It feels like an age since I last had news for you and then it all comes at once!
There has been a lot going on in the background and without further ado, let me introduce you to the new Daughter of a Shepherd, Hebridean & Zwartbles yarn. I have fallen in love all over again…
The new yarn is a blend of 75% Hebridean fleece from the original 2015 clip and 25% Zwartbles from Exmoor, not far from John Arbon’s mill where the yarn is spun. The Zwartbles, which is a slightly reddier-brown than the Hebridean, provides a stable base for the Hebridean fibres to cling onto in the spinning process and the two work in perfect harmony enhancing the natural characteristics of the Hebridean but creating a slightly firmer yarn which has been a joy to swatch with.
At first glance the blend is almost identical to the 100% Hebridean which launched Daughter of a Shepherd, indeed my chief assistant has been testing me to see if I can actually tell the two yarns apart. I’ve finally cracked the observation test but have yet to pass the handle test!
You will also be pleased to know the yarn retains its original signature (and now famous!) scent of the fields, flock and new lambs in straw-filled barns – I am thrilled to bits with it!
We have kept the exact same specifications as the launch yarn, so this is a DK weight with 233 metres (255 yards) to each 100 gram skein and I am achieving 18 stitches and 22 rows over 10cm (4 inches) on 4mm needles, but the yarn will happily take to 3.5-4.5mm needles or crochet hooks. Tom of Holland has even taken it as far down as a 2.5mm needle which gives a wonderfully firm fabric with amazing stitch definition.
The blend is a pleasure to work with and ticks all my boxes for what I want to see in a pure wool yarn — I’m so glad I listened to John’s advice and agreed to develop the raw Hebridean fibre into what I hope will become a firm favourite with knitters and crocheters alike.
Hebridean & Zwartbles yarn will be available in the Daughter of a Shepherd shop on Wednesday 18th May at 8pm BST.
The yarn is priced at £18.00 per skein and as promised there is no restriction on how many skeins you purchase. The Daughter of a Shepherd cotton tote bags are still available and shipping is charged at standard Royal Mail prices — the checkout will calculate totals for you.
My next very exciting piece of news is that Daughter of a Shepherd yarn will soon be available from Loop, London!
I worked at the Loop shop for several years and continue to edit their patterns and do other bits and pieces behind the scenes. Owner, Susan Cropper, is one of my dearest friends and I am truly honoured that my ‘brown yarn from Yorkshire’ will be gracing the shelves of her beautiful shop. Links to Loop’s social media feeds are available through the Loop website.
There are more announcements to come but I think this is probably about as much excitement as I can handle at the moment so keep an eye out for more news coming very soon! Be the first to hear what plans are afoot by signing up to the newsletter via this link and I’ll keep you posted.
As always, I thank each and every one of you for your ongoing support. None of this would be happening without you.