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

    With our carefully curated selection of non-superwash, plastic-free yarns and notions, we have everything you need to get started on your next project - and the one after that.

    Here's to a wardrobe of knits we love and want to wear for years to come!

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  • Introducing Woolly Mammoth Fibre Co's latest limited edition yarn!

    April 04, 2023 4 min read

    Hi lovelies,

    Let's take another look at one of those small batch yarns that makes me feel giddy with excitement - Woolly Mammoth Fibre Co's latest limited edition yarn, Zwartbles x Blue Texel 4ply.

    I've known Emma from Woolly Mammoth Fibre Co. for as long as I can remember being an active member of the knitting world. Her natural dyeing is unparalleled, and when she ventured out to create locally sourced, small batch yarns a few years ago, it became clear that she also excels at curating unique blends.

    The sheep whose fleeces were spun into her latest limited edition yarn, Zwartbles x Blue Texel 4ply,  live about 10 miles from her home in Northern Ireland. As Emma describes it, "the yarn encapsulates a real feeling of the hills, hedges and sheep of this area within it".

     

    Woolly Mammoth Fibre Co Zwartbles x Blue Texel
    The yarn is a woollen-spun 2ply, which means it blooms beautifully during blocking. It comes as a fingering weight, and can be easily held double to create a DK-weight fabric, like Emma did for her Stalk & Pip Beret (shown below). The undyed heathered brown grey is a sheer delight - great for stockinette and garter stitch, and perfect for lace as well.

     

    I had the pleasure of talking to Emma about the story behind her latest small batch yarn - so, over to her!

    I love how close to your home the fleeces for this limited edition are sourced - about 10 miles, if I'm correct? How did you source the fleeces?

    Yes, 10 miles or at some points less. The sheep move around fields a bit so sometimes they are closer and sometimes further away so it's hard to give a definite distance.

    I source fleeces either through 'sheep spotting' (I see a flock of an interesting breed and start asking around) or through a shearer I'm friends with- he alerts me if there's anything of interest that he is going to shear.

    Once you had the fleeces, how did you then go about developing the yarn?

    I've worked with both Blue Texel and Zwartbles before, separately, so I had a good idea that they would work nicely together. They came from one flock so I wanted to keep them together ideally.

    After taking advice from the mill I was assured that they would make a good yarn. Limited Editions are all about trying out new sheep breeds and blends. My limited edition yarns are always woollen spun. The process of developing regular (non-limited edition) yarns for my shop is very different.

    Can you tell us a little more about the two sheep breeds that make up the blend, Zwartbles and Blue Texel?

    Blue Texel produces a bouncy, very elastic mid grey yarn. Zwartbles has an understated lustre to the fibre.

    Blue Texel is a commercial sheep breed so the first time I used it I wasn't sure how the yarn would turn out, but I've discovered that it is one of my favourite fibres. It's also really nice to know that a commercial sheep produces high quality fibre suitable for hand knitting as well. It just shows that you can use sheep for food and fibre, instead of one or the other.

    Zwartbles sheep are good at mothering - you often see them in fields of other sheep with a lamb that they have been given. Both breeds originate from Holland but are commonly seen in Ireland. 

    What are some of your favorite things about this new limited edition?

    This yarn has a nice amount of elasticity, and a beautiful natural colour, not as dark as Zwartbles and not as light as Blue Texel. It has undertones of brown from the Zwartbles and lighter grey hairs from the Blue Texel.

    One of my favourite things about this yarn is that it feels so good with two strands held together - the fibres mesh together really nicely. It's just a really good yarn to knit with, simple as that!

    What's one pattern you're really excited about for this yarn - one that you made, or one that you're planning to knit?

    Stalk and Pip Beret

    So far I've made the Stalk and Pip Beret by Ailbiona McLaughlin with this yarn - with two strands held double. It worked like a charm. It also feels really nice on your head - a definite warmth when you wear it and the great thing about this beret pattern is that the hat doesn't slip off your head!

    I would also love to knit a cardigan / jacket with large pockets holding the yarn double as well. Something oversized and cosy like the Nomad Jacket by Elin Berlin would be really cool. The only thing I wouldn't knit with this yarn is socks as it's not tightly spun enough!

    Woolly Mammoth Fibre Co Zwartbles x Blue Texel

    Looking for a pattern to go with the Zwartbles x Blue Texel?

    I got you! I put together a Pinterest board of designs that would work really well with this woollen-spun fingering weight yarn.

    Zwartbles x Blue Texel

    They all would look so beautiful in this undyed brown grey - and be so, so cozy!

    Shop WMFC

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