Marie Wallin's BRITISH BREEDS took two years to develop into the beautiful, soft, bouncy 4 ply yarn that it is today. Worsted spun in Devon by John Arbon and his wonderful team, BRITISH BREEDS is available initially in twenty lovely shades. It took Marie a long time to finalize the color palette as she had to be sure that all of the colors worked well together in Fair Isle knitting as well as having each shade stand on its own as a beautiful individual color for single color knitting.
BRITISH BREEDS is made from four different British sheep breeds:
- Bluefaced Leicester
- Exmoor Horn
The wool fiber from each breed adds a certain characteristic to the yarn. Bluefaced Leicester adds the beautiful softness, Exmoor Horn adds the softness too but this sheep produces a white fleece therefore adding a ‘cleanness’ to the blended tops making for more successful dyeing. Wensleydale adds the strength and luster and Zwartbles adds the bounce or springiness. To produce the yarn, the Bluefaced Leicester, Exmoor Horn and Wensleydale wool fibers are first blended together and then dyed into various colored tops. These colored tops are then blended together using a ‘recipe’ to create each of the twelve base colors. Each color base is then blended with the un-dyed Zwartbles fibre creating the lovely mélange effect. Once the yarn is spun it is sent to Edward Hill’s Ltd in Bradford, England to be steam relaxed and balled into 25g balls. The steam finishing ‘opens up’ the yarn creating the full, light appearance and handle.