Kristin Ford was one of the first people I met when I moved to Portland five years ago. I remember stopping by the store to get some needles for a project, and she was working the sales floor. I enjoyed her upbeat personality and sense of humor. I worked alongside her several years while she was at Knit Purl and Shibui Knits, and it’s been an absolute pleasure watching her evolve from my fellow co-worker to independent yarn producer. Her company, Woolfolk is one of my favorites, and I couldn’t be prouder or more inspired. I am delighted to share her interview with you today.

Tell us about yourself! Did you grow up in the Northwest?
I grew up in Seattle, and worked as an architect there for about 12 years. Gave up my single girl house in Ballard for Sauvie Island at the tender age of 35 when I married my husband, who I met on a setup by a mutual client, Ann Sacks.

I’d like to know more about your knitting history. I know you started knitting very young. When did you start designing/working for yarn companies?
My grandmother (maiden name Woolfolk!) taught me to knit when I was in kindergarten. I made my first sweater in 4th grade (a sleeveless shell with appliqued daisies…a beauty!)…and never stopped. I got hooked on “the good stuff” with the early Rowan books; 1–10 or so. Both of my kids have always done a lot of sports, but when Anna started swimming, my outlay for yarn (I could finish a sleeve during the heats of the 500…) was getting out of control…started sample knitting. Then I was lucky enough to get a job at Knit Purl; I learned so much about knitting from a different perspective (and had an amazing discount on yarn!).


I’d like to know more about your days at Woolfolk. What is being a yarn producer like? Is there such thing as a “typical day”?
A typical day starts with very strong coffee and a laptop at about 6:30am. Everyone here knows not to approach me until the caffeine has kicked in, and I’ve read all of my emails. My “office” is in our former cider room, so I walk down with computer in hand, feeding goats and dogs and boys along the way; then fill any orders. The front end, which is the yarn design, is ongoing, and is a part of our collective life here. We have a big table made from a tree on our property that is my staging ground for new products. I like to look at colors in various lights, so they are there for quite a while before selections are made. Coordinating with designers is also a big part of my life. I’m lucky to have Olga helping to coordinate the collection, as well as designing. She is so strong as a designer and is so detail oriented. My web designer, Vanessa Yap Einbund, is also a huge part of the Woolfolk vision, and my representatives, Antonia Shankland, Marge Okuley, and Lindsay Lantz (another graduate of the Knit Purl school!).


Is your family involved in your business at all? If so, how?
Anna does my social media; she’s now 20 and studying abroad for a semester in Copenhagen. Rich is my business partner, and Jake…well, he built my warehouse shelves….

What has surprised you the most about starting Woolfolk?
How quickly the yarn disappeared! Clara Parkes’ very positive review appeared the week of the launch. When I started the business, I knew it was a special product but was also aware of the number of yarns in the marketplace. I’ve tried to make good design the focus of every aspect of the company, and I think that also makes it a bit unique.

You used to design patterns for Shibui. Can we expect to see any more Kristin Ford designs?
I work with my team to develop the pattern directions conceptually, but I am a terrible pattern writer. I think I’ve knit too long and assume that everyone knows what I’m talking about without adequate explanation! I love to design but not especially to write the patterns.

What is your favorite color of Tynd or Far?
Right now? The new color #13 (that’s a teaser)….but I have to say I love #8 (the dark bronze) and # 11 (navy blue) the best.

Was there a reason why you decided to name the colors with numbers?
There are a couple of reasons. The first is that I love the minimal simplicity of numbers. There is a lot of information that goes on the label, and to come up with a system that works for every yarn was important to me. The numbering system is especially useful with the upcoming marls; for example, the pale grey and ivory marl will coordinate with the existing colors 1 and 2; it will be labeled as 1+2.
The second reason…brain drain. It takes hours and hours and lists and lists to come up with unique names for every color!

