I’m very very excited to finally be able to tell you about the project I’ve been working on for the last few months.
As regular readers know I’m not just passionate about knitting, I’m also passionate about Dartmoor and about British wool. In autumn last year, I was toying with designing knitting patterns more seriously when my passions collided and I came up with the idea of creating knitting kits using the wool from sheep that graze on Dartmoor.
I discussed my requirements with the wonderful Natural Fibre Company and they helped me compile a shortlist of breeds that would be suitable for the accessory kits I wanted to produce. After much discussion I put in an order for them to spin me a batch of Ryeland yarn from sheep that graze at Walkhampton. They dyed it in two colours and also kept some in it’s beautiful natural creamy white colour.
While the yarn was being spun, I started designing patterns for the ideas in my head. But I had to wait until it was finished to swatch it, write up patterns and create prototypes. After this, I sent the patterns out for test knitting and set about sourcing the rest of my product as locally as possible.
I had hoped to get launched for just before Easter. Of course nothing goes as smoothly as you hope, but at the end of the March I reached the point where I thought I was all but there. Then I was struck by flu, which left me unable to think straight for a few weeks, so I was unable to make final checks and orders that needed 100% attention for quite some time. After I was better, a couple of printing hiccoughs delayed me further. But finally, this week, I managed to bring everything together and my kits were finished.
Along with the appropriate amount of yarn, each kit contains everything you need to create the item in it, the wool is 100% grown on Dartmoor and everything else sourced from British companies.
The intention is that they’re sold as a gift products in local gift shops. Yesterday I took my first batch to Kooky Nook in the courtyard of The Museum of Dartmoor Life in Okehampton. I was absolutely delighted by the very positive reception they received.
My new venture is very small and local, but it does mean a few changes to the blog. I need to set up a website for The Dartmoor Yarn Company – so I’m going to make this blog part of that website. However, I’m very much going to remain me. I love blogging and all the friendships I’ve found through it. So my blog will continue very much as it is. If you follow me, I’ll keep coming through to your feed or email as usual. However you may notice a few minor changes and new pages – which is why I’m blogging about what I’m up to today, but not showing you my kits too well. Once I’ve set up a page to show what’s in them, I’ll share that too.
Off now to
drive around Dartmoor enjoying the scenery find other shops around Dartmoor who would like to sell them.