Daughter of a Shepherd

Daughter Of A Shepard at Loop, London

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 flock! Image copyright of Rachel Atkinson

The flock! Image copyright of Rachel Atkinson

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.

Photo copyright of Rachel Atkinson

Photo copyright of Rachel Atkinson

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.

Photo copyright of Rachel Atkinson

Photo copyright of Rachel Atkinson

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.’

Rachel the shepherd - Image Courtesy of Rachel Atkinson www.mylifeinknitwear.com . Loop,London. www.loopknitlounge

Rachel the shepherd – Image Courtesy of Rachel Atkinson

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!

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84 comments on “Daughter of a Shepherd
  1. Irina Pismenskaya says:

    Beautiful and what a wonderful idea! I would love to make anpair of really cosy mittens for winter with this yarn!

  2. Stina says:

    I think a hat would look lovely with a shawl I made last winter.

  3. Anne Marie says:

    I would make a hat for one of my boys. Lovely yarn.

  4. Margaret Jeffrey says:

    I would knit a warm, cosy woolly hat for the Seamen’s Mission. It’s cold out at sea!

  5. I would knit a hat with this lovely yarn

  6. Chiara says:

    I’d like knitting a cozy hat for me (selfish, yes!) :)

  7. Andre says:

    I would crochet a lovely chocolate sheep to remind me of warm winter days

  8. I would love to use the yarn as part of a project I’m doing this fall as I spend 6 weeks traveling the Atlantic and Mediterranean. I’ll be collecting stories and mapping my travels in a series of handmade objects.

  9. Inês G. says:

    I’d love to knit a warm hat! Maybe with some cables!

  10. Sylvia Hopwood says:

    A beautiful background story to a beautiful yarn.I would design and knit a simple shawl to show off this lovely yarn texture and colour.

  11. Sue says:

    If love to crochet a wooly sheep with bright twinkly button eyes as a reminder of where this yarn came from

  12. Isabel says:

    I would knit a lovely hat with that beautiful yarn

  13. Rachel says:

    I love the story/principle behind this project. I’m thinking the front panel of a cushion so I can take a deep inhale of sheep while relaxing.

  14. Marte says:

    I would knit a hat with this lovely yarn.

  15. Lynne says:

    Love that it’s authentic and the smell would be an added delight. Would use it to make a pair of mittens to use when walking the dog.

  16. Judith Hawley says:

    I would knit a sheep.

  17. Maria Bennett says:

    The dark color lends itself for a great accessory! A hat, some mittens, maybe fingerless mitts with a beautiful cabled leaf design. Sometimes holding a lovely skein tells you what it truly wants to be. Thank you for this chance!

  18. Gale says:

    A hat! So cozy, love the rich colour.

  19. What a fantastic venture, I hope it is a great success. I would love to knit a tea cosy, it would be a lovely conversation piece while having tea with friends.

  20. Linda Rumsey says:

    A warm woolly hat for the colder months ahead!

  21. Louise S says:

    I would make fingerless mittens with this beautiful yarn. Perfect if knit from the top down as all that precious yarn could be used to make the longest possible cuffs.

  22. Jules says:

    I would knit a lovely cowl, perhaps with a few cables to showcase this lovely yarn.

  23. Nia says:

    I think it would have to be a cosy hat,so I’d get a lot of use out of it :)

  24. Maya says:

    I would use the skein as one of several to make Hazel Tindall’s gorgeous hap from Kate Davies’ new brilliant book.

  25. Carol says:

    I don’t yet know what I would make but I promise this wool would be properly loved while I’m deciding!

  26. treewytch says:

    I’d definitely make something that could snuggle close to my skin on a winter’s day. I think a pretty lacy cowl would be just perfect.

  27. Nell says:

    Rachel’s story is wonderful. I’d knit this yarn into mitts or mittens to keep my hands toasty, and that way I’d be able to fondle and admire it continually.

  28. Jen says:

    What a gorgeous brown! I love the story. I am already really in love with this yarn.

  29. Jen says:

    Oh! And I would definitely make something cozy with it like a beret. Eventually, I think I’d love to buy more and make a sweater.

  30. RENE WALKIN says:

    Definitely fingerless mittens ah la Steptoe!

  31. Fran says:

    I would love to make fingerless mitts so I can enjoy the fragrance of the yarn as I move my hands.

  32. Debbie s says:

    I would like to make a cowl, that way I might be able to take in the special fragrance of the yarn!

  33. Debra Johnson says:

    Oh gosh what lovely looking yarn.
    I would knit a cozy pair of winter socks to keep my feet warm in the winter. X

  34. Bethan says:

    I would make either a hat, a snood or a pair of wristwatmers depending on what mood I was in when casting on!

  35. Candice says:

    Hmm . . . Wrist warmers or headband. The yarn looks very interesting and I applaud the venture.

  36. Ignacia says:

    I would use it as part of the colourwork on a sweater!

  37. Deborah C says:

    I think this would make a wonderful pair of toasty mittens for our (usually) cold New York winters!

  38. Magdalena says:

    I already can smell this lovely yarn… And feel this softness.. I would knit a nice cowl from this yarn.

  39. Fiona says:

    Perfect description of the yarn and the smell. I would make my son a sweater for his winter months of forest school to keep him warm and in keeping with our countryside.

  40. Kimberly says:

    Lovely yarn. I would knit a warm, woolly cowl.

