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  • We're here to help you stitch sustainability into every aspect of your making.

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  • What Is Single-Flock Yarn?

    May 13, 2020 3 min read

    Single-flock yarns have been a particular passion of mine from the moment I held a skein of yarn that was gifted to me by my sister;

    'It's from this little goat farm near to where we were staying, it originally started as a rescue farm, and now they've grown their flock. The wool comes from each of the goats, and this skein is from one called Minnie!'

    Up until then, I'd only bought yarn based on what colour I liked, but all I know was with that story and the feel of Minnie's curly locks between my fingers, I was sold. I'd been transported, and it felt as if I were holding a little piece of the life they shared there on that goat farm.

    I know, I'm a sucker for a good story and a goat with a super cute name, but it goes beyond that. When it comes to single-flock yarns, what you often find behind the finished product are truly passionate individuals. They are deeply committed to something beyond just selling yarn and are genuinely aware of the impact they have on the land and animals around them

    But What Is It?

    I know, I'm getting ahead of myself. What is single-flock yarn? It is yarn spun from the fleece of a single flock. This flock can belong to the yarn producer themselves, or they may work closely with shepherds and purchase the fleece directly from them. They then have the fleece processed and spun into yarn.

    It is a slow and mindful process. Once one batch of yarn is gone, you can't go to the store to purchase more; you have to wait for the next shearing and start the process all over again. This brings obvious restrictions when it comes to selling yarn commercially; keeping enough supply for the demand is particularly tricky. But what comes with it is a deep connection to every facet of the yarn-making process. 

    Let's look at one of my favourite yarn producers; Louise from Southdown Yarns. I was lucky enough to be partnered with her for my first published pattern, Winterfold. Not only is her yarn stunning, but you can also get lost reading through all the information she shares on her website. Louise works with the shepherds of three different flocks of Southdown sheep, and something that I love is how she shares the slight differences in characteristics between the flocks. It's these details that, for me, make single-flock yarns so exciting! 

    'It seems to me that when you become interested in the provenance of a natural product you come to value every aspect of its creation and the contribution made by all those involved in its production. This is certainly true of all those who have supported us and purchased our wool. I love that our customers are interested in where our wool comes from and who shepherds the flocks from whence it hails.' - Louise (viaSouth Down Yarns website)

    From A Desire To Reduce Waste

    While Louise has shown that producing single-flock yarns can work on a commercial level, sometimes it can come not from a desire to create, but to reduce waste. Hooligan Yarns came about as a way to use the fleeces of the small flock at Manor Farm Charitable Trust, a charity based in the UK that provides lifelong sanctuary for livestock in need. After being shorn, the fleeces were often burned or thrown away, so they decided to use them, creating high welfare, single sheep artisan yarn.' You get a card with the sheep who's fleece you are knitting! All the proceeds from sales go back into their trust, helping to take care of the animal's who's wool you have on your needles 

    Would you like to explore more single-flock yarns? Check out these fibre folk:

     Do you have a favourite single-flock yarn you would like to share? Add it in the comments below!

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    Also in Blog

    What it means to be an indie knitting magazine
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    June 17, 2024 6 min read 1 Comment

    We've seen dramatic changes in the knitting magazine landscape over the past 12 months: Pom Pom Quarterly ceased publication at the end of 2023, Laine sold the majority of their company to one of the biggest Finnish publishers, and Amirisu first pivoted to books, and now to an online-only media outlet. Multicraftual magazines that often included knitting patterns were equally as affected: Making pivoted to a combined app and monthly membership business model, and Taproot first changed to a preorder model, and then very abruptly closed their business (the website is offline, hence no link).

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    12 Combinations of Bérénice and Semilla Melange I Love
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    May 22, 2024 2 min read

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    24 Perfect Color Matches for Zauberwolle
    24 Perfect Color Matches for Zauberwolle

    May 22, 2024 3 min read

    Hi lovelies! You know how much I adore our 100% non-superwash wool color-changing yarn "Zauberwolle", right? I already knit myself a Pressed Flowers Hat and a Pressed Flowers Cardigan in it, and I can't wait to get the next project on the needles.

    I thought it would be really cool to combine Zauberwolle with BC Garn's Semilla Melange, a wonderfully woolly GOTS-certified sport-weight yarn. (I knit the Pressed Flowers Cardigan in this exact combo, and it's a good one.) So imagine my delight when I realized how many colors of Semilla Melange actually work perfectly with the color-changing magic of Zauberwolle!

    Without further ado, let me introduce you to a whopping 24 perfect color matches!

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