Thursday 16 November 2017

Kate Davies Launches West Highland Way Club

A recent retail trend amongst British designers and wool producers is to sell yarn and books as part of a club, where knitters pay up in advance before the individual designs are released. This year, for example, the format proved popular with Jen and Jim Arnall-Culliford's A Year Of Techniques book and optional knitting kit, and the yearly Neighbourhood Sheep Society Best of British Club is returning for 2018, offering as yet unseen yarn and patterns.

Kate Davies, based in Scotland, used the format when she launched her first yarn range Buachaille. Now she's returning to it for her latest yarn, Milarrochy Tweed.

Milarrochy Tweed image courtesy of Kate Davies
The club is called West Highland Way, in homage to her local landscape, and goes on sale worldwide at the Kate Davies Online Shop on Friday 17th November at 10am.

There are two options for the club available and its the first that has limited numbers. For £80 club subscribers will receive twelve 25g balls of Milarrochy Tweed, a canvas club bag, a weekly pattern delivered by email, 10% discount on the yarn from January to March 2018, and finally the 120 page print book.

Subscribers who don't want the yarn can plump for the second option, which costs £30 for the weekly patterns, 10% yarn discount and the print book, which will be posted out at the end of the club's run.

To whet knitters' appetites Davis has released images of the first pattern in the club, the Craigallian hat:
Craigallian hat image courtesy of Kate Davies
It suggests that the patterns in the club, which Davies says include accessories and garments, will contain stranded colour work, for which her 25g Milarrochy Tweed balls are ideally suited. Other yarns used will be her own Buachaille and Fyberspates' Cumulus.

Signing up to a yarn club is always a bit of a gamble because the patterns may not be to your taste or the yarn your preferred colour. Clubs benefit the designer because payment in advance can help with cashflow issues and knowing how many books and yarn balls to produce.

If you are a Kate Davies fan, however, and love her husband Tom's landscape photography, then buying the book and pattern package is a pretty safe bet. There's always a thrill in being one of the first to see a favourite designer's new patterns and not having to wait a few months until the book is published.

As for the more expensive option that includes the Milarrochy Tweed balls, that decision is between you, your stash and your bank balance. Or perhaps there's a friendly Father Christmas you can hint to?

Competition reminder

Our competition to win three 100g DK skeins of Baa Baa Brighouse yarn is now open! UK residents only (with apologies to our overseas readers) have until midnight on 30th November 2017 to enter. For full details see the competition blog post.

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