Do you actually get time to knit anymore?
Are you kidding? It’s high school baseball season! The ultimate sport for bleacher knitting…long, kind of boring games, and usually at a destination that involves a road trip with a non-knitting driver. I also knit religiously on my exercise bike every morning for at least 20 minutes.

What knitting are you working on right now, if you can share it?
I’m working on a snood/cowl that utilizes the new black and white marl along with the new true black and color 1 in Tynd…inspired by buffalo checks.

What do you do when you’re not working (if that ever happens!)?
This is not work.

What do you see for the future of Woolfolk?
I have an amazing group of retail partners, and I want to keep Woolfolk in their hands and support them for the hard work that they do (I know; been there and done that). I want to continue our partnership with Ovis 21, which is such a great organization helping to preserve the grasslands of Patagonia, and to reward the farmers that are sticking to their standards. I want to continue to think about what I would want to knit, and if I can’t find it in the marketplace, to develop it as a Woolfolk product.

Do you have any advice for aspiring yarn producers?
Think about what you love to knit with; think about holes in the market, and don’t second guess yourself.

Are there any sneak peeks you can share with KP readers?
Well, the marls that are coming this fall are pretty exciting to me. Also, we will be introducing a luxurious bulky yarn utilizing the Ovis 21 17.5 merino combined with superbaby alpaca and mulberry silk; it has almost a felted finish. Olga is designing a small collection that will be released as a booklet with the yarn in November.


You went to Denmark, Norway, and Iceland recently. Can you share some highlights from your trip?
Low lights…mom’s face meets the cobblestones in Copenhagen. Nothing broken, just two giant shiners and a very Angelina Jolie lip all through Iceland! The rest of the trip was amazing; started in Norway staying with Rich’s college roommate lives outside of Oslo on the fjord; then Sweden in a rustic cabin near Molle; then Copenhagen; all of that was amazing…and finishing in Iceland, which is so starkly beautiful and full of Icelandic wool!

Anything else you’d care to share?
My experience at Knit Purl has given me such a perspective on how hard it is to be a retailer, and my goal is to help support the most important link (you guys!) in whatever way I can.

Thank you, Kristin, for taking the time to share a bit about yourself and the story of Woolfolk. We’re so honored to have your beautiful work on our shelves!
To find out more about Woolfolk yarn, visit her website here.

When we knit for other people, forming each stitch by hand, I think we all hope the finished piece will be special to the recipient. When my Grandma Pat knit a baby blanket to welcome me—her first grandchild—into the world over 36 years ago, I wonder if she imagined that rectangle of fabric would become one of the most meaningful objects in my life.

As a knitted specimen, “Bluey” could be considered imperfect. The bind-off is a little tight. The stitch pattern ends partway through a repeat. It’s fairly pilly, and it’s been mended in at least a dozen spots. The pattern is a diamond brocade you might find in a stitch dictionary, but it seems likely my grandma used a pattern booklet from the 60s as a starting point and then decided to alter the edging a few rows in, leaving a funny little vestige of a border in one corner.


As a blanket, it has always been perfect. The gauge is slightly loose, allowing the fabric to flutter and swing the way a superhero’s cape should. It is just dense enough that if you put it over your head, you can see out, but no one can see in. It is exactly the right size for wrapping up a newborn baby sister, for a toddler to carry everywhere, and for a teenager to wrap around her shoulders while studying. It has always been there for me.

In general, the fabric lies flat, but because my grandma opted for stockinette borders, the last few stitches on each side curl in. This curl, to me, is a defining feature of Bluey. It has the effect of giving my blanket not just a back and a front, but an inside and an outside. Knitters who see curling stockinette as something to battle should know how comforting it can be to have a blanket that actively wraps around you and to fall asleep curling and uncurling those edge stitches.

