Natural, bespoke Christm...
£40.00 4 in stock
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Hi I'm Jacs, welcome! I’m a knitter and yarn dyer, from Oxford, where I live with my long suffering (but at least warm) partner Stuart, our two cats and adorable Border Collie dog 'Flea.
Here’s a bit of background on what inspires The Sheep Pen yarns; what I love and why I do what I do.
I’ve been knitting for over 30 years now and it’s the process of knitting which really inspires my hand-dyed yarns. Yes, a finished project (the product) is always an accomplishment, a work of art, truly unique and beautiful - because you made it. If I’m totally honest though, I’d have to say it’s really the knitting bit of the project which actually gives me the most joy. When you knit with a hand-dyed yarn it not only adds to your finished product it adds to the process of knitting.
Likewise, process is the reason I dye sock and fingering weight yarns; not because that’s all I knit with, or because that’s all I knit, but because even during the most demanding sweater project I find I always have a pair of socks (or a shawl) on my needles. They are the projects I always come back to. Leonardo da Vinci reasoned that: 'The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art', well I’d agree Leo, and like to add by extension that so are socks. If I want some mindless TV or travel knitting, I knit socks. If I want to try (or practice) a new stitch or technique before I embark on a major project, I try it out on a pair of socks. If I absolutely love a yarn colour that doesn’t go with my complexion, yep, it’s socks. Comfortable, breathable, cosy, durable, easy to care for, always beautiful, socks! …I think I even learned to knit by knitting socks (well, a wonky masterpiece of engineering, I’m calling a sock).
When you knit, the finished project will always be unique, when you knit with hand-dyed yarn, the process is unique too.
I’m a (socio-medical) history geek, I love it. From the bonkers to the breakthroughs, the hilarious to the downright morbid, it fascinates me. Folklore, superstition, science; how we explain or at least attempt to understand this weird, wonderful, ever changing world around us makes me feel part of something big and adds considerably to my own personal current comfort rating. The accounts I come across during my time travels inspire the colours I dye.
So there we have it. I hand-dye individual skeins of sock weight yarn, in our kitchen.
Oh and why 'The Sheep Pen'? Well, wool (the sheep) + history (the written inspiration) = The Sheep Pen, a place to hold sheep...unless you're a Collie called Flea, it would seem.