So as you may or not know, Rusty Ferret just released its very first 100% British breed yarn base. I could not be happier with it, its so soft, yet it has that recognisable British look to it, does that even make sense?
Lets kick off with how you pronounce it, my pronunciation of words is shocking so after some research i made a little video using my own dulcet tones, I'm still going to pronounce it the incorrect way.
Did you know that a Masham sheep are a cross breed, a bit like a labradoodle. They are bred from a combination of Teeswater or sometimes Wensleydale, and a Dalesbred or a Swaledale. Meaning that they are hardy, good milking and amazing mums.
(Information from the Fleece an Fibre sourcebook by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius)
Masham sheep are very much a British Breed as the sheep that they are bred from dont really exist on the other side of the Atlantic.
The all important fleece characteristics of the Masham are a long staple length, meaning that the length of each "hair" is very long roughly 12 to 25 cm. This is great if you are a beginner spinner as you have more time to work with the fibre. Its also a very lustrous fleece, just meaning it has a nice shine to it.
Our new Masham base is a mix of 25% Brown Masham and 75% Blue faced Leicester, the reason for the mix is the Masham fibre is actually quite a rough fibre, the kind that would normally be used for carpets, however when mixed with BFL its a match made in woolly heaven. Without actually shoving a skein of this yarn in your hands let me describe what it feels like. There is a small halo to this yarn, not as much as mohair so its not gonna get up your nose (hello and thank you asthma) but it does give a lovely glow to the yarn. Its a very soft yarn i would not hesitate to wear this right next to my skin and i'm an absolute snowflake when it comes to rustic yarn. This base really takes the dye beautifully, it sooks it up so quickly, so the dye can be very easily controlled if needed to be, for example our Lana Obscura below.
Im going to end this post with why i love this yarn so much. I really love the look of British yarn, that solid nature that it has, the beautiful garments it creates, like a rose garden, or a walk in the woods. BUT i have really sensitive skin, if you rub my arm i come up in welts so something with even the slightest prickle drives me insane, especially around my neck. When i touch this however i get the best of the look of a British yarn, but its soft, it does not make me want to peel my skin off.
The specific details of this base are
Weight - 4ply/fingering
Meterage - 400m /437yds
Unit weight - 100g
Fibre content -75% British Blue Faced Leicester, 25% British Masham
And i will just leave you with the suggestion that you should feel this yarn if you can.