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yarn from the meadow - may

'til may is out – cooms | fingering (100g)
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#YarnFromTheMeadow takes inspiration from the small hay meadow that we live next to. A few acres of tussocky grass, grown to be cut for hay or silage, depending on the weather, and occasionally used as grazing for the cattle that are raised on the fields all around us. Bounded by an avenue of sweet chestnuts on one side, ancient oaks on the other and with a scruffy hedgerow bordering the lane, it's home to rabbits, mice, shrews, and voles; a hunting ground for a beautiful barn owl and untold kestrels and buzzards. Adjacent to fox earths, and badger setts, and criss-crossed with the well-worn tracks of the muntjac, fallow, and roe deer that pass through, I walk it with the dog, with Chris, and sometimes just to breath in the air and turn my face to the sun. And I take photos, endlessly. Of the views, the sky, the weather, the flora and fauna, the changing of the seasons.

I'll be using all of the above as inspiration for this year's limited-run series. Two shades each month throughout 2024, dyed on a variety of fingering weight yarn bases, using the dye technique that creates our gorgeous ~flash~ shades.

May – blowsy, lush, frothy, May is the month when anything suddenly seems possible. Spring is definitely here and the hedgerows are in full leaf, weighed down with flowers, and the meadow grass reaches the top of our boots on our morning dog walk. Heavy with dew and the lushest green it will ever be, most of the common meadow wildflowers are just starting to appear but one of the commonest is already going to seed. Our first shade is inspired by the dandelion clocks that dot the meadow, fluffy under sunny skies but just as beautiful after a sudden shower... I've picked out the softest, subtelst pastel tones and the bronzed mossy green heart to create the first of our two shades this month, and called it watching dandelions.

The second shade takes its inspiration from the hawthorn in the hedgerow. Known colloquially as 'may' the saying goes, 'ne'er cast a clout til may is out' which basically means don't take your cardigan off until the hawthorn is flowering as it's supposed to be reliable sign that the last frost has passed! Changing from pure white with zingy lemon centres, to scruffy little flowers edged with rosy pink turning to bronzed amber as the petals die and fall. 'Til may is out has all the hues I could pick out from my favourite snap of the hawthorn after a gentle spring shower.

We use professional acid dyes with good light and wash fastness and do our best to exhaust every dye bath and reuse water wherever possible to reduce any further environmental impact. Occasionally a small amount of 'loose' dye may remain in the yarn after rinsing (most likely with deeply saturated shades) and we always recommend hand washing in very cool water and pre-washing your yarn separately if you are intending to mix light and dark shades in a single garment/project. 

We recommend hand washing your finished projects in cool water to preserve the vibrancy of the dye and, as with all small-batch, hand-dyed yarn that doesn't have dye lots, we also recommend knitting alternate rows from two skeins when working on larger projects to avoid noticeable changes between skeins.