Choosing the right yarn to knit up your vintage pattern takes time and effort and most of the enquiries I get are about which wool to use, so I got geekily excited when I heard that vintage knit queen, designer and author Susan Crawford was about to launch her own brand of wool to accompany her Stitch In Time series of books. I caught up with her at its grand unveiling at Unravel in Farnham – she’d only received the first batch that week and was thrilled with the result. Me too when I got it home … I knitted up a sample to find that it combines softness with strength beautifully and lives up to its description: soft handling, great stretch and excellent stitch definition.
Excelana is produced in conjunction with Devon-based John Arbon of Fibre Harvest and is 100% British wool, spun from the fleece of the North Devon Exmoor Blueface and the Blue Faced Leicester (I love sheep names). At present only the 4-ply is available, but DK, Aran and a unique 3-ply are also in the pipeline, with the promise of more shades to accompany the existing vintage-inspired palette of eight colours.