Monday 7 January 2019

Rowan Launches 100% British Wool/Alpaca Yarn Moordale

For knitters who want to know the provenance of their wool and choose to buy yarn sourced from the UK there's now an option from Rowan.

Image courtesy of Rowan
Fans of 100% British-sourced wool were devastated when Rowan discontinued its Purelife British Sheep Breeds range a few years ago. Thankfully the well-known British brand, which last year celebrated its 40th birthday and is now owned by German company MEZ crafts, now has a new offering for British yarn lovers: Moordale. With its blend of 70% British wool and 30% British alpaca it knits up on 4mm needles and is aimed towards warmer garments and accessories.

Rowan describes Moordale as: "made using fine micron wool of the Bluefaced Leicester which is known for being both soft and strong. Blended with Alpaca to add a lustrous, silky touch, Moordale is a natural, robust, tender yarn which drapes well and feels comfortable on the skin."

Moordale image courtesy of Rowan
To support the yarn Rowan designer Martin Storey has produced the Moordale Collection, containing 14 garments and accessories for men and women. Rowan sent A Woolly Yarn a copy and a couple of hanks for review - all opinions are the reviewer's own.

Firstly A Woolly Yarn wanted to know why Rowan was once again launching a 100% British yarn. A spokesperson from Rowan told us "Rowan has always been proud of its British heritage (and especially Yorkshire) and with last year's celebration of Rowan's 40th anniversary they have embraced their Yorkshire heritage and chosen to work with a local spinner".

What is Martin Storey's involvement? "With Martin Storey at the design help of the collection for this new yarn, we know it's in safe hands! Martin has designed a collection fo timeless knits for both men and women, featuring his signature cable and texture detail designs."

A Woolly Yarn's final question, asking whether Rowan has plans to expand the Moordale range and/or create another 100% British yarn in the future received a less clear response from the spokesperson. "Rowan is always expanding and developing new shades and yarn ranges. We well have to wait and see what is to come later in 2019!"

Perhaps Rowan is testing out the market for Moordale before committing itself further.

The Yarn
Buckler hat image courtesy of Rowan
In order to publish this review to coincide with Moordale's launch there hasn't been time to knit up one of the review hanks.

There is, however, the Buckler Hat in the Moordale collection that requires only one 100g hank to knit up, which we shall do so soon.

A Moordale skein is soft and squishy yet hardy with a definite halo that I suspect may slightly shed. The yarn is very strong, takes colour well and looks as it it will knit into a soft drape.

It's suitable for both accessories and garments and will be a warm yarn for wearing during the colder months.

The initial collection consists of 12 colours spun in Yorkshire, think deep greys blues and reds, which are sold in 100g hanks.

How much?

Moordale is sold in 100g hanks. Rowan's website has a list of local yarn stores that sell their products. Online A Woolly Yarn found Moordale at the following prices per hank (not including P&P):

The Moordale Collection

As you'd expect from Rowan and Martin Storey the Moordale pattern book contains quality accessories and garments that are stylish without being totally fashion-focussed. 

The pattern book is very well photographed and is published in an horizontal 'flip book' format with British knitting instructions coming first and their German counterparts towards the back - this makes the book thicker and look as if it has more patterns than it actually does.

The patterns that aren there, however, provide a range for competent beginners to knitters looking for a challenge. A Woolly Yarn's favourites are:

Forge - this men's jumper uses a mixture of garter and stocking stitch to add texture.

Forge image courtesy of Rowan

Rosedale - this women's sweater has a fascinating neck/yoke that looks both stylish and warm

Rosedale image courtesy of Rowan
Sundew - a challenging cable cardigan with extra bobbles.

Sundew image courtesy of Rowan

The Moordale Collection costs £12 from Rowan.

Which is your favourite Moordale pattern and what do you think of the yarn? Let us know below or on A Woolly Yarn's Facebook page

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