These days, Bluey sits on a shelf in my closet and I teach students at Knit Purl about the structure of knitting. When I trace the path that brought me here, it starts with the magic of turning my blanket over and over to see knit V’s on one side transform into purl bumps on the other. In sitting down with Bluey to record the arrangement of stitches, I seem to have come full circle. I’ve made the tiniest of design refinements and updated the blanket with eco-friendly, softly variegated merino, but our newly created version feels just right. I consider myself so fortunate to be in a position to pass along my grandmother’s wisdom by sharing the pattern with all of you. I hope you might knit a new perfect blanket, perhaps in a new color, with a new name, for someone to cherish as a source of comfort and delight and as a connection to you. If it ends up with any imperfections, remember that some day they’re likely to start looking like stories – about your life and the recipient’s – written into the fabric.


I also feel extremely lucky to have gotten many years with my grandmother, especially when I consider that she made Bluey while recovering from breast cancer. In tribute, Knit Purl will be donating 75% of proceeds from Bluey pattern sales to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. May you all get extra time with the ones you love.

Many of us have created several projects over the course of our knitting careers. No matter how many projects we make, each finished object should be considered an achievement. Lots of thought, time, and energy go into the act of creating cloth from a simple length of string. Hundreds of tiny stitches represent hours, days, and perhaps even years of work.

And yet there are still certain pieces that hold a deeper place in our hearts. Maybe they’re the projects we labored over intensely for several months, or the pieces that complete our wardrobes in a satisfying way. Perhaps they’re the projects that are a spectacular match of a pattern and yarn, or the stunning projects we admire from afar, created by others.

Here are our favorite projects that we’ve either made ourselves or lovingly admired:


From the process of choosing beautiful yarn to completing a favorite finished item, we hope you have enjoyed learning about our staff favorites. Here’s to ten more years of knitting beautiful things!

When looking for new patterns, techniques, or just general inspiration, there are quite a few sources we like to consult. A variety of blogs, books, and magazines make up many of the sources, but overall, is the ultimate source of knitting information. If you’re not familiar with the site, Ravelry is an extensive yarn and pattern database, that simultaneously functions as a fiber-based social network. Patterns, yarns, and more—you name it, it’s in there. Millions of knitters use the site as their main knitting resource, and it’s very easy to get lost in the myriad project pages full of inspiration. In addition to using Ravelry, we also like to turn to our favorite blogs, books, and magazines for extra bits of curated knitting information.

Here is how our staff members like to get their knitting information:


BEKAH: “ You can find pretty much anything and everything. And get lost for hours.”

ELA: “Fashion shows, web search,”

SARAH C: “Interweave Knits magazine, Knit Purl newsletters, Ravelry”

SHEILA: “One of my favorite books is a reference book, ‘The Knitting Answer Book’ by Margaret Radcliffe. This is my go-to book if I’ve forgotten how to do a stitch. It is also the book I recommend the most. My three favorite websites, Ravelry, and, all have fun, interesting information for every knitter whether beginner or advanced.”

SARAH K: “Knit Purl of course! But also Ravelry.”

CAIT: “Pom Pom Magazine.”

OLEYA: “I primarily visit the Fringe Association blog (updated on a daily basis!), but I also like Clara Parkes’ Knitter’s Review, and the Woolful podcast. I also have a very deep respect for ‘The Principles of Knitting’ book by June Hemmons Hiatt.”

KELI: “I find Ravelry endlessly inspiring. It’s hard to pick anything else, since Ravelry includes it all!”

Whether they’re digital or analog, these are the sources we turn to when we need advice, inspiration or to find out what’s new in the knitting world.

Please join us next week for the last post of the series, which highlights our favorite finished objects.


The daffodils have bloomed and the cherry blossoms are fast and furiously filling their branches with “pink snow,” as my son shouts. It smells of fresh cut grass in the parks and the sun is warming those much-needed afternoon walks. I feel the need to get something breezy, linen and silky on the needles. I’m still in the thick of Rowe, my Brooklyn Tweed cabled sweater, and it’s becoming very clear that this is not as portable as it once was, especially to the park.

