March 05, 2018

I love to enhance my stash and my knitting with rare sheep breeds when I can find them. This sweater is made from a relatively unknown breed to hand knitters: Debouilett. The word is that the Debouillet is near impossible for hand knitters to find as it's mostly gobbled up by Pendleton for their ready made goods. But when Clara Parkes was offered a flock of fleeces from a Montana ranch she quickly said yes. Now, I don't usually associate Pendleton products with soft wool, but Clara has ultimate knitter's cred, and she said she had made some lovely, super soft yarn with those Montana fleeces, so when it was available, I took the plunge. But wait! If you've ever tried to buy Clara's yarn in the past, you'll know that if you want to even be in the running, you have to arrive on her website a few minutes before shopping time all the while hitting the refresh button. Know in advance what you want, and the minute you see it's live, quickly put it in your basket and hit the buy-it button with your credit card info at your fingertips. Offerings like this are rare and they are sold out in minutes. Buying rare, specialty breeds can be a ruthless business! I remember we were away at the time this was offered, I think in Las Vegas, and I told my husband before we left, "There's a special yarn I want to buy and I MUST be in the hotel room tomorrow at 2PM with my laptop open!" I didn't get much of a reaction except maybe the usual eyeroll. He's married to a knitter so he knows the eccentricities that come with it!

So, am I happy I went through all that? You bet! I love soft wool and so naturally love fine merino, but it's fun to go beyond merino and try different sheep breeds. I also enjoyed knowing that what I was knitting with was different and special, and that I was supporting smaller businesses, rancher, spinner, and dyer, within the knitting community. Clara's Debouilett was so soft it was like having spun marshmallow fluff floating over my needles. It was such a pleasure to knit that I almost didn't want to finish my sweater, except I knew that when it was finished, I would get to wear it! I love to wear it! I finished it in January and have worn it many times and it's divine, soft and warm and everything I wanted it to be. It's white so I've already had it in the washing bucket (hand washed with Eucalan Grapefruit) and it survived like a champ. It has pilled a wee bit but I never mind light or even moderate pilling--it's what soft yarn does. To tidy up my fabric I use the best de-piller on the market, the Gleener

Debouillet yarn from Clara Parkes is sold out for now, but she saved some, is dying it, and planning to offer it in the near future. You can read more about it here. The undyed yarn was a bargain at $28 for 355 yards of fingering weight yarn, but this knit up more as a sport weight for me. I could also see it working well for a DK weight pattern, but you'd have to swatch to see what kind of fabric and drape you like. If you would like to be alerted when the dyed Debouillet yarn is available, sign up for her email list. I really love the yarns that she has to offer, and they always have a story behind them.

The pattern is Raindrops from Tin Can Knits. I've used this pattern before and do love it. It comes in sizes ranging from 6 mos. to adult 4XL! Here's my Ravelry project page for my Snowflakes.

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I'd love to hear from you. Do you often knit with the rarer sheep breeds?


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  1. I love it, Kristen, and now I want the yarn. Oh, dear!

    1. Thank you! If you sign up for Clara's emails, you'll be notified when the dyed Debouillet becomes available.

  2. Hi k,
    This sweater is so beautiful, looks like a holiday sweater!

  3. This sweater is a total stunner. Sooooo gorgeous! Wow!


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