Yarn Reviews

Yarn Review

For our Midwinter Night Issue we wanted to take the opportunity to discover some ‘new to us’ indie dyers and their yarns. Keeping with the new theme, we’ve chosen to focus on UK based dyers that are relatively new to the hand dyed yarn scene themselves.

bear in sheep's clothing yarn

Thready Bears Yarn


Shade Pictured – Pico

Fibre Content – 100% SW Merino

Weight/Meterage –  100g = 225m

Needle Size – None Recommended

Suggested Tension – None Recommended

Thready Bears Yarn Etsy Shop

Jess, the dyer behind Thready Bears Yarn, told us ‘Hand dyeing and Threadybearsyarn is something that is still growing to fruition after a 30 year plus love affair with colour, texture and textiles’.

Her love of textiles began from an early age, learning from her mother, who championed frugality combined with artistry to make all of their household textiles.  Where knitting was concerned there was only ever one rule “Nothing thinner than D.K”.  So, after rediscovering her love of knitting as an adult and finding a world filled with amazing hand-dyed sock yarn – Jess was like a kid in a sweet shop.

It wasn’t long before Jess began dyeing her own yarns and ever mindful of her mum’s rule, she works to provide plenty of the D.K. or chunkier bases that seem a little more difficult to find.

Concentrating on mostly OOAK colourways in small batches, Jess is developing a number of them into a permanent range across various bases and is always happy to dye up sweater quantities by request.

The colourway we knitted with is called Pico, one of the Thready Bears Yar repeatable colourways and it’s on Jess’s super squishy 100% Superwash Merino base.  It’s a great representation of Jess’s dyeing.  The emerald green and foxy rust are really pulled together by the speckles.  With so much movement in the colourway, we knitted it up by pulling yarn from both ends of the cake to avoid any pooling.

The yarn, which costs £15 plus shipping, is available from the Thready Bears Yarn Etsy Shop.  It arrived beautifully packaged and included one of Jess’s Thready Bears Progress Keepers.

Follow @threadybearsyarn on Instagram.

bear in sheep's clothing yarn

Sherwood Yarn


Shade Pictured – Papplewick

Fibre Content -75% BFL, 25% Masham

Weight/Meterage –  100g = 160m

Needle Size – None Recommended

Suggested Tension – None Recommended

Sherwood Yarn

Rachel Cook is the woman behind the dyepots at Sherwood Yarn. A Molecular Biologist she has always had a passion for knitting, colour, textiles and art. After gaining her PhD and taking a career break to start her family, Rachel had time to consider her true passions.

Inspiration is abundant when you’re based in the heart of the ancient Sherwood Forest where colour, history and texture surround you and so it was that Sherwood Yarn was born.

Setting high standards, Rachel sources quality base materials and utilises her scientific background to ensure the highest production standards.   Yarns are specially selected and spun from a family run mill with over 100 years’ experience, based in nearby Yorkshire. Whilst batch sizes are limited to 6 skeins at a time and through the hand-dyeing process subtle variation in colour is achieved.

The sample we knitted is Aran weight Blue Faced Leicester/Masham blend.  Named after a village situated just outside Nottingham marking the southern gateway to Sherwood Forest, Papplewick is reminiscent of the freshwater sent via the pump house to Nottingham since Victorian times.  It’s a lovely warm petrol shade, with undertones of grey that knits into a soft, squishy warm fabric.  Great stitch definition can be achieved using this base as demonstrated in Verena Cohrs design Borke, kits for which are available on the Sherwood Yarn website.  Sherwood Yarns BFL/Masham is available for £18 plus shipping and is just one of the yarns and other products Rachel sells.

