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Sock Yarn News

We have some exciting news about a new sock yarn… For a while now we’ve been limited in suitable yarn bases for the natural fibre yarn club. Thankfully the ones we do have are absolutely first class – Mama Qucha Sock (Highland Peruvian) and Cywyn 4-Ply (Corriedale), but we would of course like to offer more variety.

We’ve just been testing a new GOTS standard sock yarn which is something of a game-changer, in that it’s machine washable organic merino, no nylon, and anti-shrink to the same standard as Superwash wool (Woolmark’s TM31 standard). It hits all the high environmental and social standards that we aim for at Triskelion Yarn. It’s spun by Laxtons in Yorkshire.

My test swatch (shown below) went through the washing machine on a 30° wool cycle five times, and there was no discernible shrinking or stretching. I’m very happy indeed!

GOTS is the Global Organic Textile Standard which promotes organic, sustainable and environmentally responsible farming practises. You can read more about it here.

As you would expect with merino, it’s beautiful to knit with, and I’ve already started a DK test knit with a view to adding both yarns to our standard range of bases. For our Sock Club subscribers, look out for our first GOTS organic merino yarn within the next month or two.

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Announcing Lludd DK – our new organic Merino yarn

We were going to launch our new Lludd DK organic Merino yarn at the Wonderwool show, but due to the show’s cancellation (see previous blog post), we’re going to be bringing it forward to today. As people will be missing the show deals, we’re offering the same deal on sweater quantities of Lludd that we would have offered at Wonderwool, and with free UK postage (non-UK orders get free postage if you spend over £110). We may all be missing the show, but you can still get the new base at show prices.

Lludd DK is a beautifully squidgy, springy and bouncy yarn, as you’d expect from Merino, but because it hasn’t been superwash treated and coated with polymers, you get to experience the wonderful true handle of Merino fibre: still lusciously next-to-skin soft, but with a slight ‘tooth’ and velvety tactile character. The shine and brightness of the unadulterated fibre yields a superb depth of colour, and I’ve come up with a palette of luminous semi-solid colourways to take advantage of that.

Lludd DK would normally retail at £20 a skein. In keeping with our Wonderwool launch offer, you can buy sweater quantities of four or more skeins at a 10% discount (while my current stock lasts). On top of that, you’ll get free UK postage. Just like being at the show! Even better, you can also use your reward points for up to 10% of the order value for a total 20% discount. You can order whichever colour (or combination of colourways) you like, as I’ll be dyeing them as a single dyelot for you as soon as you place your order. So, no rushing to grab the colourway you want before it sells out – you’re guaranteed to have the exact colourway you want!

We’ll also be doing a similar deal on our luxury Rhiannon 4-Ply base (a luscious 50/50 blend of extra fine non-superwash Merino and silk), with a 10% discount on three or more skeins, also with free UK postage. Just select a colourway from the new Rhiannon palette, and I’ll get a single dyelot on the go just for you.

On top of that, if there’s a sweater quantity of a particular yarn base/colourway combo that’s not on the website, just get in touch with me via the Contact Us page. If I have the undyed yarn in stock, I’ll happily give you the same deal on it, i.e. 10% discount, free UK postage.

To order either the Lludd DK or Rhiannon 4-Ply ‘virtual show’ deals, just select your yarns as normal on the website, and then you’ll see an appropriate coupon code added to the checkout page. Just click on all coupons to apply them, and then select the Free Postage option when it appears.

Free postage will apply from now until the COVID-19 crisis is done to all UK orders over £55, and to all non-UK orders over £110 – jut select the coupon code on the shopping cart page.

There’ll be some special, one-of-a-kind projects released over the next few weeks, so keep an eye out on our social media channels!

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COVID-19, UK Shows and the Lludd DK launch

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to any of you that Wonderwool has sadly been cancelled due to COVID-19 escalation, and I’m pretty sure that our booked summer shows will shortly follow suit. Whilst the cancellations are obviously the right thing to do, they’ve been a bit of a blow to us at Triskelion because they form a significant part of our income; Triskelion Yarn being, in fact, our only source of income here at Pistyll Gwyn Farm. Hence, we’re going to be rejigging the way we do business until the COVID-19 crisis is behind us.

Firstly, until we have a full lockdown on all non-essential businesses, we’ll be opening our studio space as a Triskelion Yarn shop. While the studio isn’t finished yet in terms of plumbing and electricity (that was going to be addressed by our Wonderwool takings), the space is dry and bright and is able to be used as a yarn showroom. We’ll be asking visitors to contact us the day before they come, so that we don’t have more than three or four person single parties here at a time, and there’ll be handwashing facilities available. Please bear in mind, though, that it won’t be particularly accessible – we can adjust the ‘standard setup’ for visitors who can’t manage stairs, but we’re not wheelchair accessible. It’s clean and light, but at the end of the day, it’s a barn on a farm – we really need to stress that the facilities are basic!

