Oh dear, I’ve found another yarn shop. I’m not sure that my yarn cupboard can take the weight of finding yet another fantastic yarn shop, but maybe it can find some hidden strength from somewhere. The yarn addiction has now reached such extraordinary heights that I’ve put myself on a self-imposed therapy programme. Here is the plan – whenever I get the urge to buy some more wool I have to go to the cupboard, get out one of the many full yarn boxes and caress some of the lovely hanks I already have and dream of what I would knit with them. I’ll let you know if it works, my husband has already rolled his eyes at my public statement saying I will try to go and month without adding to the collection.
That was THIS weekend though, look what arrived LAST week from Black Sheep Wools.
I had never heard of Black Sheep Wools and I’ve no idea why not to be honest as it’s a huge site. I think I might have slipped into that comfortable place of just searching for yarns on the same few knitting sites and not getting out there on the internet and doing a wider search. Twitter finally led me to the site though and I am very very impressed as not only is there a huge collection of brands, but the prices are great with decent amounts shaved off the yarn RRP’s. They stock Rowan and Debbie bliss but also some of my other favourites; Louisa Harding, Araucania and Noro.
The site reminds me of Deramores in a way, probably due to the amount of stock they have on the site, but it doesn’t have that huge clinical supermarket feel that Deramores has. The photography is lovely and the site still has a lovely local yarn shop feel to it which always endears me to shop somewhere. Also the fact that this is a family run business really adds to the appeal and I’m starting to wish I lived nearer Cheshire so I could spend hours maniacally running around their Craft Barn and eating cake. Sigh.
Now onto the yarn review…
The purples and pinks ball is Alaska Color by Regia, a worsted weight yarn, my first for this brand and weight. I’ve knit many socks from this type of self patterning yarn but what drew me to this one is that it’s an 8ply yarn and I’ve been wanting to knit some chunkier, thicker socks for a long time. The ball is a chunky weighted 200g ball (RRP of £14.95) and has 400 metres of yarn. I love the colours on this ball, my only hesitation was that I couldn’t see how this colour-way would knit up, Regia don’t seem to supply this kind of photo on their website, although you can get a general idea from the photo on the ball band. There is a free hat and wrist warmers pattern that you can get from their website though and it’s good to see how much you can actually get out of your 400 metres of yarn. The strength is very good and similar to Opal which I’m very familiar with.
The second is a hank of the beautiful Fine Art by Rowan which is described as being a premium hand painted sock yarn, the colour-way is Lapwing. The yarn is a mix of merino wool, kid mohair, polymide and Mulberry silk. I’ve given it my usual strong tug and it’s got a great strength to it as well as a nice smooth silkness. Fine Art is a new yarn from Rowan and it’s good to see them adding a specific sock yarn to their range. I had been eagerly anticipating this yarn since I got the new Rowan Autumn/Winter shade cards and I’m not disappointed. The colour is fantastic and goes from a rich green to teal then to a deep bluish brown. I buy a lot of the small production hand dyed sock yarns, as well as the standard Opal sock yarns, so it’s interesting to see how this 100g hank compares. This yarn does move Rowan into a slightly different market though and with an RRP of £15.95 for 400 metres this isn’t a cheap yarn, plus it’s hand wash only. It wont stop me supporting the smaller indie hand dyed brands, but I’m sure it will become a favourite and a nice alternative to the mainstream sock brands.
Now, what about the patterns for these beauties? I’m thinking a nice basic toe up sock pattern for the Regia and I think I’m going to try the Fine Art out on Hermione’s Everyday socks.