A few months a go, there was an interesting subject upon the Irish Knitter’s board on Raverly. Why is there so little Irish produced wool? You can read the posts here! Christine kindly offered to give away some of her yarn, which she had spun from her pet sheep. This is 100 per cent Irish wool sheared from Christine’s pet sheep in County Leitrim and spun by Natural Fibre Company in Britain. Christine of Formerly Fleece then dyes the yarn using natural dyes or sometimes, the yarn is dyed at the mill!
So far I have used the natural undyed white and the blue. Both are a heavy DK/ aran weight and knit up with brilliant stitch definition. They are a little fuzzy, with a soft halo and I imagine would felt with a little encouragement. While not soft compared to the luxury indulgent merinos we are now so used to, the wool is not scratchy or itchy worn next to the skin. The blue, dyed by the Natural Fibre Company to organic standards became a pair of finger-less mittens. The yarn beautifully showed off the cabling and textured stitches of the design. There was just enough white yarn to create a lacy beret design. Again the yarn show up the stitch definition but was strong enough to withstand vigorous blocking needed to open up the lace work. Both items are worn daily by their owners and are hard wearing yet warm and comfortable.
The yarn was nice to work with, slightly coarse but robust. To my inexperienced hands, while heavier, it felt a lot like Shetland wool to work with. It felt sturdier than Studio Donegal tweed, probably due to the plying method. I enjoyed working with this wool, however I am partial to real wool, my only niggle is the fuzzy halo that appeared on the beret when it dried after I blocked it. I knew to expect it, just not so much! Thanks Christine for the chance to use some genuine Irish Wool!