Mendip is a 4-ply yarn spun in the UK from wool from a single flock of Shetland-cross sheep that graze the Mendip Hills in South-West England.
100% pure British wool
Full skeins: 50g (1.75 oz) / 150m (164 yd) per skein
Mini-skeins: approx. 10g (0.4 oz) / 30m (32 yd)
2.75–3.25 mm needles / 27–30 sts per 10 cm / 4" gauge
Hand-wash only, and lay finished items flat to dry.
The yarn is hand-dyed on two woollen-spun bases – Sunny and Stormy – to make co-ordinated colour pairs. Sunny is spun from naturally white wool that yields bright, clean colours. Stormy is a coloured base from brown, grey and black sheep, and has more rustic, moody character. Both bases have a matte finish and pleasant toothiness that is perfect for colour work. The two Sheep colourways are the undyed wool.
The repeatable colour palette is inspired by the flora, fauna and changeable weather of the Mendip Hills, and is carefully considered to give a spectrum of shades that combine harmoniously.
A note on the background of this yarn, as it is important to consider its environmental impact. The wool is sourced from an eco-farm less than 20 miles from where I live. Effectively the wool is a by-product, as the sheep are raised primarily for meat. They are part of a holistic management system to regenerate the soil where they graze, adding back nutrients to land that was previously dedicated to mining.
The wool is scoured, then spun at a small mill in Yorkshire. There are no plastic fibres and no superwash process involved – this means that this yarn, and whatever is made from it, will biodegrade. I do use synthetic dyes, but always ensure that the dye is exhausted in the pots so none is returned into the water system. Some colours are naturally dyed using alum and cream of tartar as a mordant – these will include the name of the dyestuff in the colour name.