The Dartmoor Yarn Company

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.

Sheep Parade

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.

20160520_075603

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.

Knitting kits - The Dartmoor Yarn Company

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.

Bekki Hill

65 thoughts on “The Dartmoor Yarn Company

    1. Thank you. I need to make a product page ASAP, so shouldn’t be long until I can show you more. Unfortunately we finally ironed out the printing challenges as my daughter arrived to be here for two weeks and they’re both here this weekend, so a bit of a balancing act going on!

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  1. How exciting Bekki. I thought the name of your blog always sounded a bit like a company name and now I see your cunning plan was there all the time. I can’t wait to see the finished items knitted up from the kits. Will you be doing mail order on your website – I’d love to be one of your first customers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I clearly am Baldric to your Black Adder 😉 I will be doing mail order, but I’m working on getting things out locally first off. And thank you for such a lovely compliment – I’d love you to be one of my first customers 🙂

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      1. It’s the perfect thing for you to sell in local shops isn’t it. Dartmoor is a big tourist area and people – or crafty people or people who know crafty people – will be delighted to find a souvenir that is both useful and so particular to the area. Good thinking Baldric. I wonder which one to start with – maybe a sheep. (Don’t worry I have a UK mailing address – i.e. my husband – so you won’t have to go all ‘international’ if you don’t want to). I’ll be rooting for you.

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      2. Thank you so much. Yes that was definitely my thinking, Dartmoor is a very much a tourist area and therefore hopefully a good souvenir. I do love my sheep – but of course you can’t go having favourites amongst you babies 😉 Good old husband 🙂

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  2. Absolutely fantastic. Congratulations and well done!! I totally love the idea, specially the local yarn. The colours are just perfect. I am so glad you made the decision on such beautiful and natural colours.
    Your packages look super cute, and I know I would have been the first to grab a baggie if I was in your part of the world.
    Have lots of fun with the venture, I know you will do so well.
    🙂

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    1. Hi Johanna, So lovely to hear from you. I have been missing your posts. Glad you like the plan – I’ll be doing a bit of website revamping over the weekend, so you’ll be able to see inside the bags soon too 🙂 xx

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    1. Hi Sharon. Thank you. Planning to sell on line – just making getting kits to shops the priority and working on the website and online sales when I can fit it in (and get my head around it). Eldest home for two weeks as well. You have a great week too x

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  3. Beads and Barnacles

    Oh this looks wonderful. try and get it into the Shops at Dartington. and then I can walk down an pick one up next time I’m at my parents place. I think I’m going to be down next weekend. :p

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Dartington’s a great idea and I’ll definitely give them a try, but think next weekend may be a bit of a tall order 🙂 Have had so much trouble with printing and they finally got it right just when I hardly have any time to approach people!

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