Secondly, we’ll be having targeted offers on a number of yarn bases and/or collections, in the same way as we do at shows. For example, our new Lludd DK base (organic merino) will be up in the webshop this weekend with a 10% reduction on 4 skeins or more, with free UK postage – essentially the deal you’d be getting in-person at Wonderwool. There’ll be a similar deal on our luxury Rhiannon base next week. We’ll be bringing in free UK postage over £55, and free worldwide postage over £110. We have other deals in the pipeline, too, so keep an eye out for coupon codes on social media, and definitely sign up for our newsletter (at the bottom of this page) if you haven’t already done so.

Thirdly, because cashflow issues are going to hit us badly, and we want to stay in business and keep Gwen and Emrys in bonbons, we’ll be putting a temporary brake on the Triskelion reward points. From today, you’ll only be able to use up to 10% of the order value as reward points, rather than the usual 33%. However, your points will continue to accrue as normal, and you’ll be able to use them all in full once this crisis has passed.

Lastly, please stay safe, and follow the instructions that your government’s medical advisors give you (wherever you are). Also, there appears to be some evidence coming to light that the virus can stay active on some surfaces for up to five days, so I would advise leaving your order parcels somewhere out of the way for four or five days before using/opening them, just to be ultra cautious. It goes without saying that we’ll notify everybody if we have to go into quarantine for whatever reason.

Strength and solidarity with you all, and may the odds be forever in your favour 😉

Caerthan and Rick

 

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Introducing Mama Qucha

Recently, I took the opportunity to try out some Peruvian Highland wool yarns from Chester Wool. And I’m in love.

Peruvian Highland Wool is a non-Superwash wool sourced from small farms in the mountains local to the mill in Peru where the yarn is spun. The sheep are merino/Corriedale crossbreeds and the fibre has a 27 micron count. As it’s not as fine and soft as merino, the fleeces would otherwise just go to waste – everyone wants the superfine merino. However, Andy and Jeni at Chester Wool have bought up the clip and given the local farmers a source of income they wouldn’t otherwise have had.

Whilst it may not be as soft as merino, the yarn is actually perfect for socks, and indeed for any garment or accessory that needs a bit of extra wear. It’s comparable to any other Corriedale yarn I’ve come across: smooth spun, with a beautifully crisp and squishy handle, and is wearable next to skin for me. The sock yarn (4-ply/fingering weight) isn’t high-twist, but has a sturdy twist suitable for socks – I’ve knit a pair up at a 8 sts per inch gauge, and they’re very durable and cosy.

The yarn is *incredibly* bouncy and springy, with a lot of body – masses of squish – and the staple length (from what I can see from pulling fibres out) is fairly long, which means less pilling. Also, the Corriedale side, with its lustre longwool heritage, yields wonderfully luminous, soft colours with my acid dyes. The stitch definition is superb, making for lusciously smooth stocking stitch and spectacular cable definition.

In addition to supporting the incomes of the Peruvian farmers, we’re also donating 10% of all profits from this yarn base to a selection of ocean-based environmental charities, with a spread of education, science, conservation and activist organisations. As many of you know, marine conservation and protection is close to my heart, with a proportion of Triskelion Yarn’s profits every month going to the Sea Shepherd charity. Given these links, we chose the name of the Mayan goddess and protector of the oceans and marine life to be the name of the new base: Mama Qucha.

I’m also currently testing out the sport, DK and worsted weight versions of this wonderful fibre, but the sock/4-ply was just too good not to do at least a small initial release of it for Triskelion customers to try out. The inital release is of ten oceanic colourways, some reworked old favourites, some new colour additions. I hope you’ll love them as much as I do!

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Triskelion at Purlescence’s Christmas Open Day

We’re very pleased to have been invited back for the Purlescence Christmas Open Day near Wantage on Saturday 1st December 10am – 4pm.

This is a great little annual event in the beautiful countryside setting of The Firs Farm, Leckhamstead, just a stones throw from where the Great British Bake Off is held.

As well as a chance to see, feel and buy our yarn, there is the whole Purlescence shop and studio to enjoy with cafe and comfy couches to knit, chat and share ideas and projects. Have a look at the Purlescence website to see what they have on offer, and for more details about the Christmas Open Day.

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