Candide, our new light yarn in Arles Merino and recycled cotton!

I’m very pleased to welcome Candide, Robinson’s little brother today: a lighter version of our new eco-friendly, fresh blend of Arles merino and recycled cotton dyed with natural extracts.

(To discover the origins and details of this adventure, I invite you to read this article).

Like Robinson, this yarn is made from the wool of organically farmed Arles merinos in Provence and cotton recycled on site by the spinning mill using a patented technique that preserves the length of the fibres.

To create the palette, part of the wool is dyed with natural plant extracts (indigo, chestnut, reseda, madder and cochineal) selected for their shade and strength. The dyed and unbleached yarns are then mixed to create the colour range according to the chosen blends and spun into woolen spun yarn. 

The range includes two undyed colours: the unbleached “sucre glace” colour and the “nougat” colour which is a blend of 60% unbleached Arles merino / 10% black French merino and 30% recycled cotton.

This yarn has been dyed and spun in France in the Tarn by companies labelled “entreprise du patrimoine vivant”.

Here are these eleven colours in a little more detail and their result when knitted!

« Loutre » (otter) is a soft warm grey/brown, made from chestnut extract

The natural mottled colour « nougat » is made of 60% organic Arles merino / 10% black merino from France, 30% recycled cotton.

Sucre glace” (ice sugar) is a dye-free mixture of natural fleece and recycled cotton

« Eau de rose » (rose water) is a very delicate pale powdery pink, it is made from cochineal extract

« Barbe à papa  » (Cotton candy) is a joyful and sweet pink also made from cochineal extract

«Muscari » is a light parma floral violet, resulting from the mixture of wool dyed with indigo and dyed with cochineal

Grand bleu” (Big blue) is a medium deep blue slightly mottled with small white sequins of cotton, it is made from indigo

« Azur » is a delicate porcelain blue made from indigo

« Sirène » (mermaid) is a changing and slightly mottled water green made from a mixture of wool dyed with indigo and reseda

« Citronnade » (lemonade) » is a very soft, slightly greyish yellow made from reseda extract

« Pêche melba » (Peach Melba) is a very sparkling and modern pastel pink-orange made from madder

Note on natural dyes: natural dyes are more “alive” and fragile than synthetic dyes. These colors are likely to change over time, softening slightly. We have selected the most resistant plants and natural extracts, but we advise you to avoid exposing your balls or knitted garments to direct sunlight for long periods of time.

The “grand bleu” color, which contains a high concentration of indigo, may bleed slightly when knitted. Indigo pigments are non-toxic and even have beneficial anti-bacterial properties. This excess dye can easily be washed off with soapy water.

Candide has the same technical characteristics as Ulysse: it is a 202 yds (185 m) / 50g yarn, with a traditional 2-ply structure.

The presence of cotton in its composition gives it a little more softness, a fresher feel and more compactness than its pure wool brother. The small cotton flakes give it an original texture and create a mottled look, more or less pronounced depending on the colour. It is a rather dry yarn which, like many woolen spun yarns, gains in softness and fluffiness once washed. 

We particularly like it in textured stitches but it also brings a very nice natural and relaxed touch to stockinette and garter and gives a lovely earthy look to lace patterns. It can be used for a wide range of patterns written for fingering or sport weight yarns.

It is an ideal yarn for delicate mid-season projects that will benefit from the lightness of wool and the coolness of cotton.

Candide is named after the hero of Voltaire’s philosophical tale “Candide ou l’optimisme” who invites us to “cultivate our garden” to try to find our happiness in an imperfect world.

A new member of the DRN family that we are very happy to adopt!

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