It’s with bittersweet emotions we bring to you this beautiful wool: limited edition single breed yarn from Jean Adams beloved Wensleydales.
Jean established the Marley Flock in 2006 to help preserve and protect a rare breed. A kind woman whose smile echoed the gentle roll of the Kent Downs, who shone with the same lustre as the fleece of ‘her girls’ – it was a chance meeting at a farmers’ market that led to us first working together a decade ago.
Last year, with the arrival of the rarest of the rare, a few black Wensleydales, we embarked upon this project to produce a silvery grey 4 ply spun by Diamond Fibres. We talked sheep, yarn production, ethics (a no-kill flock, said Jean) and future plans (knit lovely things with traceable British wool, said I) with the goal that the flock pay for their keep, development and wool production. Sustainable and satisfying.
A blend of 20% white fleece and 80% of the black was decided for the colour we sought. It’s perfect. Almost. Jean didn’t live to see her yarn come back from the mill.
Her family and I are carrying out her wishes: look after one another; continue with the farm; have the flock pay for themselves; continue Jean’s work to get Wensleydale off the Rare Breeds Survival Trust ‘At Risk’ watchlist and into the hands of knitters. Many tears have been shed at every stage including the forming of the heartbreakingly inadequate wording for this post.
The yarn is beautiful. I wish Jean had been here to see it off into the world.
Flock established by Jean Adams in 2006
Thank you Jean, it has been an absolute privilege.