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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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