April 12 2013 – thisisknit
Looking for truly Irish yarn, made from the fleece of native sheep and entirely processed in this country, using centuries-old spinning methods? We've got just the thing. It's Studio Donegal Homespun, and it's what's used for that excellent hat. It will knit to Aran or worsted-weight tension, and it's made from 100% Irish fleece. It's mule spun, so it's made by a process which dates back to the eighteenth century and which was a major component of the industrial revolution in textile production. In fact, you can see the very machine in action at this youtube link. The short film on wool production there is partly in Irish and partly in English, and gives a fascinating insight into how fleece gets transformed, with the spinning starting at 1.43. Studio Donegal Homespun is a robust yarn which will work best for outer garments and accessories. The hat above is a sample from the manufacturers, but there's plenty of patterns on Ravelry that will produce something very similar. A short search found Declan's Hat, which would work beautifully with garter stitch substituted for the rib, and Fortnight which has the garter stitch already in there. The other thing that we love about this yarn? The colours! We're used to nubbly Aran yarns in oaty undyed colours, but there's only one word for these colours: funky! Every skein is unique, with happy contrasts and one-of-a-kind graduations. So if you're looking for something Irish that's both traditional and bang up to date, this is it. It's the perfect souvenir of a visit to Dublin, and we'll be wearing it with pride.