Kate began producing Buachaille – her own brand of specially sourced Scottish wool yarn – in 2015. Having a long-standing interest in wool growing and yarn production, and a deep commitment to using (and promoting) quality local materials, Buachaille is the realisation of a long-held dream! Buachaille is a fantastic Scottish product, which knitters all over the world enjoy working with and wearing, creating beautiful, colourful garments which will last a lifetime. Buachaille even has its own song, composed by Felicity Ford, which you can listen to here!
Where does your yarn come from?
The yarn is sourced and blended from different Scottish sheep fleeces. The majority of the fleeces used in our yarn are from Shetland, with the remainder being sourced on the Scottish mainland. We selected fine Shetland and high-grade Cheviot fleeces, whose fibre characteristics suited our precise requirements for an interesting, distinctive, and top-quality hand-knitting yarn that was bouncy and soft enough to wear next to the skin, but also durable enough to last. And we also wanted the yarn to be something that knitters would really enjoy working with, allowing them to create beautiful accessories and garments that would last over time. The result is a unique yarn with bags of character that really speaks of the Scottish landscape, and the animals that grew it. The yarn is ENco certified, which means you can be sure that no harmful pesticides were used to treat the sheep that grew it, and that the yarn itself was processed with minimum environmental impact.
What is the yarn called?
The yarn is called Buachaille – a Scottish Gaelic word which means herdsman, and which is also associated with two famous mountains, close to us in the West Highlands – Buachaille Etive Mor and Buachaille Etive Beag. The name is suggestive to us of the power of the Scottish landscape, and the relationship between the humans and animals who live and work here. (You may also wish to read this post about the name Buachaille)
I’m not Scottish. How on earth do you say Buachaille anyway?
Remember the “ch” is soft, as in the word “loch” and try Bua-ch-le. Still unsure? Just press play – Anna is here to help you!
Where was Buachaille made?
After being selected, sorted and graded, Buachaille was scoured, combed, worsted-spun and dyed south of the Scottish border in Yorkshire. The yarn processing was performed in Bradford mills which operate to the strictest environmental standards. We are proud that all of the processing was done within a small West-Yorkshire radius.
What weight and yardage is your yarn?
Buachaille knits up as a sport weight, or light DK, with 120 yards / 110 metres per 50 gram skein. It is a 2-ply, worsted spun yarn, with a light, smooth hand and superb stitch definition. Because of the way it has been prepared and spun Buachaille also drapes surprisingly well. It is a versatile yarn, and can be knit at tighter or looser gauges to suit a wide range of projects, from socks to shawls. During blocking, Buachaille tends to expand lengthwise, and develops an attractive ‘halo’ (a familiar characteristic of the fleece-types we have used). To get an accurate sense of gauge, be sure to wash and block your swatch before knitting!
Buachaille was inspired by and raised in, the dramatic landscapes of Scotland. The yarn comes in a beautiful palette of ten shades which reflect Kate’s highland surroundings (three naturals and seven dyed shades) : squall (natural charcoal grey); haar (natural silver grey); ptarmigan (natural white); hedder (heather pink); highland coo (rust/ orange); between weathers (mid blue); yaffle (woodpecker green); Islay (teal); furze (gorse yellow); and macallum (raspberry red).
Where can I buy Buachaille?
All shades of Buachaille are available in our shop.
Was your yarn produced humanely?
No sheep producing our yarn were harmed in any way. In Scotland, the treatment of sheep is governed by section 37 of the Animal Health and Welfare Act (2006) and shearing takes place within the terms of the Scottish government’s code of practice for sheep husbandry, which you can read here