Swatchbook – Swatch no. 4

Stein Fine DK by The Little Grey Sheep

I picked up the Stein Fine yarn at Yarndale last year. I had been drawn to the colours immediately but did about 3 round trips before I decided to invest the money. I hadn’t planned to buy three skeins but when I played around with colour combinations and held the three skeins together I knew I had to buy them all. Also, lets be honest who could resist yarn with colourways as interesting as ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, ‘I Thought I Was Over You’ and ‘Tequila Sunset’?

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Stein Fine is The Little Grey Sheep’s own breed and was developed by their shepherdess Susie. The aim was to produce a British Fibre that was soft and lustrous and I think it was a total success. What I also like is that the yarn is not only rared in the UK but also produced here. The fleeces are washed in Yorkshire, spun in Devon and dyed in Hampshire.230m

The skeins are 100g and you get about 230 m/ 251 yards out of them. They have around 20 colourways and what makes them special is that the colours aren’t solid but vary slightly throughout the skein which results in some beautiful variations of colour in the finished object. I know not everyone likes that but I find it gives the yarn a bit more liveliness. The colours are inspired by the countryside the sheep are raised in.

Working in stranded colourwork in the round, I achieved a gauge of 29 sts and 30 rows over 10 cm/4″ but would probably get a slightly different gauge working with one colour only and knitting the swatch flat.

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I liked working with yarn because it is both soft but also has an inherent sturdiness to it. I personally don’t mind yarn that is a little scratchy because I think it is often yarn that can handle more strain and use but Stein Fine seems to combine both. It is pleasant to touch but is not as delicate as soft yarn such as some merino.

 

The farm where the Stein Fine wool is produced is called Well Manor. It is a small family farm on the Surrey Hampshire borders. The people at Well Manor are dedicated to conserve the landscape and farm as traditionally as possible to maintain the environment. This means that you can find a diverse flora and fauna on the farm and the sheep are important when it comes to manage the grazing on the land in a traditional way.

Not only is the yarn amazing to work with but I really like the dedication that comes through from the ladies who make this yarn and their desire to produce good quality yarn whilst doing so in a way that is not harmful to nature.

 

 

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