Specialities from independent artisans
BEEHIVE YARNS BARDOT
Named after glamorous female icons, in this case Brigitte Bardot, this yarn has a tight, even twist. The stitch definition is firm and dainty and the very slight sheen and subtle halo add more interest to a yarn that’s already fascinating because of its shading.
The colour mix in the yarn is divine. We tested Rose Lichen, which has a predominance of pink-petal shades sprinkled with leafy green, but we love the other choices just as passionately. This yarn is perfect for shawls and socks – just make sure you buy enough to complete a project to avoid colour-matching challenges later. RRP £17 WEIGHT lace
BALL 100g/365m NEEDLE 3mm CONTENT 80% Merino wool, 20% nylon CARE Hand-wash only, dry flat Visit www.beehiveyarns.co.uk or email [email protected]hiveyarns.co.uk to buy the yarn.
HIGH TWIST MERINO FINGERING HTMF is a hand-dyed, evenly-spun yarn with a tight twist. It knits into a softly draping fabric with very good stitch definition that’s muted by a slight halo.
It will make divinely soft socks, but we think it’s destined for shawls, wraps and scarves. This rich, midnight shade – a mix of black and deep purple – is named Wizard’s Cloak. How magical! The other 56 shades range from pearly-white Tooth Fairy to forest-green Wood Elf, and we’ve got plans for making something with golden-brown Treacle Mining in West Lothian, just because of its scene-stealing name! RRP £16 WEIGHT lace
BALL 100g/365m NEEDLE 4mm CONTENT 100% Merino wool CARE Hand-wash only, dry flat Visit www.dyeninja.com to see the full range and to buy this yarn.
IT’S A STITCH UP
PHLUMP MERINO Milled and spun in England, and hand-dyed in East London, the raw yarn comes from ethically-sourced, non-mulesed fleece from South American flocks. It has a loose spin with a fairly hairy halo and would be a great choice for felting.
Phlump Merino knits up really quickly on big needles and works well for big projects, like slouchy ponchos. Our sample shade is Shinjuku, a crazy mix of black, purple and turquoise interspersed with pops of neon brights. There are shades with a narrower range of hues if you prefer a calmer palette, and there’s also a sparkly version. RRP £26 WEIGHT super chunky BALL 200g/130m NEEDLE 9-12mm CONTENT 100% Merino wool CARE Hand-wash only, dry flat Visit www.itsastitchup.co.uk to see the full range and to buy this yarn.
FELT FUSION SPRINGY MERINO DK
This mulesing-free artisan yarn has been hand-dyed in small batches. The fabric it produces is solid and is enhanced with very good stitch definition. This is a great yarn for all-season garments, especially flowing jumpers and cardigans.
Our sample is the richly-coloured Purple Haze shade, a cornucopia of plums, grapes and beetroot hues. As all the yarn is handdyed by a dyer who loves to experiment, the colour options – which we think are quite glorious – are virtually unlimited. It’s a case of keeping an eye on the site to see what’s on o er at any one time. RRP £15 WEIGHT DK
BALL 115g/230m NEEDLE 4mm CONTENT 100% Merino wool CARE Hand-wash only, dry flat Visit www.feltfusion.co.uk to see the full range and to buy this yarn.
PIXIE YARN HAND-DYED SOCK YARN
Hand-dyed in a studio in the Mendip Hills, this yarn will make fine garments, such as shawls and lacy cardigans. The Merino content means it’s soft to the touch, while the nylon content makes it ideal for socks as it’s hard-wearing.
It has a tight, even twist in the spin that knits into a fabric with excellent stitch definition that drapes in a loose and flowing fashion. Colours vary from day to day and week to week, and you never know what gem you’ll come across on the site. Our sample is a gorgeous mix of sunshine colours called Merrymaking. RRP £18 WEIGHT 4ply
BALL 100g/425m NEEDLE 4mm CONTENT 75% Merino wool, 25% nylon CARE Hand-wash only, dry flat Visit www.pixieyarn.co.uk or email pix[email protected] to buy this yarn.
SPIN CITY HAND-DYED YARN
The fibres for Spin City’s yarns are sourced from farms in the East Anglia area, then hand-dyed at a studio near Cambridge. All the yarns are selected for their luxury feel, drape, quality and texture.
This fine 4ply knits into a fabric with a soft flowing drape that’s perfect for lacy, lightweight garments.
Our test sample is called Tiger Lilly and it’s a warm, vibrant mix of oranges interspersed with flecks of pinky shades. As the yarn is hand-dyed in small batches, colour choices will vary each time you visit the site, but expect to be mesmerised. RRP £14 WEIGHT 4ply
BALL 100g/400m NEEDLE 3mm CONTENT 75% superwash Merino wool, 25% nylon
CARE Hand-wash only, dry flat Visit www.spincityshop.com to buy.