Yarn of the month - December 2019.
This months Yarn of the month is a very special celebration of the Highlands.
The yarn is from the Uradale Yarns, organic native Shetland wool collection. I've used the First Clip of lambswool for the finest quality example of Shetland yarn. Each mini skein is 25g giving approximately 125m of yarn in a lace /fingering weight.
The yarn has been dyed with Staghorn Lichen. This Lichen is collected by hand during my work with the Drumnadrochit Woodland Group. Collecting Lichens is protected in Scotland and I have special permission from the landowners involved to gather what I need for my dyeing. Although we are fortunate to have an abundance of lichens growing in and around our small village they are a rare species, due to their preference for clean air quality. I only collect lichen that has been distrubed during woodland harvesting work or that has been blown out of the trees during stormy high winds.
Once enough lichen has been gathered I preserve it with a mixture of water and household ammonia to extract the dye. This extraction process takes around 6 months. Every day during the extraction the mixture has to be nurtured with agitation and oxygen. The extraction process requires every ounce of patience and can go wrong at many points, getting too hot or cold during storage, not enough oxygen and agitation, contamination from bark or other woodland materials, misidentification of lichens.
After many months the lichen is ready for dyeing. The dye mixture is very potent and requires further dilution before it is safe to use. It is then gently heated and the yarn added, even at this point the dye can fail in many ways and the most promising batch can disappoint.
However if everything goes as it should then the most beautiful shades of heather purple and pink appear, and the dye is strong enough to give mutiple exhausts until all the pigment is gone.
For this special Yarn of the month I'm bundling the 3 exhausts together so that you can enjoy the gradient effect of this dye for yourself.
So your total purchase is 3 x 25g mini skeins giving 375m of lace/fingering weight lambswool yarn from the First Clip of the Uradale Farm organic native Shetland wool.
I hope you enjoy this very special Yarn of the Month.