Dear wool connoisseurs,
Midwinter Yarns are looking for your help to restart production of our much-loved Black & Blue yarn.
For those of you who came across this wool at our yarn shows, you will know how proud we were of it: the finest Bluefaced Leicester wool sourced from a single flock in North Wales, spun to a gorgeous, bouncy DK weight and hand-dyed by ourselves here in Scotland.
We rarely had a chance to offer it to customers online as it nearly always sold out at shows.
However, in the last couple of years we have struggled to get more of it spun. It has been an arduous and frustrating battle watching beautiful raw material go to waste, all while fielding emails asking when the yarn would be back in again.
We have now found a mill that is willing and able to take on our beautiful wool and we are absolutely itching to send fresh fleeces from this years clip to them....BUT...we have, like many small yarn businesses, been affected by COVID-19 and most specifically by the cancellation of all the wool festivals for the year.
Whilst we are managing to stay afloat thanks to a steady stream of online orders - and believe me, we are endlessly grateful for each and every one - the lack of big events means that we won't have the big lump sum needed to get spinning underway. Which is where you come in!
This crowdfunder will provide the funds to cover processing 140kg of Welsh Bluefaced Leicester wool into yarn. From this batch we will first distribute all the crowdfunding rewards as detailed below, and the profit from subsequent sales will go towards the next batch, hopefully allowing us to keep the gorgeous Black & Blue available throughout the year going forward.
Who we are:
Run by Swedish wool lover Estelle and her husband Mark, Midwinter Yarns is an online yarn shop based in Scotland primarily focused on working with small, independent producers to bring beautiful, natural fibre yarns of Scandinavian origins to the UK market. However, as half this little team is Welsh, we want to reflect that, as well as support Welsh farming and wool industry.
Why Black & Blue:
When we lived in Wales, we became aware of how little understanding there was amongst sheep farmers of the value of their wool to knitters, crocheters and other crafters. Wool was mainly considered a costly nuisance, with payment from the Wool Board barely covering the cost of shearing. Even Mr Owen, whose fleeces have won many awards for their quality, was surprised to hear our customers were so keen on the yarn made from his wool!
We wanted to help change that mindset, and show Welsh wool for the wonderful, sustainable, natural resource that it is. We obviously wanted a yarn that would be soft enough for hand knitting, and sought out a breeder with specific knowledge of Bluefaced Leicester sheep (aka the British Merino). We also wanted a yarn that would be beautiful both dyed and in its natural state, so had Mr Owen add 20% of black mule fleeces to the mix to give us a grey blend, hence the name Black & Blue.
We are very excited that our new batch will be spun by a Welsh mill too, creating a truly Celtic yarn - grown and spun in Wales, hand dyed in Scotland!
The new yarn we are proposing will be a DK weight made with 3 plies for durability. It will be hand dyed in semi-solid colours and presented in 100gr hanks.
Contributors will be free to choose the colour of their rewards from our standard range, and there will also be a special Crowdfunder colour way exclusively available to you.
From the time that we raise sufficient funds to proceed with spinning, we expect the finished yarn to be available to us within 5 months, hopefully giving us and our contributors a wonderful end of year present!
We do hope that you will join us on this journey, and appreciate any contribution that you may be able to make, big or small!