British wool is an increasingly popular choice for knitters who want to support local industries and minimise the environmental impact of shipping yarns from the other side of the world. Less widely available, but every bit as exciting, is British alpaca, and the newest addition to Rowan Yarns’ range combines these two fibres to produce an exquisite yarn. Moordale is spun in Yorkshire (the birth place and spiritual home of Rowan Yarns) by a local spinning mill, and really captures a lot of what is great about both of these fibres.
Composed of two plies loosely twisted together to form a yarn that sits on the fine end of DK weight, Moordale has a smooth, woolly feel, a lustre and faint halo. It softens when wound from a hank into a ball, and softens further when knitted up on a 4mm needle. The fabric it produces has a good drape and a slight fuzziness.
One of my favourite aspects of Moordale is the richness of the colours. The alpaca and Bluefaced Leicester fibres take dye differently to one another. This produces shades which, at first glance, look like solid colours but, upon closer inspection and especially after knitting, you can see a subtle mélange of darker and brighter fibres. The resulting fabric has a real warmth and depth of colour.
Buckler hat in Rowan Moordale shade 008 Blue Moor
I’ve been knitting the Buckler hat (in the smaller size) from the Moordale Collection, and one 100g hank is comfortably enough yarn to make this slouchy hat plus a pompom for the top. I’m using KnitPro Zings, and the yarn slides smoothly and quickly along the aluminium surface of the needle. After blocking, the fibres relax into a loose, comfortable fabric with a more pronounced halo. A hat like this is a great project for test-driving a new yarn before committing to a larger project like a sweater or cardigan and, after my Buckler, I think there will be a number of other Moordale projects joining my queue.