Are you also feeling the pull to lighten your knitting bag of long winter projects? Here are a few low budget ideas that I’ve been dreaming of to carry along when I find myself soaking in the rays and still want to keep my fingers happily active in a knitting project. Don’t be hard on yourself if you’re a knitter who wants to finish that one last winter knit before moving on to a new warmer weather project—give yourself a break and let go! It’s spring— clean out your knitting bag and embrace a small sunny project to freshen up your needles. You’ll be so glad you did!

Spring Lace Infinity Scarf by Linda Thach // Shibui Linen
Have you been gravitating towards a bright color out of your comfort zone but just can’t get yourself to take the plunge? This is the perfect project to squash your color fear! Linen has a beautiful drape that will also deliver that bright pop of fresh color needed to get your spring glow in full swing! Light, airy, and low on the difficulty level.

Filemot by Hunter Hammersen // Geilsk Wool Cotton
This certainly won’t break the bank at only 1–2 skeins! The bit of wool in this yarn will add structure to this beautiful motif, as well as warmth for chilly spring evenings. The cotton will give that drape you’re craving. The colors are a perfect compliment to the spring ensembles you’ll be donning soon!
Con: Part of a book, so you can’t buy the pattern on its own.
Pro: The other patterns included in the book are just as lovely!

Mia by Jennifer Wood // Shibui Twig
This sweet little number is knit using Shibui’s recently launched Twig yarn. This top comes in a wide range of sizes and the best part—it’s free! The yarn content will certainly satisfy your spring in to summer knitting needs. Made of linen and recycled silk, it’s just as the designer said: soft and cool and with the kind of drape that is effortless.

This week, we are musing over our favorite patterns and designers. A variety of details make a pattern attractive. Most knitters are drawn to elements like clear photography, styling, presentation, and brand familiarity. Looking closer at the pattern details, some are drawn to how interesting the pattern looks and the relative knitting requirements—patterns can range from monotonous and repetitive (great knitting for binge-watching), to detailed and complex (no wine tonight!). Clearly, there is a lot to take into consideration when choosing a new knitting pattern.

Our favorite patterns reflect our diverse backgrounds and interests—we have chosen a mix of traditional patterns, patterns from long-time designers, and patterns we have designed ourselves. Let’s take a look at the designers and patterns we find inspiring.

Favorite Designers-02_new-02


Bekah “Backbay by Jared Flood. Simultaneously classic and modern, simple and interesting. Favorite designer: Boadicea Binnerts. From the Netherlands, she designs clean yet intricate modern pieces, often inspired by fashion on the runways of Europe.”

Ela “Hats—my own designs!”

Sarah C “Cowichan sweaters. My sister gave me some really old patterns I have used for several sweaters, and I adapted the one below and changed the design from an adult sweater. The tops of the buttons are bits of caribou antler from Alaska!”

Sheila Hannah Fettig

Sarah K “Stephen West! I love how he is always daring to try something different and experiment with textures and colors.”

Cait Julie Hoover

Oleya “I am a huge fan of Jared Flood/Brooklyn Tweed due to the attention to detail, photography, and styling.”

Keli “I have to credit Kaffe Fassett for inspiring me to learn to knit many years ago. Someday I will knit one of his designs.”

With pattern inspiration and some new designers to try, go forth and make pattern decisions with confidence!


Tools are a vital part of any maker’s work. Their function, aesthetic qualities, the stories they tell, and the craft they represent all add to their value.

It can definitely be said that aside from a plentiful yarn stash, tools are among the most indispensable items in a knitter’s arsenal.

With so many options for tools on the market, from homemade contraptions to luxury hand-turned accessories, sometimes it’s hard to know what’s worth investing in. How many of these tools do we actually need? When it comes down to it, it seems helpful to go back to basics. First and foremost, a quality set of knitting needles seems to be of utmost importance.

