Wikipedia informs me that this was discovered by two German Mathematicians, one called August Ferdinand Möbius in 1858, and he gave his name to what we now know as the Mœbius strip.
In the 1930's some Mœbius designs were seen in the work of the fashion designer Madeleine Vionnet. Then in the 1980's, Elizabeth Zimmermann realised that you could work this idea into knitting and that the twist made the item sit beautifully around your neck. The Mœbius Scarf was born.
These have become high fashion items over the last few years and wonderfully oversized versions can be seen in all the leading magazines. Referred to by their other name "Infinity Scarves", they have been featured on catwalks, runway shows and television programmes.
The shorter cowl version gives a wonderfully cozy light-weight covering for your neck and is easy to slip into a pocket or pop over your head as you head home.
Both are especially comfortable to wear as they are made from one of the softest wool fibres around, the Bluefaced Leicester, or BFL for short.
The fibre is soft and fine, measuring about 22-25 microns (close to the range of merino, which is usually about 18-24 microns). The wool is lustrous and items made from this yarn drape beautifully. The fibres have very smooth scales on the surface so the wool does not felt easily and is comfortable to wear. It also takes dye very well so good strong colours can be obtained.
One lovely BFL yarn that I like to work with is West Yorkshire Spinner's "WYS Bluefaced Leicester DK”. This is a wonderful yarn and I have used it many times, especially to make items for people who usually find wool itchy to wear.
- The Bluefaced Leicester is one of three Leicester breeds, which also includes Border Leicesters and Leicester Longwool sheep.
- The BFL sheep is so named because the skin on the face has a blue tinge. The wool is white!
- They are large sheep, with adult ewes weighing about 80Kg (175 lbs) and rams about 115Kg (250 lbs). However, their average fleece weighs only 2-3 Kg (4-6 lbs).
If you haven’t tried Bluefaced Leicester wool yet, try knitting with some this month! You're in for a treat!
For more details of the Sawston Cowl and Infinity Scarf knitting pattern, please click here. The pattern is available for immediate download from the site.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini exploration of some of the many sheep breeds available for knitters to use. I’ll be back next time with a topic that vexes many people – when do you join in a new ball of yarn?
Until then – Happy BFL knitting!