thomasinaknitsheader 2

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mmm, cashmere

Mmm, cashmere

I'm knitting an absolutely plain and simple cashmere scarf in natural coloured 4 ply yarn from Devon Fine Fibres. Now I know that the cashmere goat is not a native breed** and so strictly speaking falls outside my yarn buying rules (only British breeds bred in the UK and Ireland) but A) it's a commission (for my sister to give to her sister-in-law) and B) they're my rules anyway and C) the cashmere from Devon Fine Fibres ticks every other box relating to ethical farming and local produce. Not only are the goats farmed in Devon but the fibre is spun there too at Coldharbour Mill***. So the only yarn miles on my yarn are the postage miles between Devon and here! I love Lesley's blog too - it's so lovely to know a bit more about the animals that provide this beautiful fibre.

** [EDITED TO ADD]: In fact it seems that I'm wrong about this and that Lesley's cashmere goats can be classed as a British breed (see Lesley's comment below). And of course "the rules" really are about supporting British sheep (and goat) farmers and trying to show that you can do every kind of knitting you can think of without buying imported yarn or fibre. All that said there is now absolutely no reason for us all not to haul off and snaffle as much of Lesley's beautiful yarn as we can lay our sticky little mitts on!

*** Lesley has pointed out that this batch was actually spun up in Lancashire but it's still all produced in the UK.


tinebeest said...

Well, if it's a Devonian cashmere goat, and locally spun, then I would not object to your exception to the rules ;-)

Will you bring it along to the pub for all of us to fondle, and perhaps spill some beer and ketchup over it, too?

Lesley said...

Actually, the goats are a British breed so you can tick ALL your boxes!! They were bred by The Macualay Institute for 25 years using wild cashmere-bearing goats from all over the world including a handful from the west coast of Scotland. So, the breed really can be classed as British. In fact they are not strictly a breed since they are a mongrel collection which has been selectively bred. It's the finess of the fibre which defines them as cashmere - less than 15microns in my case.
I should point out that we weren't able to use Coldharbour after all - couldn't handle cashmere - but we do use Gledhills in Lancashire to spin for us. A wonderful family run mill which is bucking the trend in UK textile companies and doing really well by concentrating in top quality, luxury fibres.
I'm really pleased you are enjoying the yarn. It's great to know it's making people happy!
Next year's crop is currently keeping the goats toasty warm in the snow flurries we had here yesterday!!

Petit Filoux said...

It looks beautiful, I think it's ok if the rules are a little bent here! Ah and I've just seen Lesley's message, so there you go, it's all good!

Liz said...

Yes, to fondling! No, to beer and ketchup! There will be a strict ketchup exclusion zone around the cashmere.

Sarah said...

I've used this yarn before. I made a feather and fan scarf from it. It's lush. It just gets softer and softer over time too.