Hello! Friday is project reveal day, and today I wanted to show you a new iteration of one of my favourite designs of 2019 – the Udal pullover, designed for and with Meg Rodger’s Birlinn Yarn Company.
Meg’s yarn is processed from her own Hebridean fleeces and those of other local crofts around Berneray and North Uist. The yarn’s distinctive palette, inspired by Meg’s local island landscape, is produced by overdyeing a range of coloured fleeces whose shade composition might differ from year to year, making each annual batch unique. This year’s ‘Reef’ shade is visibly different to the yarn we used for the original Udal, so Mel recently knitted up another sample, which gives a good idea of the current shade – a deep and pleasingly saturated turquoise-blue.
This particular Udal pullover will be returning to the Hebrides quite soon, but before we sent it on its way I couldn’t resist nabbing it and popping it on with a pair of yellow trews and my current favourite Lynsey Walters necklace
As you may know, I don’t have much of a yarn stash, and tend not to acquire much yarn at all, but over the years it seems I’ve made something of an exception for Meg’s Birlinn Yarn
It’s local, it’s sheepy, it’s woolly, it knits up into items that are hard-wearing and beautiful, and it smells good too!
what’s not to love?
All businesses have faced their own challenges over the past few months, and small Hebridean craft enterprises are no exception. Like most crofters, Meg supports her family through a range of revenue streams, and has recently seen the majority of her income (from marine tours and lets) completely disappear. Meg does a lot of amazing things, but I find her work supporting local crofting, by making quality Hebridean wool products economically viable, both admirable and worthwhile. So if there’s a woolly-wool shaped hole in your stash you might do worse than to plug it with a few skeins of Birlinn Yarn.
I’ve not said much about the economic effects of the past few months here, and while the nature and structure of KDD means we have been able to manage really well (with disruption of supply our main concern), the short-term outlook for many other small enterprises in knitting, yarn and publishing looks pretty bleak. At this time, I think it’s important to remember what we most enjoy and feel is of value in our industry, and to continue to support the hard-working, creative and committed small businesses who provide it – like Birlinn Yarn.