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  • Writer's pictureJessica Steer

Which yarn base should you choose?

Here at The Rushlade Wool Company we have 3 yarn bases. Each one is created from the wool of a different breed of sheep, specifically for its unique characteristics. To make the most out of your project you need to choose a yarn base that is best suited to the end result. To help you make your decision we have create this short guide.

Our Bases: Merino, Dartmoor Merino and Masham



The Facts: A super fine fibre makes this yarn incredibly soft and won’t give you that itchy feeling of a coarser fibre.

Perfect for: Jumpers, hats, scarves, babies and people with sensitive skin.

Natural Colour: Cool White

Yarn Weights available: DK

Dyed/Undyed: Both for sale in our online shop at

Our Merino yarns are a sumptuous full yarn. Merino is the SOFTEST of the yarns so it is fantastic for anything that you are going to be wearing against the skin or for anyone with more sensitive skin. It's a relatively dense yarn with great elasticity which makes it the perfect choice for jumpers and hats that you want to feel are giving you a warm hug!



The Facts: Not quite as soft as the pure Merino wool but still very soft and wonderful! More hard wearing than the pure and less prone to felt and pill.

Perfect for: Jumpers, hats, scarves and socks.

Natural Colour: Warm White

Yarn Weights available: DK and Aran

Dyed/Undyed: Both for sale in our online shop at

The Dartmoor Merino yarn is from a crossbreed, it isn’t a blend. The wool maintains much of the characteristics of the Merino but it is a bit more hard wearing, less prone to felt so a better option for knits such as socks. The Dartmoor adds in a bit more lustre in trade for a some of the softness but it is quite a subtle shift. At time of writing this is available in a Aran weight as well as DK, dyed and natural skeins.



The Facts: A lustrous yarn, the Masham has a lovely shine and completed piece will have a lovely drape.

Perfect for: Shawls, blankets, waterfall necklines.

Natural Colour: Warm White

Yarn Weights available: DK

Dyed/Undyed: Both for sale in our online shop at

Masham yarn has a beautiful lustre so it shines, dyed yarn colours pop out much stronger than the other bases and its drape is fantastic. These characteristics make the Masham perfect for shawls and garments with a waterfall because they will have great movement and hang.


The Spin

All of our DK yarns are spun to a 3/12YSW, Aran is 4/12YSW. Different breeds and wools produce a different result depending on its fibre characteristics. Every yarn is sold with a description of its meterage so always worth comparing these and noting it against any patterns you may be planning. When your yarn arrives we would always recommend knitting a test swatch.

Machine Knitting - Can I use your yarns on a knitting machine?

We put all of our DK yarns through a Brother KH260 Machine and ribber. A wax disc is a must. The Merino and Dartmoor Merinos handle the best through the machine, the Masham can be a bit strong for the mechanism but with care can definitely knit well on a machine.

All of our yarns are available in our online store at alongside a range of raw fleece, knitted items and sheepskins. Everything is direct from farm, all in our own wool here in Devon.

Thank you for reading our guide to yarn Blog, have a look at our other blogs to find out more about the farm and what we produce here in the Dartmoor National Park, Devon.

Jess, The Rushlade Wool Company


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