Clare Devine urges us to consider British producers when making our yarn and fibre choices
WHERE DOES the yarn in your stash come from? The concept of the social media campaign #ShopLocal, and thinking about the journey a skein of yarn has taken from producer to consumer, are now being considered by many knitters. When thinking about ‘air miles’, we apply this idea not only to the food in our fridge, but also to the yarn on our knitting needles.
Within our community, there are some inspiring figures championing British wool and the many producers upon these isles who bring together beautiful materials for us to knit with - from sheep farmers to spinning mills, and from the dye pots of our talented independent dyers.
A new way of life
Back in 2012, while on a train journey from Reading to Edinburgh, knitter Louise Scollay made a decision that has shaped the last three years of her life - and which has also influenced the way many knitters view their own stash.
As she gazed from the train window, watching the blur of fields and sheep whizz past, she thought about the yarn gently running through her fingers; a simple
49 skein of Shetland Organics wool. It dawned on her that this yarn, although it had been processed in Orkney, came from a flock a mere mile from her back door.
This truly was her local yarn – and at that moment, Louise decided to set herself a personal challenge. For a year, she would ‘Knit British’ and spend time discovering all she could about British breeds and the fibre industry in the UK.
Since those early days, Knit British has evolved from a personal challenge to a blog and a podcast. Louise’s decision to explore and knit with British breeds