British Yarn Bases
I use only British yarn bases as the variety and characteristics of British sheep are nearly endless. The choice helps our economy and our local farmers, as well as ensuring the continued survival of some of our more rare breeds of sheep. I use various sources for British yarn bases and am always on the lookout for new ones. I use the bases listed below on a regular basis, but special one-off British yarn bases are available from time to time.
- BFL/Masham – 4ply and DK
- British Falkland Merino – 4ply
- Suffolk/Shropshire/Texel blend – 4ply
- Wensleydale – 4ply
The yarn I sell requires gentle handwashing as it has not been superwash treated. To create superwash yarn, extensive chemical treatments are used and often the yarn is coated in a thin layer of plastic. These processes destroy the natural characteristics of the wool. You can read more about the subject here.
I use various makes of acid dyes to dye my wool. ‘Acid’ makes the dyes sound nasty and dangerous. However, the dyes themselves contain no acid, the name just means they require acid to work. The acids often recommended are vinegar and citric acid. I choose to use the latter to avoid the strong smell of vinegar, and also cut down on packaging as less is required to achieve the same level of acidity.
The acidic water required to dye with acid dyes has the advantage that it can be used many times. This reduces the amount of waste water significantly.
I reduce waste as much as possible by choosing my dyeing methods carefully. This means that I don’t use plastic wrap, single use cable ties, plastic bags or disposable trays, and I cut down on waste wherever possible.