If you receive my newsletter or follow me on social media you may have seen my survey on an idea I’ve had called Bluebell Basics. I am creating a new range of yarn, with the aim of making hand-dyed non-superwash British wool affordable and available to more people. If you answered the survey, thank you! Some interesting ideas and thoughts have been raised and I want to share them with you all. 89 people filled in the survey.
Question 1 – How often do you use British wool?
Out of 88 responses to this question, I received the following answers:
Most of the time: 36
Some of the time: 45
This is the range of answers I would expect. I was hoping there would be a few more “rarely” and “never” responses, but due to how I shared the survey it doesn’t surprise me that it didn’t reach many people in these groups.
Question 2 – What are the things that put you off using non-superwash British wool?
This is where the results get interesting. I allowed multiple selections in answer to this question. The answers to the options I gave were:
Don’t know how to care for it: 4 (4.9%)
Scared of it felting: 15 (18%)
Find it too scratchy: 20 (24.4%)
Too expensive: 22 (26.8%)
Not available in preferred colours: 27 (32.9%)
I also had quite a few people say “other” then leave a comment. Many of these had things in common:
People were tempted by other more “luxury” yarns, or had a large stash to get through.
It’s too difficult/time consuming to care for or a lack of knowledge on how to care for it properly.
Brexit & shipping costs have made it too expensive to order from outside the UK.
A lack of availability at local yarn shops.
Positively, a lot of people commented that nothing puts them off and 7 people didn’t answer the question so I’m assuming the majority of them are in this group too.
Question 3 – What weight of yarn do you enjoy working with?
I allowed multiple selections on this question. The results don’t surprise me at all!
Laceweight: 29 (33%)
4ply: 81 (92%)
Sport: 40 (45.5%)
DK: 76 (86.4%)
Worsted: 30 (34.1%)
Aran: 46 (52%)
Chunky: 12 (13.6%)
Super Chunky: 6 (6.8%)
I’ve inserted a picture of the graph from this question so you can visualise the answers more clearly. I was expecting 4ply & DK to come out top, and they have. Sport and Worsted, while similar weights, have a lower popularity but this is probably due to them not being such a common weight of yarn in the UK.
Question 4 – Would you use Bluebell Basics?
I’m paraphrasing as I worded this question in a very roundabout way! 85 (96.6%) of respondents said yes, 3 (3.4%) said no. That’s a pretty positive answer!
Question 5 – How much would you be able to pay per 100g skein of British, non-superwash, hand-dyed wool if planning to make a garment?
I tried to be specific in this question. People often are willing to spend more on projects that use less yarn and I specifically wanted to know about garments. I also tried to be specific by asking “be able to pay” rather than “be willing to pay”. A lot of people may be willing, but unable, to pay what they believe yarn is worth. I am trying to make British yarn available to more people, so wanted to know what they would be able to pay. I’m not positive this was the way in which the question was read, but I’ll have to assume it was for the purposes of this analysis.
Under £5: 1 (1.2%)
£5-£7.50: 9 (10.5%)
£7.50-£10: 17 (19.8%)
£10-£12.50: 23 (26.7%)
£12.50-£15: 20 (23.3%)
£15+: 16 (18.7%)
The results of this question are encouraging. I’m hoping to be able to sell each skein in the £7.50-£10 range which would mean 88.5% of respondents would be able to afford it. I wish I could make it affordable for everyone, but if I did that I wouldn’t have a business any more as I’d be losing money!
Question 6 – Comments
I allowed people to leave a comment, and this is where some other common trends appeared which are very useful to know!
Lots of people said they can’t wait to see what I do with this idea.
Several people said they prefer semi-solid/tonal dyed yarns for garments. This is exactly what I was thinking, and also as these are quicker to dye, allow me to keep the costs to a minimum.
Discounts for sweater quantities/more than 3 skeins was another common request. Definitely something I’ll consider, especially with the way I’m planning to run the Bluebell Basics section of Bluebell Yarns.
Several people asked for swatches of how each colour looks knitted up.
Another useful comment was about alternating skeins of hand-dyed wool when knitting a garment as it’s a bit of a pain. I hate doing it too, so I’m hoping the way I dye these skeins will eliminate the need for this. I’ll be doing some experimenting first though!
A final common theme was people wanted more education on British wool. Some wanted to know more about British wool, how the breeds compare, how each wool feels, and ideal projects to use it in. This is definitely something I’ll be considering.
This answer is mainly relevant for EU & international orders, but one person requested that I deduct VAT for international orders. Unfortunately I’m not VAT registered at this point so there’s nothing for me to deduct. I know all the customs fees & taxes suck, especially for the EU at the moment. Things will change again in July, and I’m hoping this will make things easier on everyone.
Thank you to everyone who answered the survey! I’ve had some useful and interesting responses and I’ll definitely be moving forward with Bluebell Basics. If you’re interested in hearing how this project progresses, please consider signing up to my newsletter.