First Glimpse: Northern Alchemy

It’s been a year in the making and we’re thrilled to announce that we will soon be stocking our very own yarn.

The wool ready to card at The Halifax Spinning Mill

Northern Alchemy is a celebration of the farming heritage of the High Peak. Sheep have been farmed in the area for hundreds of years. Our steep hills and rocky crags don’t make it ideal arable farming land, but it’s green and lush, and sheep thrive. Two local breeds exist, the Derbyshire Gritstone (Kate’s favourite breed) and the Whitefaced Woodland (Annie’s favourite breed).

For the first batch of Northern Alchemy, we collected fleeces from the farms and smallholdings local to us, mixing the fleeces to create a true Peak District Wool (not to be confused with the fabulous Peak District Yarns!) In the mix we have some Dorset crosses from Litton, some Whitefaced Woodland from Buxworth, some Shetland, a touch of Texel, and the fleece from a three-legged pet sheep called Heather who lives in New Mills.

Ready to spin

So, what will be produced?

Well, we’ll have two natural bases (a grey and a white), a weaving yarn and, a 4ply knitting yarn all spun by the Halifax Spinning Mill.

The weaving yarn will become the first New Mills Tweed using the natural bases and colours inspired by the local scenery and Swizzels, yes we even have a sweet factory in New Mills!

Swizzels from the Peak Forest Canal

Annie, Wild Spinster, will dye a limited edition range of variegated colourways on our knitting yarn. Thanks to the kindness of Swizzels we have permission to use the colours, and names of their products. So, lookout for Love Hearts, parma Violets, and Drumsticks in woolly form! She will also produce a range of repeatable, solid colours for you to play with.

Here we go!

Northern Alchemy: A yarn from the North.

Born in the High Peak, spun in Bridlington, dyed in New Mills.

All photos of the wool and spinning process kindly supplied by Halifax Spinning Mill.

Photo of Swizzels, courtesy of Wild Spinster.

Please do not reproduce images or content without permission or credit.

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