Day 2 of the blogging from A to Z challenge. B is for British.
Regular readers of my blog may have noticed that I have a ‘thing’ for British yarn (this actually extends to most things, but I’m going to limit myself to yarn here). I try my best to buy only British yarn, unless it’s something like cotton, which I don’t buy much of anyway. We have so many amazing different breeds of sheep, we have alpaca, we have angora rabbits and we have cashmere goats, that I don’t really see the need to import wool.
Many people believe British wool is expensive, but it isn’t any more expensive than wool from anywhere else. For example you can buy from the New Lanark Mill and pay only £4.50 for 100g of aran weight yarn, and the money goes towards the upkeep of the historic mill. Yes, you can find expensive British yarn, but you can find expensive imported yarn too.
Then there are places like Blacker, who sell not only the more well known Blue Faced Leicester, but also sell the wool from various different rare sheep, helping keep the breeds alive. Even these aren’t what I would call expensive, with prices at around £5 per 50g.
The most local yarn I ever bought was from the Winchester farmers’ market. It was spun from a flock of sheep from a local smallholding, and also hand dyed with natural dyes. So commercial producers aren’t the only place excellent yarn can be found.
I haven’t been able to try anywhere near all the British yarns available and I’m certainly not an expert on the subject. If you do want to learn more about the wonders of British wool, take a trip to KnitBritish.
I should mention that if you’re reading this and you aren’t from Britain, I highly recommend you research yarn and wool local to you. You might find something interesting to try.