Embrace the Neps!

Each day I’m working at Uist Wool a moment arrives, usually midway through the afternoon, when I need to get out of my office chair and go wandering onto the Mill floor, or up to the Wool Shed, or even to go and feed the cows on the croft here at Scotvein.

Dana MacPhee, Director at Uist Wool, in the Cow Shed
Dana MacPhee, Director at Uist Wool, in the Scotvein Cow Shed – wearing a Harris Tweed Workwear smock made from a heavier 8.5cut Uist Wool yarn.  Woven by Taobh Tuath Tweeds in Harris and designed/made by Netty Sopata of Diggory Brown in Ness, Isle of Lewis.  Hat made from Uist Wool aran yarn hand-dyed by Catherine Sclater of Travelling Yarns and knitted by Linda Johnson of Benbecula.  Practical garments for the croft!

(There’s something rather equalising in your work day about shovelling manure off a shed floor.  It gives me a break from the office and the cows get fed and fresh bedding for the night ahead.  Three beautiful black Dexter cows in case you were wondering and very friendly to people who do their housekeeping.)

But I never tire of taking a few minutes to go down onto the Mill floor and see what magic is taking place with our wool.  Today is no different.  Carding and spinning a mocha blend of Scottish Bowmont (for ease of definition we often refer to the fibre as Scottish Merino).  The yarn range will be launching early in 2017 and we’re getting really excited about sharing these beauties with you.

Scottish Bowmont blend approaching the feed-in roller of the Card.
Scottish Bowmont blend approaching the feed-in roller of the Card.

Our Card produces a neppy finish with this type of wool and gives a terrific texture to the final yarn.  I can’t resist giving a gentle squeeze to the full bobbins as they wait to be placed on the spinning frame.

Bobbins filled with carded fibre
Bobbins of Scottish Bowmont slubbing reveal the neppy nature of the yarn.

I love neps.  Big fan of them.  There may be purists out there who abhor their existence but for me they add an extra third dimension to the yarn ‘3D+’ maybe I’ve just invented a term?   Something about the sculptural texture and random shading appeals to my soul and I want to see the yarn evolve into a form that I can wear, hug, wrap or cover-up under if the world gets too frantic.

Skeins of yarning hanging on a stand
Skeins of Scottish Bowmont yarn getting prepped for their debut in early 2017.

Off to see the cows now – Hoover, Tina and Duo.

5 thoughts on “Embrace the Neps!

  1. OH NO – how can you dangle 4ply yarn made from neppy coloured Bowmont and not make it available for me instantly. My fingers are itching with desire….

  2. Thank you for this ! I am new and discovered neos and was franticly wondering how to avoid them!!! I will now embrace them!!

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