Titus -- a wonderful, woolly yarn!
I love my Siidegarte yarn. No question about that, full stop. The way the fibres take on the colour when dyeing, the transformation of the yarn from winding it, to dyeing to drying … it’s like the evolution of a character. Its flow and shine, due to the high silk content of every single yarn base, is stunning...
But, and it’s a small “but” .. there’s such a nice phrase in English that I love: “horses for courses”. And it goes into the same direction as before, with the right tool for the trade: for every job there is the right tool and the right material.
There are knitting projects where you don’t want a lot of drape and shine and silky softness, but where you need a more sheepy yarn, denser, sturdier. I am a yarn snob, but not regarding softness or silkiness - a yarn snob regarding the authenticity of the fibre. I do love a good woolly yarn, a yarn that might felt, a yarn where you almost can still smell the sheep - a yarn which will give you the perfect fabric for sturdier mittens and hats and cardigans, a yarn which might feel a bit rough when knitting but will bloom and get a lot softer after washing.
I have been looking at different such yarns lately, been knitting with them and wanting to take them back home. So, when I was at Yarndale in beautiful Yorkshire as an exhibitor a few weeks ago, the perfect opportunity presented itself … a true Yorkshire yarn, a local and trustworthy product, beautiful earthy colours - exactly what I was looking for!
I’m happy to present, as an addition to the Siidegarte yarn and available in my shop: “Titus” by BaaRamEwe, which is an amazing LYS in Leeds, Yorkshire, with a very clear masterplan: to make Yorkshire famous for wool production across the world once more, reconnecting it to its woolly heritage!
That area, and the UK, has always been very strong in the textile industry, I have heard it said that the wealth of the British Empire was built on the back of their sheeps… Today the situation is different, much has been in decline and lost. But there is also a very strong trend in the last few years back to worthy local products, to building on and reviving traditional crafts and values - here in Switzerland, in the UK, in the US .. it can be seen everywhere, and it’s oh so important to support this movement: local craft products, handmade wardrobe, slow food …
Building on that woolly tradition, local knowledge and sheep breeds, BaaRamEwe have been dreaming of and designing their very own yarn, a truly british yarn that supports the local farmers and industry: Titus is an amazing fingering weight blend of Wensleydale and Bluefaced Leicester wool, both very typical british sheep breeds. To this blend, alpaca is added, to make it really luxurious! Amazing!
The story behind the name is a very interesting one as well, best if you read it up on BaaRamEwes website… the story of Sir Titus Salt and the village of Saltaire, now a World Heritage Site.
I’m just about to finish my first project in Titus, and I love it! It knits up a lot different to Siidegarte yarn, but it feels right and just as it has to be. My first project is “Bedale” by CoopKnits, Rachel Coopey, designed for Titus: a two-colour stranded hat, knit for Nerissa, my eldest daughter. Though here, it’s modelled by Eneas…
I haven’t washed and blocked it yet, I’m already very much looking forward to the transformation that will occur .. I’m sure it will be magic! Clara Parkes has written a great review of Titus a few years back, you might want to read that as well to get a better feeling for this gorgeous yarn… !
So, all I can say, have a look around, check out the awesome colours that Titus comes in and the great patterns designed for it! And for the first week of it being available in the Siidegarte shop, I’m offering a 10%-off-coupon, until Sunday December 4th: "WelcomeTitus"!