Thursday, January 19 2023

Ripples Crafts Yarn Bases - Arcadia DK and 4ply

As some of you will know I will be attending Unravel in Farnham in February for the first time in 2023.   Because Unravel is about the furthest south I'll have been for a yarn show, I know that some of you won't know me too well, and won't know much about the yarns that I will be bringing with me, so I decided to do a few blog entries to show you some of the bases, and colours, and tell you a little more about how I use the yarns myself, with perhaps a few ideas for your own use of the yarn.

The first yarn I want to talk about is the Arcadia base.  The base comes in both a 4ply (fingering) and DK (double knitting) weight.

The Arcadia base is sometimes termed "upcycled", a solution to waste in the yarn industry.  The yarn is made from the excess fibre from the spinning process, the few percent of fibre thrown away at the end of a spinning run.  My supplier, whom I have used for years because of the company's ethical standards, wanted to reduce waste, and persuaded the mill not to throw away what was left over, but instead keep it until there was enough for another full spinning run.  Arcadia is a 100% merino yarn, and the meterage on the 4ply is a generous 425m and 225m on the DK.

Because my supplier is able to offer this yarn to me at a lower price point than my other DK and 4ply bases, I am able to pass this small saving on to my customers.  I also keep costs down further by only dyeing this base in semi-solid / almost solid shades.  This reduces the complexity and thus dyeing time of the colours, and I  felt that having a wide range of semi solid shades would be complementary to the more variegated shades on offer on other bases.


Pastel Shades, Jan 2023

L-R Moonshine, Sweet Lilac, A Delicate One, Milk Chocolate


Above you see some of the more pastel shades that I will have in the range.   The pastels will be ideal for use in stranded knitting designs, perhaps in between much darker, bolder shades.  I will also be offering a range of more neutral shades such as these greys/blue-greys:


Neutral Greys, Jan 2023

L-R Moonshine, Little Grey Donkey, On the Brink of a Storm and Stormy Skies over the Lighthouse


But my yarn would not be my yarn without my trademark darker, more saturated shades.  And these will also appear on the Arcadia bases.  For example these are four of the more intense shades that will be available on both the 4ply and DK bases:


Darker Shades, Jan 2023

L-R Slice of Lime, Crushed Blaeberries, Deep Assynt Lochs, Small Red Peat Moss and Assynt Peat


Both the DK and the 4ply take blocking really well.  Here you can see the 4ply knitted up as the Toscaig Shawl by Emily Williams in shades Moonshine, Assynt Peat and Assynt Gorse on the blocking mats, and underneath a close up of the lace detail:


RC-104527-31072022.jpg, Jan 2023

Toscaig Shawl on the blocking mats


RC-090825-02082022.jpg, Jan 2023

Close up of lace details on Toscaig shawl


There is no reason why you shouldn't mix and match the 4ply or DK yarn with other yarn bases should you wish to.  For example, I've been considering doing an Eirlys Sweater by Laura Reinbach which as far as I know is only available on Ravelry, but which uses an almost solid base colour with a splash of variegated yarn around the yoke.  And I thought that perhaps this combination of Little Grey Donkey on the Arcadia DK alongside Lush which is on the Culkein DK base (same meterage), would be rather lovely:


RC-145930-19012023.jpg, Jan 2023

Little Grey Donkey on the Arcadia DK base alongside Lush on the Culkein DK base


Both the DK and 4ply bases are, of course, ideal for crochet too, and I have also used it for weaving, both as warp and weft.  There are limited colours up in the webshop at the moment, as I am up to my elbows in dye pots in preparation for Unravel, but I will try and grab some time to photograph the new colours and get them up in the shop online too. 

Sunday, December 19 2021

Sunday Wanderings

RC-144018-19122021.jpg, Dec 2021

Hello blog! It has been a while.  For some time now social media (instagram, facebook, twitter etc) has been the place folk have gone to to connect with others, but it has never been a place I'm entirely comfortable with.  I've been wanting to get back to my blog for a while now, so, here I am. We  […]

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Sunday, May 31 2020

Flower Power Fund / Marie Curie Fundraiser

Earlier in the year I was contacted by Sarah Holmes, organiser of the Flower Power Fund initiative and palliative care doctor, to ask if I would dye a special colourway to raise money for Marie Curie.   This organisation works hard to care for terminally ill people in the UK.  To quote from their  […]

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Tuesday, December 31 2019

Looking Forward

At this time of year it is very tempting to look back, and mull over the year which has passed.  And that is no bad thing, and is sometimes worthwhile when considering how your life has progressed in the past 12 months, but all too often it can turn in to a pity fest about how awful the year has  […]

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Monday, December 23 2019

Thinking back

The light on our walk this morning was wonderful, and the rising sun highlighted Stoer Lodge, which overlooks Stoer Bay.  Although we were dressed warmly with jackets, gloves and hats this morning, it brought back memories of a very different looking Stoer Lodge.  A very much colder Stoer Lodge.   […]

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Friday, December 20 2019

A Vibrant Assynt

For probably as long as anyone can remember this part of the world, Assynt, is referred to regularly as "remote" or "inaccessible" or "far away" or worse still "empty".  The first time these descriptive words hit home was some years ago was when I picked up  […]

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Thursday, March 29 2018

Introducing "Cochrane"

I wanted to do something special to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Ripples Crafts.  And I thought what better way to celebrate such a significant event than to create a new yarn.   I wanted to design a yarn that captured all the features that I love as well as creating something distinctively  […]

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Thursday, March 22 2018

Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2018

I have been trying hard to digest and mull over Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2018 for the last few days.   It is very difficult to put down in words just how much, from a vendor's perspective, I enjoyed this event this year.  I am struggling to pin point exactly what it was that made it so enjoyable but  […]

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