Thursday, 7 September 2017

Why British Yarn Doesn't Have To Equal Expensive: 50g For Under A Fiver

It's a myth, almost universally acknowledged, that British yarn must be expensive and unaffordable (with apologies to Jane Austen for stealing and changing her opening line from Pride and Prejudice).
Go to any yarn discounter and there will be dirt-cheap balls of Chinese acrylic and nylon yarn for sale that haven't been within miles of a sheep. Real wool, well surely that's pricey isn't it, so why buy British when you can have all-you can-knit imported balls?

Image courtesy of Farming UK
Here at A Woolly Yarn we believe British is best, because of the financial benefit to farmers who in the past have had to pay more for shearing their sheep than they could make from selling the fleeces; the environmental benefits that come from using less transport miles and not burning oil barrels to make artificial fibres; wool's natural properties keeping one cool in summer and warm in winter; to educate the public about endangered sheep breeds and ensure their survival; the knock-on effect of jobs created for designers, spinners and dyers using British yarn; and of course because quality British wool feels so much better to wear than scratchy, man-made, imported alternatives.

Louise Scollay from KnitBritish kicked off an internet debate back in 2013 when she posted a feature called British Yarn Under A Fiver. Do your research as I recently have, and you'll find that four years on there are still under £5 British bargains for sale.

I have an old Wool & The Gang sweater pattern that requires aran yarn. From BritYarn I bought four 100g skeins of West Yorkshire Spinners Jacob Aran Wool for £22 plus P&P. That's enough yarn for up to size medium and works out at the equivalent of £2.75 per 50g ball - a fabulous bargain.

My £22 British yarn bargain
This prompted me to do some internet searching to see what else I could find for under £5 per 50g. Local yarn shops you know sell British wool are your first port of call for their end of line sales, but not all of us are blessed to live near a yarn store, never mind one that's eschewed foreign man-made yarns.

Five more British yarn bargains: 50g for under a fiver

Blacker Yarns' Classic DK knitting yarn retails at £4.40 for a 50g DK ball and is available in the purple shade whilst stocks last.

Image courtesy of Blacker Yarns
From New Lanark Mills comes an organic hank of aran British wool in a natural ecru shade, selling at £8 for a 100g skein (the equivalent of £4 for 50g).

Image courtesy of New Lanark Mills
Woolyknit's own range includes 100% pure British wool Big Brit Super Chunky in four shades at £5.95 for 100g (the equivalent of about £2.98 for a 50g ball)

Image courtesy of Woolyknit
Online retailer Baa Baa Brighouse is selling Wendy Ramsdale DK in the shade 'Helmsley', spun from Yorkshire fleece, for £2.48 for a 50g ball whilst stocks last.

Helmsley image courtesy of Wendy 

Available at BritYarn is West Yorkshire Spinners' Bluefaced Leicester BFL UK, available in nine colours at £4.85 per 50g ball. 

WYS BFL coral shade courtesy of BritYarn

So you see British doesn't have to equal expensive - in face it some cases it's quite the opposite. Why import cheap, oil-based yarn from across the globe when what's on our doorstep is much better quality and reasonably-priced to boot? 

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