  41. I’ve got a few skeins of this yarn already as I’m hoping to design and knit a cardigan (inspired by the shape of the Herdwick’s curly horns and helped along by watching Alan Bates as Gabriele Oak in Faar from the Madding Crowd)…but I’d also like to knit a neckerchief or cowl, something warm and reassuring to bury my face into and breath in that sheepy calm on days it’s hard to face the world.

  42. Jackie says:

    A few years ago there was a pattern in the Knitter for a gansey wrap using conservation grade wool that was a mix of Hebridean and Shetland yarn. By the time I picked up the magazine, the yarn had sold out and it’s no longer available. It was DK and this yarn would fit the bill.

  43. Cindy Mordaunt says:

    One can never have enough hats. The colour of the skein in the photo looks so rich. I can only imagine that you can smell the straw and field of whence it came❣

  44. Suzan Minton says:

    I would love to win a skein to knit it as a Trim for a First School Cardigan for my 4 year old Grandaughter. I can imagine she would be sniffing lucious smells of the yarn walking to her New School.

  45. barbara stupp says:

    I would make some chunky mittens with a giant cable…beautiful yarn!

  46. Annemieke Kok says:

    I would love to knit a simple moss-stitch tam in this yarn. The colour is so wonderfully deep brown, my favourite!

  47. Jutta Hepworth says:

    I would love to knit a cowl, to keep my neck warm for many winters to come

  48. Julie says:

    I’m itching to make Louise Tilbrook’s Hebridean Hap, its a lovely design for a wonderful wool!

  49. Carole Finger says:

    Have already made a hap out of this delicious yarn. The smell
    of sheep evokes images of the countryside here in a big city.
    I’d make a pair of mittens The warmth and aroma will assist
    as Archie (my Westie) and I brave the early morning cold.

  50. Deborah Garretty says:

    Definitely a pair of fingerless mitts, with long cuffs so there’s no chance of feeling the cold between end of mitts and beginning of sleeve. I would choose a stitch pattern which would give great stitch definition.

  51. Ricci says:

    I’m a hat knitter through and through and would love a skein to make one! Alternatively, I could knit a baby sweater for a friend.

  52. Charlotte says:

    I’d knit a beret for the Scottish winter!

  53. Laura says:

    Fingerless mittens!

  54. josiekitten says:

    I’d knit a wonderfully cabled cowl.

    • Bettina says:

      I would probably knit a brioche cowl, mixing together that gorgeous chocolate yarn and another creamy mohair yarn.
      I would name it “chocolate and cream”, yum,yum,yum

  55. Inge says:

    I fancy knitting a hat for my husband in this yarn and think cables would look striking in this dark colour.

  56. Sally Rawlings says:

    I would definitely make a hat.The blend sounds great Zwarbles is a nice fibre as well.I want to know where I can buy one of Rachel’s totebags. Thanks!!

  57. Bordergirl says:

    I would love to knit a hat to wear on cold, foggy mornings.

  58. Liz Power says:

    Living in the Hebrides I am most interested in this yarn and would definitely knit a hat to keep those Atlantic winds at bay!

  59. Nicola says:

    I love that picture of little Rachel in her wellies!

    I’d knit an earthy cowl to go with the new dark green parka-esque jacket I just bought. The combination is making me think of a forest floor, all moss and mud and that really rich smell.

  60. basketbliss says:

    Would love to knit Forest Cowl in this!

  61. Julie says:

    It would have to be a pair of fingerless mitts so I could be cozy but still able do my knitting

  62. Sarah says:

    Some cosy slippers, I reckon, maybe to practise my fairisle knitting!

  63. Alicia says:

    I would love to make a pair of mittens to wear to work to show one of my pupils who keeps his own flock of Zwartbles.

  64. asteride says:

    Thank you for presenting this beautiful yarn! I would knit a hat as a gift for my husband. I’m sure he would be really happy with that!

  65. Giulia says:

    A lovely scarf for the man in my life! So warm and cozy.

  66. Caroline says:

    I would knit a slouchy hat, with a lovely pom pom on top!

  67. Gea G. says:

    Such a beautiful yarn! I love the darker one. Great for a marvelous cowl to keep me warm this winter.

  68. Johanna says:

    A pair of ‘Woodland Tales’ mittens would be great in this yarn!

  69. Adriana says:

    Definitely something with cables! Maybe a cowl or mittens!

  70. Mit says:

    It’s got to be a hap!

  71. Caroline Barnard says:

    Fingerless mittens with cables. I walk to work across The Downs in Bristol each morning and evening and the weather comes in sideways!! Warm,toasty mitts with a heavenly aroma will keep me going xx

  72. AnneS says:

    I would make a convertible pair of mitts.

  73. Jan Parry-Jones says:

    Boot toppers ready for winter. Soo warm!

  74. Laura says:

    It would have to be turned into a snuggly cowl. It would keep me warm, but I’d also get to breath in the Sheepy smell every time I wore it and be able to dream of spring/summer coming.

  75. Lil says:

    Don’t know yet, but for sure contemplating and maybe use it in a westknits pattern

  76. Maggie says:

    The wool looks as lovely and interesting as the story behind it. There is something so evocative about the scent of ‘proper’ wool. Thank you Rachel for your labour and all good wishes for your new endeavour

  77. Tracey says:

    It would be lovely to win one of these skeins so that long after, I can easily recall my July in London, 2016:)

  78. Susie Collins says:

    I would love to knit some mitten with this lovely yarn.

  79. Christine says:

    Rachel’s story is wonderful. For her yarn, I would love to make a cardigan with either cable or a simple tight garter stitch to keep me warm on a cold winter day.

  80. Michaela Tarlton says:

    I would like to make a crochet pot/basket- perfect wool I think !

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