Mendip DK is a bouncy, airy lambswool yarn, hand-dyed in a range of rich and subtle solid/semi-solid colours. The naturally grey base is spun from a blend of white and dark-coloured wool sourced from a single flock that grazes on top of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, UK. The wool is from the lambs' first shearing, meaning it's a lovely soft fibre, and the mix of coloured fleeces gives a lovely heathered, tweedy effect.
Woollen-spun, 3-fold yarn
120 metres / 131 yards per 50g skein
Needle size: 3.25–4 mm
100% British wool from a mixed-breed flock (primarily Shetland-crosses)
The colours are all inspired by the landscape, and the flora and fauna found on and around the Mendips.
Sheep is the naturally mid-grey, undyed yarn.
Ore is a soft, cool brick red, inspired by the iron ore that gives the soil in some parts of the South-West its distinctive colour.
Fox is a gentle, burnt orange, named for the beautiful, rich coat of vulpes vulpes.
Bloom is a yellow that shifts between acid and mustard-gold – it recalls the swathes of yellow flowers that mark the transition into spring.
Sage is a soft, quite warm green, named for the foliage of the culinary staple.
Fern is a vibrant, fresh, balanced green inspired by the new growth of the ferns in cool gullies and the shade under trees.
Teal is a cool, calm colour that's perfectly placed between blue and green, named for the Teal ducks found on Chew lake in the winter.
Sky is a rich blue that shifts slightly more towards purple than green – it's the colour of the last light of day, just before darkness closes in.
Plum is rich and opulent – just a little more red than blue for a warm, deep shade.
Rose is the warm, dusty pink that is found on the outside of wild Dog Rose petals.
For the purposes of picking colours to combine for colourwork to ensure good contrast, the colours from light to dark (ignoring hue) go: Sheep, Bloom, Fern, Sage, Teal, Fox, Rose, Ore, Sky, Plum. The further away from each other two colours are on this list, the more contrast there will be between them. There is almost no contrast between Fern, Sage and Teal, for example.
A note on the origins of this yarn:
The wool is sourced from an eco-farm in Somerset, England, that uses organic practices (though this wool isn't certified organic). It is spun up by a small mill in west Wales, then hand-dyed by Marina in Bath. So before the skeins are shipped out to you lovely customers, the wool has travelled around 300 miles during the production of the yarn.
The dyes used are synthetic, for repeatability and colour-fastness. They are very low-toxicity (and non-toxic to the end user), and non-carcinogenic. None of the dyes used contain toxic metals. The water used to dye is recycled numerous times and all colour is exhausted completely before it is discarded in the garden.