baa ram ewe's Titus is a stunning, luxurious natural 4 ply with a Yorkshire accent. We've always been passionate about showcasing the rich variety of British sheep breeds and yarns that exist and often daydreamed about what our perfect yarn would look and feel like, and it’s just like this! We wanted the base of our yarn to be a celebration of the quintessential Yorkshire sheep, the Wensleydale.
With its beautiful long Rastafarian locks, this gives our yarn a gorgeous silky drape often hard to find in wool. We then blended it with the finest of all the British sheep breeds, the Bluefaced Leicester, and added another little Yorkshire surprise, which gave us the inspiration for its name.
Sir Titus Salt was a Leeds born wool manufacturer who became tired of the smoke and pollution emanating from Yorkshire’s mills and factory chimneys and built a new mill on the outskirts of Shipley. The mill was followed by houses, bathhouses, an institute, hospital, almshouses and churches which became the village of Saltaire, now a World Heritage Site - and inspiration for a selection of paintings by Bradford born artist David Hockney.
But the village of Saltaire wasn’t Sir Titus’ only achievement. In 1836, Titus came upon some bales of Alpaca in a warehouse in Liverpool and, after taking some samples away to experiment, came back and bought the consignment. Sir Titus became the creator of the lustrous and subsequently hugely fashionable alpaca cloth, which contributed massively to his success as a manufacturer. And that’s why we’ve added 30 per cent of the finest, softest UK Alpaca to our yarn, which adds that little bit of magic to our wonderful wool.
Our shades have also been inspired by our Yorkshire surroundings, blending together perfectly for a stunning palette of colour. Our 'Eccup' is named after a local reservoir, a beauty spot which is home to a colony of rare Red Kites. And our 'Coal' celebrates an industry that, just like wool production, was central to the fortunes of Yorkshire but has sadly now declined.
Our lovely Titus yarn can be purchased directly from us here at baa ram ewe, both online and in store. We also ship worldwide, so you might find a local stockist on your doorstep!
baa ram ewe is on a mission to make beautiful yarns that celebrate Yorkshire’s woolly heritage. Our stunning Titus yarn showcased the magnificent Wensleydale sheep with its drape and silkiness, and paid homage to Bradford mill owner Sir Titus Salt. Our Dovestone DK celebrates another local breed, the Masham, reflecting the unique combination of strength and softness ingrained in the personality of Yorkshire folk.
Yorkshire farmers have long known the mix of the local Masham sheep breed and the Bluefaced Leicester is a special one, highly prized for its meat across the country and the world. But blending the fleece of these two magnificent breeds, along with the drape of the Wensleydale, createssomething truly special too.
For those less familiar with the Masham, it is a lovely looking breed with ringlets of fleece, (inherited from its Teeswater female mother) but also a sturdiness and loftiness from its hill-loving male ancestry, the Dalesbred. In fact, Masham ‘Gimmer’ (female) lambs were considered so pretty farmers would tie ribbons in their fleece before taking them to market. This breed of sheep is so synonymous with our region’s wool heritage that the North Yorkshire town of Masham still has its own sheep fair every year.
Dovestone Natural Aran takes the same blend of Bluefaced Leicester, Wensleydale and Masham fleeces as our Dovestone dk yarn, but this time we have created a thicker aran weight yarn in a palette of five natural undyed shades by mixing the lighter and darker fleeces of each breed. There are also three marled shades available, created by mixing two of the original 5 undyed shades together. In addition to the yarn, we also have The Dovestone Natural Aran Collection: a book of seven beautiful sweater and accessory patterns from some of the world's best independent hand knitting designers including Ysolda Teague, Bristol Ivy, Gudrun Johnston and Carol Feller.