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 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.
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.