Sunday, 27 October 2013


 October 2013

One of the many things I love about my in-laws is the fact that they live within striking distance of the Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop. Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop yarns are not very widely available - the only places you can usually find them are fancy high-end "catering to your inner yarn snob" shops like Baa Raw Ewe and iKnit, and you tend to see a pretty steep mark-up at places like that.

Here's a close-up of the yarn, which might help to explain why. This isn't the softest wool in the world, but it is silky and drapes more beautifully than any other wool I've seen. And the shades into which it is dyed are so, so pretty. The fact that something of such sheer quality is produced and dyed locally to me makes me feel so proud of my part of the world.

At the Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop itself, aran can be obtained for £6.10 per 100g, but they don't have an online ordering system set up. Basically circumstances conspire to make you visit in person if at all possible. Wensleydale is a beautiful place for a drive, though, and the shop itself - attached to the side of a farm down a long quiet country road - is a charming and very friendly nirvana for fibre lovers.

I'm talking myself into going back there very soon, aren't I? The fact that I get to drop the baby at my mother in law's house en route, for a bit of proper quiet, quality shopping time when I go there only has a little bit to do with my love of the place. Honest.

I'd intended to use this yarn to make Fara by Amy Christoffers, on reflection I decided that that pattern would look better in a different colour combination. Possibly blue and white, which is what I'd intended to buy in the first place. By that stage, I'd worked a swatch which included two wide stripes, and I thought they looked great together. Then I found a free pattern for a relaxed-fitting striped sweater with a neckline I thought would flatter my figure and which utilised a technique I hadn't tried before (contiguous sleeves). 

That, as they say, was that. Helloooooo Driftwood.

Pattern: Driftwood by Isabell Kraemer
Yarn: Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop Aran
Colour: 106 (Pale Green) and 124 (Sage)
Amount: 3 skeins and 3.5 skeins
On ravelry: here

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