I seem to be re-inventing and tweaking everything I make these days!! I’ve been really aware of how I never seem able to keep batt versions of the things I do in the shop so I’ve been putting my thinking cap on and this is the pilot scheme for the SweaterBox remake.
In case any newcomers to my shop/blog are unaware what the SweaterBoxes were – they were merino/corriedale batts I specially designed to give a great 100% wool blend for garments in colour ways exclusive to BarberBlackSheep
I’m gradually having the SweaterBox colours made up as blended tops instead of hand carding them as batts. Each pack will now consist of 8 x 25g nests of tops totalling approx 200g.
This has turned out to be a win-win for both my customers and myself (again! I should reinvent things more often!) because it should not only mean I can keep more colours in the shop once I’ve built up the collections again but it’s more versatile for you to use.
200g is plenty for doing hat and mitts sets, a shawl, a colour work yoke or children’s garments or just for treat spinning and knitting projects. 2 packs will give you 400g which I find is ample for a sweater or cardigan for average sized me but if you want to knit a larger size, spin chunkier yarn than fingering/sport/DK or use a pattern than eats yarns e.g. a longline tunic or cables/aran patterns you can add more packs to get the amount you need.
At the moment only “Ceri” is available in this format but if the feedback is positive then the other SweaterBox colour ways will follow and as they are often related colour-wise you can mix and match the Colour Collections to add more shades to your project.
Felt-makers will appreciate the tops format for wet felting and I know some spinners do prefer blended tops to batts for spinning from.
The best news of all for you is that it’s considerably cheaper too! £16.00/200g pack and because they’re no longer in boxes are lighter to post as well. Hope that’s brightened the gloomy winter weather a bit for you!!
The one caveat for those who’ve already got SweaterBox batts and want to add to them with the new tops versions, the percentages on few of the blends are slightly different to my hand made batts because of the set format for ordering. I’m also obviously unable to use my own fleeces like Welshland and Bleu de Maine so have substituted appropriate wools in their place.
So please be aware that some new shades may not be an exact match to the old batt version so you’ll need to take that into account as you spin.
If you need inspiration, just take a look at this stunning colour work cardigan made by Organisedknots.
She used the yarns she spun from an original Ceri Sweaterbox as the colour work with Atlantic tops as the main colour. And not only did she spin and knit this beautiful cardigan but also made the gorgeous skirt to go with it! If you’d like to seem more photos (including my favourite, the neat detailing on the inside of the button band!) have a look at her project page.