Imagine—you’re walking on a narrow, but well-worn trail. You’re surrounded by a windswept landscape of emerald green hills and grey-blue overcast skies. Ancient stone walls, speckled with lichen, criss-cross a field a little ways away, dotted by grazing sheep. Over the sound of wind through the grass, you hear their bells and baas. Suddenly, you come across another rambler! Rosy cheeked, she smiles a greeting. Now. What sort of sweater is she wearing?
It’s tweed, of course. Good ol’ warm and woolly tweed.
Tweed is iconic. We see those flecks and are instantly pulled to the countryside of the British Isles. We have visions of stout sweaters and hardy wellies, steaming cups of tea, foaming pints of ale.
One of our favorite tweed yarns hails from Ireland—from the skilled mills of County Donegal, to be precise. Donegal Tweed from Tahki is one of the most quintessential fibers we have in our well-stocked arsenal—and this year, it’s celebrating its 50th anniversary!
A heavy worsted-weight fiber and woolen-spun, Donegal Tweed is naturally breathable, durable, and warm—ideally suited to outdoor wear. (Can you hear those green hills calling?) Strong and well-wearing, this yarn is perfect for sturdy skirts (like our Simple Straight Skirt) and sweaters (like our Saddle Shoulder Men’s Pullover).
This 100% pure wool is fleece-dyed, which means the fibers are dyed before being spun into a tight, round strand. Tahki has created a rich palette of neutrals and earth, sea, and sky tones—speckled with those signature pops of color. And it blocks beautifully! Stitches relax, open, and become noticeably softer to the touch.
Because of Donegal Tweed’s innate strength, it’s an incontestable choice for our Buttoned Wrap Skirt. Knit from side to side in one piece, it’s a wardrobe staple. The heavy-worsted-weight fiber lends a comfortable weight to this easily-adjustable skirt. And it stoutly stands up to all your daily activities—from romps on windswept moors to busy days at the office.
We also love this fiber knit up in our Saddle Shoulder Men’s Pullover. Donegal Tweed lends a certain ruggedness for outdoor work, and is still polished enough when out to dinner. Plus, it’s got a relaxed weekend feel if you knit it up a few sizes—or borrow it from a larger loved one.
Churchmouse Gregory (HRH of Housewares) is working on a Saddle Shoulder Men’s Pullover—in Donegal Tweed’s delicious, plummy ‘Wine’ shade! He loves working with this fiber, citing its quick-to-be-knit nature and satisfying solidity. He says, “It’s so fun to knit because you just know the sweater will be a vehicle!” Translation? A robust defense against the chill.
Plus, nothing beats that traditional, tweedy look we love.