Rocky Mountain Dyeworks yarn

Last month on Ravelry, I saw this amazingly beautiful autumn colored Clothilde knit in a heart stopping blend of silk and cashmere.  The colors are absolutely stunning, and when I found out that it had been dyed by the knitter who made it, I was more than impressed.  That led me to explore more of Hasmi’s lovely yarns, which she dyes under the name of Rocky Mountain Dyeworks. The reds and greens in particular leapt out at me, so when the opportunity of a skein of my own arrived, I was so so excited!

With reason.

This is Bow Falls Fingering, a 100% superwash Blue Face Leicester wool.  As you may or may not be aware, I’m on a BFL kick at the moment.  I’m a late comer to the BFL party – it’s been one of the non-merino wools of choice for some time now – but I’m no less enthusiastic than those who arrived before me.  While not as soft on the skin as merino, BFL is a smooth, soft, wearable wool, and significantly, it is a long staple wool while merino is short staple.  The long hairs of the Blue Face Leicester sheep mean that there are fewer ends in a spun yarn than there would be with a short staple wool.  Merino has softness as a virtue, but its sin is pilling and wear.  BFL is a long wearing, hardy wool that will not easily pill or break.

BFL seems to spin up a little tighter than merino, at least in my experience, and this base is no exception.  It’s a very firmly twisted 3 ply with a smooth hand and glorious saturated color.  Oh, the color!  BFL holds dye differently than merino, and it reflects more color back, giving it some of the same visual qualities of silk.

I wanted to have a gorgeous lacy swatch to show you today, but I spent too long on it, and the natural light, such as it was today, had faded before I’d finished.  But suffice it to say that the yarn knits up well, with good stitch definition and little to no halo.  Despite the firmness, the knitted fabric feels soft on the skin.  If you compare it to a loosely spun merino or a cashmere, it will probably feel comparatively coarse, but that’s not really a fair comparison.  This yarn actually has a similar feel to Tosh Lace, which is a tightly spun superwash merino.

This is a light fingering weight, and it would work best as a sub for other light fingering weight yarns, like Malabrigo Sock.  If subbing for a regular fingering weight, it would probably be wise to go down a needle size to prevent loose, sloppy stitches, and to adjust your gauge accordingly.

I always find it fascinating how different dyers have distinct styles, and Rocky Mountain Dyeworks has a definite style that I love.  Rich, saturated colors that recall colors found in nature.  My red’s a semi-solid, but unlike many semi-solids, it’s not just one shade unevenly dyed.  It’s several rich reds all working together.  Lovely!

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5 Responses to “Rocky Mountain Dyeworks yarn”

  1. Kiwiyarns Says:

    Yummy, yummy!!! My favourite colour. I’ve been eyeing the BFL mentions of late with interest too. Merino is great, but it isn’t the be-all and end-all of wool, to be sure. I wonder how BFL compares to Corriedale? You’ve got me curious now!

  2. Amy Says:

    The yarn is amazing, amazing, amazing.

    I’m such a latecomer to the non-merino party. I don’t know much about it and haven’t knit with it yet, but my current excitement is over Cormo, which I picked up for the first time at Rhinebeck next year. Maybe this year will be my year for BFL?

  3. Jane Says:

    That yarn looks gorgeous – and thank you for the tip-off to Rocky Mountain Dyeworks. The second I saw that yarn name, I knew the dyer had to be from a place close to where I grew up. (For some reason, this makes the yarn better. I don’t know).

  4. thea Says:

    Hmmm. Must go check out the party — BFL sounds pretty awesome. And by the way, that red is to die for!! So hard to find a perfect red.

  5. Holiday with dogs Says:

    I’m such a latecomer to the non-merino party. I don’t know much about it and haven’t knit with it yet, but my current excitement is over Cormo, which I picked up for the first time at Rhinebeck next year. Maybe this year will be my year for BFL?
    +1

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