Rachel Atkinson is a talented designer, technical editor and knitter – now she’s on to her next wooly adventure with her yarn Daughter of a Shepherd that launched this year.
The start of this journey began with Rachel’s blog post Fleeced, where she highlighted the low prices that farmers were being paid for quality fleeces. Her father works as a shepherd (hence the yarns name!) looking after sheep that are established for conservation grazing on Escrick Park Estate – as well as training a fair few sheep dogs in his time! Rather than sell the fleeces he clipped off the flock each year at a loss, he had some 250 fleeces stored and waiting. As a knitter, Rachel saw the incredible potential for these wooly coats and began the process of finding out how she could make them into the beautiful yarn she knew they could be.
The result was Daughter of a Shepard! True to Rachel’s ethos at the start, the yarn is sourced, scoured and spun all in the UK and supports the British wool industry and manufacturing that she sought to promote. All with a sweet label with a logo courtesy of Tony Duncan Smith
The final blend includes a 25% cut of the sheep breed Zwartbles from Exmoor, who are close to where the yarn is spun in Devon. This addition allows the fibres to be spun together easier and gives a rich dark cinnamon brown to the deep chocolate of the Hebridean.
If you had any doubt about it’s authenticity, then the proof is in this yarns smell! There is something very comforting about the wonderful wooly fragrance that subtly accompanies each skein. Rachel describes it as a ‘signature scent of the fields, flock and new lambs in straw-filled barns.’
Many moons ago Rachel used to be a Loopette, though is still involved with the shop as our technical editor and writer of several of our free patterns. We are really proud to be stocking such a genuine product with this wonderful story – something that is a true limited edition!
If you fancy cozying up with your own skein of Daughter of a Shepherd, you’re in luck as we have one skein to give away! Simply comment below letting us know what you would love to make and we’ll announce the winner on the blog next week. Make sure to get you comments in by midnight Wednesday 20th July.
Good luck and Happy Knitting!