Now to finding some indie British sock yarns, known as sock weight or 4 ply. Here are my favourites:
1. Old Maiden Aunt
Scottish company Old Maiden Aunt is run by Lilith and Helen. All their yarn is handpainted in Scotland and the yarn used is ethically sourced. They do sell some yarn from overseas but all the British yarn is processed locally to the animal it comes from. I headed straight to the 4ply/sock weight handpainted yarn page, which has seven subcategories for the fussy sock knitter. Being new to sock knitting I haven't a clue about which yarn is best for the foot, but my eye was drawn to the super wash merino/cashmere/nylon - practical but also luxurious. The balls are £15 for 100g and there are a multitude of colours to choose from. Unfortunately when I looked most were out of stock, but my favourite colouray is Selkie - an ocean swirl of sea green and brown. Perhaps it's not the best colour to go with my shoes but it certainly looks fabulous.
|Selkie by Old Maiden Aunt|
Sharon Jane is the brainchild of Five Moons Yarns, a company dedicated to hand dying yarns. Its website has five categories for sock yarn, but it was the vintage yarn section that caught my eye. They are mostly solid colours with a faded, dusted or vintage feel. Being a vintage fan myself I adore the chateauneuf, a purplish red 'with hints of garnet and raisins'. Each skein is 50g and costs £6.50. Helpfully the website tells you which colour ways are out of stock without having to click through to the specific yarn page first.
|Chateuneuf by Five Moons Yarns|
3. Eden Cottage Yarns
Yarn sold here is hand dyed in Yorkshire. All the yarn is dyed in the owner, Victoria's kitchen sink, and hung out in her garden to dry. There are eight subcategories of sock yarn on the website to choose from and prices vary depending on the type of yarn you choose. Bedale, a blend of baby yak and silk, attracted me instantly, as did the Titus pure merino 4ply. Apparently this washes well in the washing machine - a bonus point for me. My colour of choice is the orangey/yellow sunset, which costs £18 for a 100g skein.
|Sunset by Eden Cottage Yarns|
Can you recommend any other indie, hand dyed sock yarn companies? Please let me know in the comments box below. Next up is picking which of the three to get started on a pair with ...