etsy sunday: yarn holiday

21 Feb

We’re more than a week into the Ravelympics and while the finish line is in sight, I can’t seem to keep away from other projects. This is a little frustrating, as usually I work better to deadlines other people set for me. But for some reason instead of picking up the stitches for a high-neck collar on my Lace Panel Cardi, I seem  to be succumbing to the lure of yarnie potential.

There is a LOT of yarn on Etsy. There’s a lot of hand-dyed yarn. There’s a lot of fibre to make hand-spun yarn. There’s a lot of hand-spun, hand-dyed yarn. And it’s all just waiting to be cast on into hand-dyed, hand-spun WIPs and housed in hand-made project bags.

If you’re in Europe, it can feel like all of this hand-dyed, hand-spun, hand-made loveliness is very far away. I listen to a bunch of knitting podcasts and some of my favourite segments include a perusal of Etsy’s finest; however, rarely does the branch extend our way. Well, just this week Chrissy the Great of The Manic Purl Podcast featured Lime Green Jelly, a UK-based indie fibre dyer whose sense of colour is inspiring. This got me thinking. What other indie dyers are there, buried in the wilds Etsy yet closer to home than you might think?

It turns out a trek across yarnie Europe is just as filled with a richness of colourways and exotic fibre blends as you could hope for. We’re hoping to do a European holiday this year, but until then I rather think a yarn holiday is the way forward.

We begin our journey in Cork, Ireland, with Sour Cherry, a rich and divine pure cashmere yarn from Hedgehog Fibres.

Next we head to Bury, England to sniff about these gorgeous superwash merino Pinks from Black Cat Fibres.

Onward to Turku, Finland, where we find Sandman, a dreamy superwash wool and silk blend from Lai-la-lai Yarnz.

Back in Preston, England, Unite marks an awesome 6-month yarn club from Wild Fire Fibres.

Returning to Finland, Uhtu is a pristine laceweight sourced from the endangered Finnish landrace sheep by Utuna: the Finnish Heritage Yarns.

Bouncing back to Derbyshire, England, there’s Avocado, another heritage yarn, this time in %100 British Blue-faced Leicester,  from Amy’s Rainbow.

One last, quick jaunt to Finland and you can find Markkalanka, a lush cashmere and merino blend — and one of only TWO yarns left — from Marrkas. (I really hope Marrkas starts dyeing up a bit more, because these colourways make my heart ache.)

In a surprise twist, next we swing over to Marathon, Greece, where the Aegean Sea shimmers its way through Separations, a superwash wool/nylon blend from My Name Is Yarn.

Skipping over the Med and up the Atlantic a bit, the sea theme continues in Truro, Cornwall, with the greens and blues of Groover, in a gorgeous blend of merino, bamboo and silk, from Six Skeins.

A quick dip into East Sussex, UK, reveals Doublewaters, a beautiful %100 merino sock yarn from Gemini Knits, who I’ve bought from before and LOVE.

And finally, travelling up the River Ribble, we head back to Preston, UK, where finish with Wild Plum, a steadfast, reliable superwash in jaw-dropping purples, from Creative Deva.

Interestingly, a lot of these yarnies are from the UK or Finland, but there are heaps of them out there — you just have to get off the beaten path to find them. Also, in this post I’ve only chosen the yarnie hand-dyers. Hand-spinners, and fibre dyers, on the other hand, seem far more widespread. I might just look at them next week, but looking at all this yarn is dangerous.

If I do finish the Ravelympics, you can bet what my medal’s going to be.

If you have other European yarnie Etsy sellers — or if you ARE a European yarnie Etsy seller — let me know! If a European tour is a bit far off, at least I can have a visit via yarn.

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One Response to “etsy sunday: yarn holiday”

  1. Janet 21 February 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    Oh, how could you post such beauties when I’ve been so very good! I can’t, no matter how hard I try, stay on one project at a time. I really enjoy switching around and it gives my hands a break. Thanks for the visual treat!

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