What lush stuff this hand-spun yarn is. As noted last week, the somewhat localised collection of hand-dyers in Europe rather pales in comparison to the widespread-ness of hand-spinners plying their wares across the Continent and its various satellite islands. I’m not sure why it is, but Europe, it seems, is home to a fantastic amount of extraordinary spinners.
One of the things I really love about these yarns is how utterly unlike anything else they are. From maddeningly delicious blends of exotic fibres to the incorporation of beads and fabric, these yarns are truly unique. Another thing I love is the fact that so many of these hand-spinners also collaborate with other Etsy sellers, making this collection even more widespread than you might expect.
Today we start in Germany, where All the Pretty Fibers barberpoles pure merino into A Night in Paris, which has set me dreaming about a night in Paris decked out in a spring cardigan with a sweet Fair Isle yoke.
In Jura, France, L’Atelier du Chat Noir creates incredible art yarns, like Reve d’Afrique, which threads wood palm tree pearls and pieces of African fabrics along noire du velay and manx loghtan and hand-dyed merino, and finished with a twist of bright red kid mohair.
Returning to Wales, Snowberry and Lime spins lush yarns in Cardiff, like this delicious Fruit Cocktail, which brings together plump and juicy merino with glass beads and hand-made polymer beads from Lilley.
The Amazon Rainforest infiltrates Brighton, England, in this gorgeous hand-spun, hand-dyed lovely by Spinning Streak, that nonetheless maintains a surprising home-land twist: the fibre is sourced from a traditional longwool Wensleydale fleece from up in Yorkshire.
In Alessandria, Italy, the fantastic Poem d’Amour, one of the Chagall art yarn collection by The World of Little Things, marries delicate whimsy with a unique blend of Cotswold Romney, bamboo, merino and a touch of nylon.
Finally, returning to Belfast, Northern Ireland, Moonspinning brings together a fantastically exotic blend of Zwartbles wool, merino and rouge de l’ouest in a delectable slubby mix of natural browns and hand-dyed purple and reds.
In searching for these yarns, I have to admit I was really overcome with just how beautiful yarn can be. I don’t spin yarn, myself, and I don’t really want to though I do know how. I far prefer to knit with yarn than create it. However, the lure of hand-spun is pretty powerful. There is something almost otherworldly about the feel of a skein in your hand, knowing it was spun and plied and thought about by a person and not a machine. While I reckon I’m going to stick to the knitting track, I’m definitely going to have to have a long, hard think about getting my hands on some of this handspun for my next project. (And seeing as I completed my Ravelympics project yesterday, I think that might mean I’m due for a bit of a treat, no?)