Here are a few words from our staff members regarding their favorite tools:

BEKAH: “Addi Clicks—I never need to buy different length needles, and can even use them as stitch holders.”
ELA: “Circular needles / Rockets!”
SARAH C: “Probably Lantern Moon cable needles with beveled groves—works so well for cables.”
SHEILA: “Besides my array of knitting needles I could not live without my crochet hooks, not because I crochet but rather because they are essential to fix those pesky mistakes that happen to even the best knitters.”
SARAH K: “My trusty Addi clicks set.”
CAIT: “My Lantern Moon Rosewood Interchangeables.”
OLEYA: “Folding scissors. I’m kind of a klutz, so it’s nice to have something that has the pointy ends folded away. (I actually have poked myself with no injury!) I love that they’re travel-safe, too.”
KELI: “My Ebony Interchangeables from Lantern Moon are one of my most prized possessions, period. I also get pretty excited about the Fix-A-Stitch—it’s exceptionally handy for fixing garter or seed stitch.”
RACHEL: “A row counter!”

Our favorite tools, pictured above:
1. Brittany Cable Needles in Birch
2. Addi Turbo Rocket Needles
3. Lantern Moon Crochet Hook in Rosewood
4. Fix-A-Stitch Tool Set
5. Snip-its Folding Scissors
6. Kacha-Kacha Row Counter
7. Lantern Moon Interchangeable Knitting Needles
8. Addi Click Interchangeable Knitting Needle Set
9. Addi Click Bamboo Interchangeable Knitting Needle Set

With proper tools and captivating yarn at the ready, finding a pattern that brings the two together harmoniously is the next step of the knitting process.

Please join us next week for a look at what patterns and designers have a permanent spot in our knitting queues.

BLTPortland is home to many talented makers, and here at Knit Purl, we like to take advantage of the fact that we belong to such a creative community. We constantly seek out new and interesting artisans, our latest being Gina Zahn, the owner of Brave Little Thread.

We are pleased to carry her Lighthouse DK yarn, a soft single-ply blend of alpaca, merino, and silk. Curious to know more about her fiber journey, I asked Gina to share her story and inspirations with us.

How did you get started dying yarn?

The origins of my dye work date back to when I was caring for my German Angora rabbit. My wooly bunny was producing bountiful mounds of milky fiber every shearing and I had stacks of his raw fleece perfectly aligned in translucent bins on my work shelf. It’s neutral tone was akin to unbleached linen, and as months passed I could almost hear the growing wall of canvas-colored bins shouting directly at the artist in me. “Paint me!”

My process began with much research coupled with a very ungoverned practice of experimentation. For example, I knew I ought to wear rubber gloves while dyeing, but whenever a surge of inspiration came to me, there was no time for gloves. As soon as the angora hit my hands, it was as if the fleece were melting like butter between my fingers and before I knew it, I’d be elbows deep in the dye bath.

My hands were an awkward sight for weeks. Even still, the plunge of the fiber into the dye bath is probably the most stimulating part of the dye process for me. There is just something incredibly satisfying to me about the transformation happening between my bare hands—the fiber swelling with watery pigment and mini bubbles of air tickling up my arms.

I have always been a surveyor of color, and although the minimalist in me is incessantly knitting with neutral palettes, the artist in me is relentlessly stockpiling mental notes of the various palettes that color my world here in Portland, and my hands are plucking and picking from our lush vegetation with the hopes that its essence might be colorfully translated to the blank canvas of my raw fiber.

What’s a typical day in the studio like for you?

The process begins with counting my dye lots and tying up my skeins. If I am dying with acid dyes, the palette is usually conceived on a whim. But if I am working with natural dyes, the palette would have been formulated while collecting materials. I spend my morning tending to multiple oversized pots on my stove. A delicate dance of watching, stirring, waiting—all the while, my baby boy is strapped to my back, cooing in my ear like my little cheerleader in the grandstands celebrating with me as I draw a few gorgeous strands from the surface of each pot.

