Ode to Sheep: Merino Wool

Merino ram.

Since I wrote about alpacas, it’s only fair that I write about merino wool, another favourite fibre. Merino wool, as you’ve probably guessed already, comes from merino sheep. Did you know that there’s several varieties of merino sheep, including the Saxony and Peppin? You can impress your friends with the fun trivia that you learn visiting here.

Merino is prized due to its softness,  warmth and ability to wick water. Merino wool is excellent at regulating body temperature and even has antibacterial properties thanks to the lanolin in the wool.

Merino ewes and lambs.

Another fun fact: merino wool is available in several grades based on its coarseness: strong (broad), medium, fine, super fine and ultra fine. Ultra fine can be blended with luxury fibres such as cashmere or silk to produce a lightweight and highly insulating yarn.

Some of my favourite yarns are made from single ply 100% merino, including RainCityKnits and Madelinetosh. They are absolutely lovely to work with and come in a great array of colours.

Lamb.

And to be fair since I showed a picture of a cria at the end of the alpaca post, here is the requisite lamb photo! Enjoy the cuteness.

x Rena

RainCityKnits: Gorgeous Yarn Colours

Gorgeous yarns from RainCityKnits from Gastown in Vancouver, Canada. Source: RainCityKnits.

I must tell you about RainCityKnits from Gastown in Vancouver, Canada. And I’m not just telling you about the yarn because it’s masterminded by my sister. Her yarns are incredible, with beautiful on-trend colours and ethical sourcing.

Sock yarn in berry purple.

RainCityKnits yarns are made from 100% merino wool, spun by a worker’s collective in Uruguay. Krista, the owner / designer of RainCityKnits, hand dyes each skein individually in her studio in Gastown, Vancouver, Canada. Each skein is unique and vividly coloured.

Currently available in sock yarn / fingering weight, with more weights to come in the future, the line includes 13 colours: Heliotrope Purple, Berry Purple, Vermillion Red, Hot Pink, Bright Orange, Lemon Yellow, Wasabi Green, Kelly Green, Blue Teal, Rain Drop Blue, Royal Blue, Midnight Black and Natural. There are also several Ombre, or variegated, versions of the colours.

Swatch.

I am lucky enough to have gotten my mitts on a couple of the colours and I am in the process of designing an accessory pattern to showcase the lovely yarn from RainCityKnits. I’ve made a swatch in the natural colour so as not to use any of my precious coloured yarn!

RainCityKnits yarn colour perfect for some colour on a grey West Coast day.

I hope you’re excited as I am about this yarn. In Vancouver, you can find RainCityKnits yarn stocked at the new Wet Coast Wools shop in Kitsilano. Online, RainCityKnits has an Etsy shop where you can purchase any of these colours. I really encourage you to try this yarn out.
x Rena