A new yarn is a big deal here at MDK—we don’t carry a ton of yarns, so when we bring in something new, it’s cause for celebration.
We are celebrating!
Please say hello to Winterburn Aran, from the good folks at Baa Ram Ewe, working out of northern England, up there in Yorkshire, where the tradition of sheep and wool is wonderfully long and rich.
What Is Winterburn Aran?
In this golden age of yarn, we’re more curious than ever to explore the breeds of sheep and their distinctive qualities. That’s why we’re so keen on Winterburn Aran: it’s breed specific, and it’s one of a kind.
Winterburn Aran is a blend of 50% Bluefaced Leicester, 25% ecru Masham, and 25% dark brown Masham.
Hello, Bluefaced Leicester friends!
© British Wool Marketing Board
And hello, Mashams!
What’s a Masham? you may be asking.
It’s the sort of question that the founder of Baa Ram Ewe, Verity Britton, loves to answer.
Verity is a woman on a mission to celebrate breed-specific, all-British yarns, and she takes a lot of pride in what she’s doing.
“Our Winterburn Aran throws the spotlight on one of our wonderful Yorkshire sheep breeds, the Masham. The Masham has smaller ringlets of fleece than the Wensleydale but with added bounce and loft that it gets from its hill-loving male ancestry, the Dalesbred. In fact, female ‘gimmer’—or lambs—were considered so pretty that farmers would tie ribbons in their fleece before taking them to market and Sheep Fairs which continue to this day in the North Yorkshire town of Masham, from which this sheep breed gets its name.”
What to Make?
This aran-weight yarn means you can knit a sweater fast, on a size 7 or 8 needle.
When we started imagining designs to make using Winterburn Aran, we arrived pretty quickly at one of our all-time favorite designs, the Hadley Pullover by Véronik Avery, featured in MDK Field Guide No. 2: Fair Isle.
It’s a snuggler that hundreds of knitters have made—and it’s a design that makes the most of Winterburn Aran’s woolly, bouncy nature.
The depth of color comes from the fact that the wool has dark brown in the mix. All nine shades we’re carrying have a delicious warmth to them. This is the yarn for beautiful pullovers, in colors that are subtle and easy to wear.
The yoke here is Wesley Bob, and the main color is Yorkstone.
To fit bust size:
33-35″ (84-89 cm): Main color: 6 skeins. Yoke: 1 skein.
35½-37½″ (90-95.5 cm): Main color: 7 skeins. Yoke: 1 skein.
38-40″ (96.5-101.5 cm): Main color: 7 skeins. Yoke: 1 skein.
40¾-42¾″ (103.5-108.5 cm): Main color: 7 skeins. Yoke: 1 skein.
43¼-45¼″ (110-115 cm): Main color: 8 skeins. Yoke: 1 skein.
45¾-47¾″ (116-121.5 cm): Main color: 9 skeins. Yoke: 1 skein.
48¼-50¼″ (122.5-127.5 cm): Main color: 9 skeins. Yoke: 1 skein.
We’re looking forward to woolly sweaters this fall using Winterburn Aran—we welcome your ideas for patterns to pair with it!
(And now that Verity’s got us thinking about the Masham Sheep Fair, let’s go! This year, it’s October 5 and 6—see the full schedule of events here.)