When the pots are cooled, the rinsing begins. Then I make countless trips outside to hang dry my work. My husband built me a portable rod system that allows me to relocate several dye lots worth of yarn indoors if the weather is not ideal for drying. But I must say, it is quite satisfying to see the endless heavy strands slowly regain that plumpy squeezable appeal that is irresistible to the touch. And the spectrum of color draped from one end of the dowel to the other.

Once the yarn is completely dry and the kids are in bed, I spend my night winding and tagging the skeins. The go immediately into categorized boxes until they are shipped or delivered.

What inspires your work?

It all depends on the day. Sometimes it is just a squeeze of a new blend of fiber, and other times it’s a random leaf my son brings me from the yard. I wish I could put my finger on exactly how I am moved to create. I honestly just feel like I am a sponge that is perpetually soaking in the sights and textures of the good things God has given me. If only I had enough time to squeeze out all the goodness I absorb in a day.

Tell us about the name Brave Little Thread.

I wanted to capture within my name, the very paradox of the humble thread. While it is to its core incredibly simple, when given the right circumstances it can be manipulated to become something spectacular. Everyone’s fiber journey, whether it be weaving, crocheting or knitting, always involves a little (or let’s be honest…a lot) of bravery. There are always those patterns or techniques that we shy away from due to insecurities in our abilities, or fear of failure. But sometimes all it takes is a squeeze of some irresistible hank of stunning yarn to erase all doubt and infuse us with the inspiration to do whatever it takes to create. I hope to infuse every ounce of my fiber with this very palpable sense of empowerment for those seeking to create.

How did you chose your color palette and the yarns you work with?

Choosing my yarn is easy. I ask myself “Would I crave to knit on that?” Palette choosing is an entirely different beast for me. It is one thing to see the purple leaves on the tree outside my window, and an entirely other thing to try and translate that exact color to my yarn. There are so many variables. So far, all the colorways I have created have been limited edition due to this color translation challenge. I am definitely still in the process of discovering my color palette.

Any plans on the horizon you’d be willing to share with us?

I am in the designing process of planting a garden for natural dyes. I hope to experiment more with these natural color palettes that seem to thrill me these days. In the mean time, I will continue to share my fiber journey on Instagram along with all the inspiring fiber folk on that platform.

Thank you Gina, for sharing your wonderful work and story with us. You can view the Lighthouse DK yarn here, and read more about her journey on her blog.


What makes something a favorite? Through trial, error and repeated use, we eventually discover what is special to us. Once we find something worthwhile, we begin to foster a relationship with the product or brand.

The resurgence of knitting combined with the availability of resources on the Internet has resulted in a plethora of products, patterns, and designers to choose from. When there seems to be something new offered on a daily basis, how can we best sort through the options?

We’ve certainly seen a lot over the past decade. Over the years, we have acquired certain preferences. Obsessions. Must-haves. Favorites. On the occasion of our 10th birthday, we’d like to give a gift to you: a curated list of our most favorite things.

In the first post of this series, we’ll begin with exploring our favorite yarns. It’s what we collect, what we stash. We delight in the colors, textures, and all the possibilities of what could be. For many of us, one of the great pleasures of knitting is all about indulging in beautiful yarn.

Here are some words from our staff members about their favorite yarns:

BEKAH: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter, “I love the fabric that it makes—warm and lightweight, with such gorgeous colors and textures.”

ELA: Pebble Abyss, “Pebble is my favorite yarn on the floor. Colors—that’s what attracts me first and the most! Soft and cozy for next to the skin projects.  Airy and ‘sticky’ for easy knitting and gauging. Would love to have a sweater in every color or combination.”

SARAH : Woolfolk Far, “So soft to knit with, can’t wait to make another sweater with it. I love the cowl I made with it.”

