Thursday, 21 November 2013

Yarn : spun and set

Oh its been so long ... my apologies.  
Lots of lots happening at the Bothy. 
So much to do, and gratefully all so exciting!  
Good time will introduce you to our news.  

So first mention 'here'... we wanted to say a little more about our new range of 100% Scottish Lambswool; Lalland.  Its been such a great and inspiring process, not without its challenges. However, we eventually managed to perfect a wool that has that subtle old fashioned look, and has that knitterly feel like the wool we so fondly remember using years ago.  We'll be following this up in the New Year with a new range of cashmere colours, once all at Di Gilpin Ltd are absolutely happy with it.  

Lalland is a 100 per cent lambswool which is spun in a unique way, which finely accentuates stitch definition, with a clear Scottish provenance, inspired by the landscape and memories within.

We wanted to develop a range of yarns from the Lowlands of Scotland that is distinct from those beautiful Shetland colours and look.  We also created it to reflect the type of knitting which we are doing a lot of, the Gansey knit, where you need a little more stitch definition to reveal all of the pattern detail. “

It has a double twist which is a two-two ply, and then twisted again which gives a subtle old fashioned feel.  Very crisp while also very soft.  It’s quite distinct from most of the contemporary yarns like the Merinos and the Shetlands, so it’s like creating a new Scottish fibre.

We wanted to use the natural world to describe the colours in the range by using words that describe colour to us.

It is now available at in 10 colours: Broch, Silver Birch, Coral, Jasper, Beechnut, Amethyst, Morion, Laggan, Storm Petrel and Agate, and there are stories attached to each name (also available from our Ravelry page)       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Storm Petrel reminds me of when of when I read a wonderful little book by Fraser Darling called the Island Years.  It describes the life of these little birds which live in an Iron Age broch on the uninhabited island of Mousa.  I had the beautiful image of where the moonlight reaches the back of the graceful Storm Petrel as it sweeps and flits through the deep night skies;  such a deep and dark green, against thick layers of rich grey.

Silver Birch is connected to the tree which is a favourite native species. When I first moved to the Isle of Skye I planted many of these trees, as well as Rowan, around my home and studio so they have had a strong presence in life.  I’ve long been influenced by the great work of the John Muir Trust and the Reforestation of Scotland movement, in preserving the beautiful Scottish landscape which is so dear.  This colour is in respect of those.

Broch is based on the memory of an old restored broch which used to sit next to my studio in the Isle of Skye, the colour being a perfect match to that ancient stonework and those  aged and weathered raw stone walls. 

When we design pieces, we are always thinking in colour so this range was designed to reflect the narrative of our new range of patterns.  We have a created a new fibre that gives us the look and feel which we are after, and so love. Among the many distinctive patterns now available for the wool, there is the Moray Star Gansey, the Seol Gansey Mittens and the Tree of Life Mittens. All available on both and Ravelry.

The wool is spun in a mill near our Bothy studio in Fife that has produced yarns for more than a century.  We are also planning to make a new range of cashmere. We are currently sampling and hope to have it ready for sale in the new year. These will be earthier colours, created to sit calmly with the stronger look of the Lalland collection.    

What do you all think ... please let us see some images of any pieces that you've knitted with this wool in the future. It would be so wonderful to see it being brought to life and to hear how you all find knitting with it. x

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