One of the great things about living in our digital age is the way it has enabled people. In times gone past certain pursuits were closed to all by a very tiny minority of people, writing being an obvious example.
When blogging first started “real” writers began their enslaught and cynical diatribes against “the unwashed masses” polluting their craft, and there were accusations of narcissism against anyone who dared have the audacity to publish their thoughts online. Had those critics known then the trajectory of the blogging medium they might have stepped up their ante considerably considering the run for their money some bloggers were about to give them.
It’s true there is bad writing out there. It is also true that blogging has become a saturated medium. And no one can deny the spectre of materialism has tainted blogging somewhat. But the ease and simplicity, and the democratic nature of the internet has also opened up countless opportunities for many creative people, opportunities that just could not exist without it.
It has been a real pleasure to watch how Kate Davies has transformed herself from an amateur blogger and forged for herself a career in knitwear design. For those of us who have read her since her “Needled” blog there is genuine delight at seeing her go from strength to strength whilst keeping her blog authentic and deeply informative too. It’s always a nourishing read. And I think many of us were delighted when she announced she was entering the realm of yarn production this year – it is a natural step, but one that perhaps not many would have dared take. I am intrigued to see how this venture grows.
Being a publisher of her own work and now a maker of her own yarn, there really seems no limits on her horizons and she is proof that this medium is an amazing resource.
Like make many I was curious about the yarn; her commitment to making this a British (Scottish) yarn is something many knitters were eagerly nodding their head over – there is a great deal of word play in yarn production. Is the yarn sourced from the UK? Bought in China and only spun in the UK? Fleece sourced but made somewhere else? With this range we have the guarantee that it is sourced and made right here in the UK. And really, a country with the largest number of species of sheep on planet Earth, there shouldn’t really be a reason that we shouldn’t have 100% UK yarn. As someone who has had to leave home to find work, I also understand the very real impact this decision to keep this production UK based all the way through production will have on provincial areas. So I was eager to get my hands on it.
I do have to admit that when the yarn was first revealed I wasn’t greatly enthused. It didn’t look all that appealing and the colour range, whilst good, didn’t call my name – all except the teal and rust (Islay and Highland Coo).
But what can I say? I truly love this yarn. I might not have picked it out of a line up in a shop display, but I will be buying more! It’s a really good weight yarn – so versatile for many different projects. It knits really well, and I actually really enjoyed handling it – so much so I didn’t want to put my knitting down. That’s all a knitter can ask for – knitting is supposed to be enjoyable! The stitch definition is excellent and it has a lovely stretch and bounce to it. Finally the price is great – I would say fairly priced indeed. This is a staple yarn that will be a go-to for many knitters. Previously, my favourite go-to yarn has been Quince, but Buachaille knocks that into a cocked hat.
My only complaint is that it doesn’t come in a shade of mustard. Although given time I’m sure more colours (and weights?) will be added to the stable. Kate has informed me that there IS a mustard on its way!!
I heartily recommend this yarn. Goto Kate’s Shop to grab yourself a skein or three, shop updates happen every Sunday 5pm (GMT) and let me know what you think of it?
As a fun little project here is a really easy pattern for Kate’s yarn that can be knitted up in a day. These pawkies are knit flat then sewn:
Highland Coo Pawkies
Yarn: 50g Buachaille in Coo
1. CO 36 stitches
2. R1: K2, P1* to the end of the row
R2: K1, P2* to the end of the row
Repeat rows 1 & 2 until the rib reaches 1.5 inches (or as long as desired)
3. Set up round: K til the last two stitches and K2tog,
4. Using the eyelet pattern knit until pawkies are long enough to cover your hand.
5. When long enough repeat rows 1 & 2 to create rib of 1/2 inch to finish.
6. Using mattress stitch sew up the pawkies leaving a gap for your thumb!
R1: K1, K2tog, yo, K1, yo, K2tog, K1* repeat till the end of the row
R3: K2tog, yo, K3, yo, K2tog* repeat till the end of the row