In days gone by, yarn was obtained locally. It was usually hand-dyed, of high quality and unique. Things changed, and knitters bought branded yarns that were chemically dyed, of regular though unremarkable quality and were the same the world over. Thank heavens things are changing, and fast! Today, we are seeing the resurgence of unique and beautiful yarns. What follows is a tiny selection of what’s now available.
No matter how long you’ve been knitting for there is always something new to learn or yarns that you haven’t yet tried. If you’re looking for a yarn that’s different you’re spoilt for choice. And, you don’t have to go to craft fairs, knitting workshops or join specialist knitting groups to get hold of these beautiful, traditionally made yarns. Many yarn suppliers and yarn stored now stock these unusual yarns and, thanks to the Internet, you can even buy these yarns online.
Filaro Yarn is an exciting yarn fiber from knitwear designer Anna Gratton. Anna runs a yarn boutique and mill from her farm in Waituna West on the north island of New Zealand. She’s been raising her own stock of colored Corriedale sheep since 1976. Corriedales produce merino wool of truly exceptional quality and softness. The silky soft fleece is in the 27 – 30 micron range. Filaro Yarn also produce a funky fiber called ‘Mohair Sparkle’. It is a wonderfully soft brushed mohair boucle yet with a strand of lurex glitter that shimmers and glimmers without any scratchiness; just perfect for a complete knitted garment or for adding that something special to a garments edge.
Another anitpodean, Margaret Stove, is renowned as a fine spinner and designer who is generous in passing on her knowledge. She’s been spinning her own yarn for over 25 years using only the finest materials. Margaret Stove Lace Yarn is a two-fold New Zealand merino wool, which is known the world over for its quality and softness. You can buy Margaret Stove lace yarn from many approved retailers. All Margaret Stove lace yarn is hand-dyed and are available in 900m and 300m skiens. You can also get Margaret Stove lace kits; her escarf kits are very popular with knitters of all abilites.
Rainbow Mills Yarn has a well-deserved reputation among knitters who appreciate quality yarn. Rainbow Mills Yarn is based in Philadelphia and makes handspun, hand-dyed yarns. The company produces different types of yarn but a particular favorite is ‘Candy’. It is handspun, hand-shredded and hand-mixed before being spun. It is then spun over rayon, and twisted again with rayon after being spun. Candy from Rainbow Mills Yarn is artist hand-dyed in colorfast aniline dyes and the colorways produced are simply devine.
Twisted Sisters Yarn come about when Lynne Vogel and some her fiber-loving friends got together in Oregon to produce yarns of exceptional quality, feel and color. For well over ten years Twisted Sisters Yarn has become internationally known for producing one-off, hand-dyed yarn. The color blends produced from from each limited edition of Hand Paints makes every garment made from Twisted Sisters Yarn something that is unique and personal. But Twisted Sisters Yarn isn’t just about producing traditionally dyed yarn, they also produce modern, stylish classics like their Elektra and Roxanne yarn collections.
The above are just a brief overview of the new and unusual yarns that are now widely available. Other unique yarns come from the likes of Windy Valley Muskox Yarn and Artyarns Yarns. For those who want to create beautiful, one-of-a-kind creations the availibility of unique and exquisite yarn has never been so good.