Mythral, Stansborough’s new yarn

Quite a while ago, I posted that Wellington-based Stansborough were producing a knitting yarn.  Well, the time has come, and this week, Cheryl excitedly emailed me to let me know that the first batch of Mythral had arrived!

Would I like to drop by to pick up a sample?  Oh boy!  Would I!??

Dear readers, meet Mythral, Royal Lambs.  It’s the first instalment of two varieties of knitting yarn that have been spun especially for us lucky knitters!!  The second variety (due to arrive in about three – four weeks) is also called Mythral, but is in 100% wool from the mature sheep.

I’ve posted the details of this yarn on my page about Stansborough.  However, to save you the trouble of clicking through for the time being, Mythral’s details are as follows:

Mythral, 8 ply (DK)
100% New Zealand Stansborough Grey wool
Tension (gauge): 21s x 30r over 10cm on 3.75 – 4mm needles
50g balls, 104m (113yd)

100% wool:  Kokako (grey), Rata (red), Kakariki (green), Takahe (blue) and Manuka (pink)

Royal Lambs (pictured above.  This yarn is the lambswool of the same sheep.  It’s of a darker natural grey than the 100% wool and the colours are therefore deeper):  Royal Kokako (grey), Royal Rata (red), Royal Kakariki (green) and Royal Takahe (blue).

I think it’s going to be a winner!


Mythral, in 100% New Zealand Stansborough Grey wool, has been woolen spun and processed in New Zealand, especially for hand knitting.

It does not contain any of the milling oil found in the original, limited-release prototype yarn from this brand.

The ‘Stansborough Grey’ sheep is a longwool sheep and produces a yarn that is soft, very silky and much more lustrous than the ‘average’ wool yarn that you’re used to.  It really is a different knitting experience.

If you are familiar with the yarn from the British Wensleydale sheep (a longwool breed), you’ll get an idea of what this yarn is like.  It has beautiful draping qualities, superior strength, durability and lustre.  It literally shimmers in the light!

I started a sample swatch in this yarn today and have already fallen in love with it.  I love that the yarn is not bleached, and that the naturally grey yarn is merely overdyed with biodegradable dyes.  The colours are stunning. They have a heathered look from the overdye, which gives the yarn lovely depth of colour.

The yarn is soft and springy, but the long staple of this wool means that the knitted fabric will wear well, not pill, and look good for years to come.  The ball band suggests a tension of 20 stitches x 26 rows over 10cm on 4.5mm needles.  Unfortunately, this tension was derived from a sample batch that was later developed some more.  The correct gauge for this yarn is a true DK.  In my case, it worked out at 21 stitches x 30 rows over 3.75mm needles.  My swatch in 4mm needles seemed too loose for a typical garment tension.

Mythral will eventually be available from fine yarn stores in New Zealand and hopefully in the US, UK, Canada and Australia.

If you’re in Wellington, a little birdie tells me that Holland Road Yarn Company will be stocking this yarn.

A little about Stansborough

A family owned, farm-to-fabric operation, Stansborough’s products are based on the fibre of a specific wool breed developed by the Eldridges, ‘Stansborough Grey’.

A world-class operation, Stansborough designs and weaves unique fabrics on looms that date back to the turn of the century.  They produce fashion fabrics, accessories, interiors, garments and now, by popular demand, knitting yarn!  They also produce the fabrics for unique movie costumes, and supplied the elven cloaks for the Lord of the Rings, some of the clothing in Narnia, the Waterhorse, and many others.

I’ll let you have more details about this yarn as I get it, and knit with it.  In the meantime, I hope you’ve enjoyed this little preview! 🙂


6 thoughts on “Mythral, Stansborough’s new yarn

  1. Oh, hooray! I have some of the original yarn and while i love knitting it, every ball brings me closer to there being none left… i’m so glad they were able to go ahead with the yarn line.

    1. Oooh! That’s such a horrid feeling when you know you’re getting close to the end of precious stores. I have been hoarding an entire cone of Stansborough’s prototype because I was too afraid to use it and then have none left… (and then what say it was the wrong project!). Isn’t it great that fresh supplies have arrived!

  2. I managed to get my hands on some of the prototype yarn when I was visiting in September. I was told that they were developing different yarn. I’m so excited to see that it has come out. I hope it isn’t too long before I get my hands on some!

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