fbpx

FREE shipping to the UK, EU, USA and Canada when you spend over £80 | €90 | $100 | CA$350

Yarn of the Month – Amble

Amble Yarn: Eco-Friendly Sock Knitters’ Delight

Some yarns begin with inspiration from a place. Here at The Fibre Co, we are often inspired by our environment, which you can see in yarns such as Cumbria. Whereas some yarns begin as their own inspiration, somehow demanding to be made.

Amble is the second kind of yarn.

Developing The Perfect Sock Yarn

When The Fibre Co. founder Daphne began to develop the yarn that would become Amble, her goal was to provide a yarn that would delight sock knitters while staying true to The Fibre Co. ethos of sustainability. This goal lead her down a path of research and development that happily ended in the creation of a new yarn, the first of its kind.

In the early stages of development, Daphne worked with a group of enthusiastic sock knitters who provided feedback about the experimental blends she created.

This team of keen sock knitters provided her with a wish list for the perfect sock yarn: it had to be  fingering/4 ply weight, have lots of colour options, be easy to care for, comfortable and hard wearing. With this list in hand, Daphne set to work.

Using fibres known for their strength such as silk, mohair and alpaca, Daphne tried to make a sock yarn that would win over the knitters, but to no avail.

The sock knitters focused on two qualities in particular that Daphne’s experiments lacked: they wanted the yarn to be machine washable and to have the durability that only nylon could provide.

Daphne was at a loss—she didn’t want to use the superwash processes that were available at the time. Much of the available machine washable wool yarn was—and still is—made with a chlorine treatment process that produces high levels of toxic Adsorbable Organohalogens, known as AOX. While yarns produced in this manner are not known to be toxic to the user, AOX used in the treatment end up in wastewater and have a detrimental impact on tributaries, wildlife, and fauna.

And she was also not happy about the environmental impact of adding plastic-based fibres to the blend such as nylon.

Returning to the proverbial drawing board, Daphne continued to research alternatives to traditional sock yarns. Her first breakthrough came with the discovery of a source of recycled nylon that could be used in the production of yarn.  

Recycled nylon is a by-product of the production of nylon fibre used in other industries and would previously have gone to the landfill, but is now being spun into a new fibre. It has the advantage of being just as strong and hardwearing as virgin nylon, and brought the perfect sock yarn another step closer to reality.

Around the same time, one of The Fibre Co.’s partner mills developed a process for making both wool and alpaca yarn machine washable without the chlorine process.

‘Easy Wash’

Easy-wash is a trademarked name that refers to a process used to make the wool and alpaca fibres in Amble machine washable without shrinking. The Easy-wash method is chlorine-free and AOX-free, making it the best environmental choice for producing machine washable wool. The wool and alpaca fibres are treated with eco-friendly oxidants to remove the scales that ordinarily cause wool and alpaca to shrink when washed by machine. The oxidants used are sourced in Germany and are certified under the REACH, Oeko-tex and ZDCH (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemical) standards. This means that the Easy-wash treatment does not create hazardous chemicals, which is not the case with most machine washable wools in today’s market.

The yarn itself is a beautifully soft and incredibly strong combination of three fibres: Easy Wash Merino wool, Easy Wash alpaca and recycled nylon. With the help of the latest technology, Daphne was finally able to deliver the perfect sock yarn.

The Amble Palette

A range of gorgeous hues and shades are available in Amble, particularly because the yarn is spun with 2 base shades—a creamy ecru and a warm grey created by using natural brown alpaca in the mix. These 2 shades are beautiful on their own, and add a stunning range to the palette, with brights and heathered shades in abundance.

We are excited to add three new colours to our Amble range this season.

Daffodil is a cooler, crisp yellow that truly emulates the elegance and vibrancy of the spring flower it was named after.

Wild Rose is a beautiful soft pink that is very on-trend currently but will make timeless cosy knits.

And Nutkin will be a shade many of you will recognise as it was a popular colour from our Cumbria ranges. We are excited to be adding this rich warm dark orange to the Amble family.

New Amble Shades - Daffodil, Nutkin & Wild Rose

Knitting with Amble

As a 4 ply/fingering weight yarn with great drape, an abundance of shades, incredible softness that is very hardwearing, you can imagine that there is no limit to what can be made with Amble. This yarn was designed for socks, and it is an amazing sock yarn, but so much more too! Sweaters, shawls, and all kinds of accessories are fantastic in Amble.

Here are a sample of some of the wonderful patterns designed especially for this yarn.

One Sock by Kate Atherley

You won’t be surprised to see a sock pattern is one of the very first that was designed for Amble. When she was finally happy with her newest yarn, Daphne got in touch with sock expert Kate Atherley to design with ultimate sock pattern.

One Sock is a classic top-down sock pattern to fit all feet. With lots of opportunities to customise the fit and design, this pattern comes with the One Sock Guidebook, a resource that walks makers through the process of knitting beautiful socks that fit, as well as an opportunity to practice your new sock skills with the beginner-friendly Baby Sock pattern.

Planetary by Melanie Berg

The planets align in perfect orbit around the yoke of this lovely sweater. Lines, dashes, and dollops of colour playfully encircle the collar, and the seamless, top-down construction makes for a simple knit. Designer Melanie Berg says, ‘When you use Amble by The Fibre Co., the wonderfully soft fabric will make for a sweater you’ll love to live in.’

Chamomile

Chamomile by Vanessa Pellisa is a top-down stripy drop-shoulder pullover with neck gussets. It can be knit with long or short sleeves making it both the perfect summer tee and a sweater for cool evenings. It is inspired by classic French Breton Marinière tops, Provence markets and lazy evenings at the beach.

There are never enough sweaters in your handmade wardrobe, and because Amble is fingering/4 ply weight of yarn, it is a perfect layer for all but the hottest months: year round knitwear!

Chamomile is the tenth release from The Almanac Series.

Chamomile by Vanessa Pellisa

The Almanac Series

Based on the original farmer’s Almanac guide to the seasons, The Almanac Series acts as a seasonal guide to knitting with The Fibre Co. and celebrates each month of the year with an ascribed Yarn of the Month, paired with a new design launch in that yarn.

If you have enjoyed knitting with Amble, please don’t forget to share it with us! Please use the #TheFibreCoAmble when you post about it on social media and tag us with @thefibrecompany on Instagram and @TheFibreCo on Facebook when you post so we can admire your beautiful projects!

Related Posts