SHEILA: Shibui Staccato, “I like Shibui Staccato for its drape and think it’s perfect for summer knits.”

SARAH K: Swans Island DK, “Swans Island DK is both a sturdy and beautiful yarn that is versatile for many projects. (I made the Tulip Petal Boot Cuffs and absolutely love how they turned out.) Plus, the yarn is eco-friendly and machine washable. A staple for your stash for sure.” 

CAIT: Shepherd’s Wool, “I chose Shepherd’s Wool when I wanted a more drapey yarn for my Ondawa sweater. It’s really soft, has excellent stitch definition, and great yardage. It’s also very forgiving if I need to redo my cabling.”

OLEYA: Brooklyn Tweed Loft, “This would be my ‘desert island’ yarn. I love the light, airy quality and the fabric it creates. It’s versatile enough for lightweight sweaters and accessories. It performs fabulously in stranded colorwork, my latest obsession.”

KELI: Sunday Knits Eden, Since I wrote a whole blog post on Eden, I feel obligated to stay faithful. It doesn’t really feel like cheating to call Nirvana my new favorite yarn, though—it has all Eden’s wonderful qualities, with a little added softness. Plus, it comes in a charcoal gray, one of my all-time favorite colors, as well as Moss, a shade that keeps catching my eye.”

Yarn is definitely something to be admired on its own, but it is made magical after being transformed from a single length of string to a continuous piece of fabric, with dimension and texture. Finding the right tools to work with is an important part of the process.

Please join us next week for a post about the tools that we find essential in our knitting lives.


We’re always excited about a new yarn launch with one of our favorite dyers, and Alpha B’s new yarn, Kiwi B, is no exception! I chatted with Anne Morrow about this new addition to her lineup, what projects will be perfect, and what sets it apart from the other yarns on our shelves.

Tell us about your newest yarn, Kiwi B. How does it fit into your existing line?

Kiwi B is 100% New Zealand Polwarth in a DK weight. I was looking for an additional DK weight yarn but wanted to offer something a little different than the standard merino but still a yarn with the soft hand. I added the BFL DK last year and the people I work with in the UK sent me a sample of Polwarth when it became available. After dyeing it, knitting with it and having friends knit with it I knew I had found a winner. The yarn dyes beautifully producing a deep and rich color I like. It’s a smooth yarn as it is spun worsted and has a bit of luster due to the Lincoln sheep used in the development of the breed.

How did you source the Polwarth for this yarn?

I receive the yarn from the supplier I work with in the UK. They source the fiber and send Polwarth top sliver to be spun in Italy to their specifications. The Kiwi B is spun worsted, offering a denser yarn than a woolen spun one. It’s necessary that I offer a consistent, quality yarn, and I’m pleased with what I’ve been able to get from this supplier.

Polwarth is a great wool, but one that our readers might not be familiar with. What do you love about this breed and what makes it different from other wools you’ve used?

Polwarth sheep were developed in Australia as a dual-purpose sheep, able to thrive in diverse climates, such as high rainfall areas (not always suitable for Merinos). Originally, Saxon Merino rams would breed to Lincoln ewes. Through selective breeding the Polwarth was born. Saxon Merinos are a small sheep known for producing what many consider the finest wool of the four strains found in Australia. The introduction of the long wool Lincoln to the Saxon gave Polwarth a slight luster and durability. Polwarth is now considered 75% Saxon Merino and 25% Lincoln. It’s a large sheep and the micron count is around 22–25. The Polwarth was introduced to NZ during the 1930s and these sheep are now found in North America, Australia and South America too. In South America the breed is named “Ideal.”

What are some projects you think this yarn would be perfect for?

Kiwi B is suitable for accessories, sweaters and any project where you would use a merino yarn.

Our suggestions? Hit up some of our favorite patterns designed for DK-weight yarns, like Shibui’s Shift or the Ardyth Cardigan from CocoKnits.