baby camel, alpaca and cashmere. (No animals are harmed in the production of any yarns we sell.) All these yarns are supersoft and quite floppy when used, so are best for scarves, cowls etc, but would make the most fabulous luxury baby garments for a special little someone.
We also have plant fibre yarns too; cottons, bamboo, banana and seacell which comes from seaweed! Each can be used for a variety of projects as a DK or 4ply, and the banana fibre which looks like a laceweight is used like a DK on 4mm neddles, with a garter stitch for an amazing (easy) lacy feel.
So, why do I love wool (yarn) so much? It is infinite in it’s colours, varieties, possibilities and uses. It makes me happy to use natural, beautiful products to create something unique and lovely, and gives me a balance between the value of my time and the value of the product I’m using. No, our Gorgeous Yarns aren’t the cheapest, but they are truely gorgeous and will reward your time with something you will love and enjoy for years to come.
Do I love wool, oh yes!
Bye for now,