I am sometimes asked about the yarns that I use and where I get them as most are not available in the average wool shop – not that there are even that many of those. I get most of the yarn I use on line and there are some good places here in South Africa but you have to know about them, so I am spreading the word.
I am not a yarn snob and I will use acrylic for stuff too, especially kids toys or jerseys for kids that are going to get a lot of wear and tear and need to machine washable 1000 times. But there is something very nice about natural yarns. Wool is of course so much warmer than acrylic, it does not squeak as you knit or crochet.
Carle from Nurturing Fibres has a keen eye for colour and uses nature and life to inspire her yarn dyeing. She works with local base yarns which are all 100% Merino. She has a range of yarn weights from lace weight through to bulkier yarns. There is always something beautiful to find on her website. I have used many of her yarns in my book and knitting projects.
I have had the privilege of watching Carle dye yarn on her farm in Philadelphia, and she honestly has an ability to see colour like very few can.
Michelle from Hartlam is based in the small by beautiful town of Riebeek Kastel in the Swartland. Clare and I had fun and wine in her studio with her last year when we had a weekend away from the kids.
I am quite new to Hartlam yarn but have really enjoyed working with them, their are a few of the patterns for the book that are knitted in different Hartlam Yarns that she specially dyed for the book Michelle has some wonderful luxuary yarn bases that she sources from overseas. So if you are looking for a bit of silk, cashmere, BFL, alpaca or that little bit of sparkle( silver stelina) then this is the place to come. She stocks mostly lace weight, sock weight and DK.
Her yarns always have the most interesting names.
Dana from Colourspun very kindly sponsored the yarn that I used for the African inspired fingerless mitten in my book. It was lovely to work with the yarn she had dyed for me once she heard about the inspiration for the patterns. Dana’s colour are bold and bright and such fun to work with. She had a wide range of local 100% merino yarns in a variety or weights. She also stocks cotton and mohair yarn.
Dana has also written a book about knitting and yarn in South Africa called A Knitting Adventure with South African Yarn
A good on line shop for a bit of everything is Natural Yarns run by Gina.
She stocks yarns by: Nurturing Fibres, Hartlam, Vinnis Colours, Manos del Uruguay, Adele’s Mohair, Backward Sheep and LeLana. She also has good circular needles, these are especially important for sock and projects that are knit in the round.