British Wool Industrial Knitting

Having enjoyed learning how to use the Dubied industrial knitting machines during the last project, I am determined to source a British wool yarn that is of a fine enough gauge to make some garments on the Dubied! The British wool I have bought from Paint Box Textiles does work on the Dubied 5 gauge (below right), and so I will use this machine over the domestic ones where possible. I really want to source a yarn that I can use on the finer gauge machines though!

This took quite a lot of searching, and I am pretty sure there is no British wool yarn that can be knit on the 12 gauge - wool yarns for this gauge are usually Merino lambswool from Australia, New Zealand or South Africa.

However, I did eventually find this laceweight Bluefaced Leicester yarn from Chester Wool Company. At 2/16nm, it works on the 10 gauge really well! I ordered a test hank and knit a simple length of 1x1 rib, which produces a lovely draped fabric that I think would be suitable for a dress underneath a chunky cardigan or jacket.

The yarn is undyed and unbleached, and due to the breed, is a slightly yellowy off-white. I tried dip dyeing it in my indigo vat - as my vat is quite weak at the moment, it produced a very pale blue that is almost green in places. I will try dyeing this yarn again once my vat has been replenished, but I do quite like the way the pale blue fade sits with the slightly yellow natural yarn colour.

Lots of scope for experiments and I'm pleased I've found a yarn that is a complete contrast to my super chunky hand knitting!

References:

  • Burns, R. 2018. British Wool Industrial Knitting 1-4. Photographs.
  • Chester Wool Company. 2018. Superwash BFL Lace Type. [online] Available from: https://www.bluefaced.co.uk/lace/superwash-bfl-lace-type-49044 [Accessed