Natural Fibres

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I am nuts about knitting in all shapes and sizes from the grandest tactile rugs and blankets to the smallest baby garments and the past six years have been a wonderful woollen journey of discovery. My handcrafted knitted textiles harness and enhance the amazing properties of natural fibres, to createfabulous pieces to fall in love with. Now, let me show you where my amazing yarns come from…

Pure British…

When I first took hold of a handful of British woollen tops, I was amazed at the fairy-like candy floss feel. So it was easy to make the leap to extreme giant knitting and the launch of my first British wool HOME Collection of tactile and treasured blankets, rugs, throws and cushions.I couldn’t get enough of the unspun wool from Bluefaced Leicester sheep and native Shetland sheep and this is why…

The Blue Faced Leicester sheep

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The Blue Faced Leicester sheep, whichevolved from a breeding scheme in the 1700s to develop the Longwool sheep by Robert Bakewell, has a highly prized fleece for its likeness to mohair and for its production of fine (26 micron), attractive, lustrous yarns with good resilience.It is also long and dense which makes it suited to combing for woollen tops.The fleece first undergoes a process ofscouring, carding, gilling and combing to create these candy floss like woollen tops. Woollen tops, also known as roving, are often spun into finer worsted wool yarns or used for felting. The fabulous nature of the British woollen tops is that they are tougher to tear than the more widely known merino tops which is pretty important when you’re using immense 5mm diameter and 1m long knitting needles. It is also easier to control the felting process and the end result is just as sumptuously soft. The vast needles create delightfully defined stitches and cables which after felting create gorgeous blankets, rugs, throws and cushions.

You can pick up 1kg bumps of silkily soft unspun Blue faced Leicester tops in undyed natural white in the SHOP.

Shetland

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Archaeological evidence traces a primitive ancestor of today’s Shetland sheep back to the times of early Neolithic farmers over 4500 years ago. The native British sheep are noted for their very soft and well crimped fleece and an amazing variety of colours and markings. Pure bred Shetland sheep tend to shed their fleece in spring. The growth of new fleece can cause a rise or weak point and where this is present the fleece can sometimes be plucked or 'rooed' by hand. The wool is fine (29-31mic), soft and silky to the touch with a good, bulky down characteristic.

You can pick up 1kg bumps of delectable unspun Shetland tops in undyed natural grey in the SHOP.

The Himalayan Yak

yakAs the name suggests, Crowns & Coronets, is all about luxury. So, when I discovered the buttery soft yak down six years ago, I knew it was the perfect fibre for my debut collection of baby and children’s clothes. The Himalayan yak must be regarded as one of the world's most remarkable domestic animals as it thrives in conditions of extreme harshness and deprivation while providing a livelihood for Tibetan herders. Yaks produce just 100g of down from their soft underbelly each year which is collected by combing during the shedding season. Yak down rivals cashmere in softness and lustre and it is stronger than wool and more resilient. Unlike wool, the scales of the yak down are in a waved mosaic pattern, resulting in a very smooth fibre that does not itch. Little Crowns & Coronets yarn blends yak down fibres with the finest sustainable bamboo which is excellently suited to the delicate skin of babies and children, being light, strong, anti-static, highly breathable and absorbent. Bamboo absorbs 60% more water than cotton and is also anti-fungal, hypoallergenic and biodegradable. The income from selling the yak down to Crowns & Coronets improves the wellbeing of the remote communities on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau while preserving cultural skills and maintaining sustainable rural lifestyles. By supporting the Tibetan nomads and using the noble yak down Crowns & Coronets is encouraging sustainable development and investing in the future of the nomads on "the roof of the world". You can pick up 200g skeins of buttery soft yak (25%) and bamboo (75%) blended Double-Knitting (DK) yarn in the SHOP. yak