Stay in touch with Rachel on Instagram and/or Facebook as @sherwoodyarn

Cinnabar Pink


Shade Pictured – Winterreise

Fibre Content – 75% SW Merino, 25% Nylon

Ball Weight/Length – 100g = 425 metres/465 yards

Cinnabar Pink

Lynda, the dyer behind Cinnabar Pink rediscovered her love of knitting a few years ago and, once she found the wonderful world of hand-dyed yarn, there was no looking back. After dyeing yarn for her own knitting projects for a couple of years she recently opened an Etsy shop.  The name Cinnabar Pink comes from Lynda’s days as a History of Art student.  Writing an essay on Scottish portraiture and struggling to describe the particular shade of a sitter’s dusky pink gown. That shade was cinnabar, and the name has stuck with her ever since!

Lynda told us she absolutely loves creating new colourways and seems particularly drawn to dyeing tonal self-striping yarn.  Inspiration will strike from so many places and she often sees colour combinations in nature or in a work of art that she recreates in watercolour on paper before translating into dye and yarn.

Never using her dyes as they come, the creativity, originality, and enjoyment comes from mixing the different colours, and working out the intensity of colour needed before dipping the bare yarn in the pot!

There’s something very satisfying about seeing self-striping yarn knitted up and rather than just knit a swatch of the colourway – Winterreise –  that Lynda sent, I immediately cast on a sock, which I’m desperate to get back to.

Lynda Specialises in self-striping colourways at the moment, which she sells with an optional semi-solid mini for cuffs, heels and toes for plus £20/23 shipping via the Cinnabar Pink Etsy Shop.  In the new year work will begin developing a range of semi-solid and variegated yarns, a yarn club and maybe a collaboration with fellow makers?

Find Lynda on Instagram as @cinnabarpink and Ravelry as CinnabarPink

Country Mouse Yarns


Shade Pictured – Durdle Door

Fibre Content – 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon

Ball Weight/Length – 100g = 400 metres/437 yards

Needle Size None Specified

Tension None Specified 

Country Mouse Yarns

Country Mouse Yarns is run by Dorset based Lil Fredriksen from her garden studio. Lil has been knitting and crocheting for many years and at the end of 2016 decided to have a go at hand dyeing yarn. Lil fell in love with yarn dyeing straight away and Country Mouse Yarns was born soon afterwards. Lil and her husband adopted their first child a few years ago and since then have added twice more to their family by adoption making Lil a busy mum of three young children. Lil and her family love nature and being outside and many of Lil’s Yarns are inspired by the countryside and coast she enjoys so much in Dorset.

The shop name is derived from a favourite childhood book ‘The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse’.  Her beautiful logo, which depicts two mice winding yarn was designed and drawn by her brother-in-law.

Durdle Door Sunrise, the colourway Lil sent us, is a good representation of her often sea-themed/nature themed yarns and when knitted up the shades sort of ‘glow’. It may sound daft I know, but they have a gem like quality that the camera just doesn’t pick up.  Yarns are priced from £14 plus shipping for a 100g skein and are available form the Country Mouse Yarns Etsy Shop.

You can find Lil on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Ravelry using the name Country Mouse Yarns (look for the logo).

West Green Loft Yarns


Shade Pictured -Boudoir

Fibre Content – 100% SW Merino

Ball Weight/Length – 100g = 400 metres/437 yards

West Green Loft Yarns

Based in West Sussex, Vykky is the indie dyer behind West Green Loft Yarns.  Sourcing all her yarn from UK suppliers who care for animal welfare, Vykky uses the kettle dye technique, working in small batches on various bases.

Known for her subtle shades and pretty pastels West Green Loft Yarns colours are inspired by nature, literature and the seasons.

Boudoir, the colourway we’ve knitted in the swatch above, is a beautiful example of the Vykky’s creations.  The delicate aqua base is enhanced by the little pops of vibrant magenta.  Which on the superwash merino base would look stunning in a shawl.

Available form the West Green Loft Yarns Website, where prices for yarns start at £17 plus shipping.  You’ll find Vykky on Instagram as @west_green_loft_yarns and Facebook as @westgreenloftyarns