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Published on February 7th, 2016 | by Merion

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Introducing Three Bears Yarn!

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Introducing Three Bears Yarn!  If you love cotton, you’re in for a treat with a new collection of cotton yarns in 4ply, DK and aran weight, and a chenille too!

Three Bears Yarn on the LoveKnitting blog

We’re always excited to meet new yarns, and a new cotton range feels like a ray of sunshine as we go through chilly days on this side of the world!  I’ll begin my review by letting Anthony tell you all about the company in his own words…

10th April 1915, now over one hundred years old,

Blackburn Yarn Dyers was founded, let the story unfold,

The story about Three Bears Yarn and how it came to be,

The history, the philosophy and a bit about me,

Three Bears Yarn was born out of dreams and of passion,

Honesty, quality and a chance to make it happen,

The dream is to put Lancashire textiles back on the world map,

The passion from the memories of cobbled streets and the old flat cap,

Brought up in an area with the old mills all around,

Now many are broken and run to the ground,

but stand still, close your eyes, and you can hear the sounds,

Besides the mills the Leeds Liverpool canal slowly does flow,

Through our Lancashire towns, where textiles is what we know,

I remember the stories from my grandparents gone by,

The hustling and bustling in the mills built high,

In 2002, I became an apprentice in the Lab,

From the very beginning I heard stories from the workers of the memories they had,

I soon learned that textiles was more than just work or a job,

“It brings people together, friends made for life” said Ernie and Bob,

The passion and enthusiasm of the textiles world got a hold of me,

I was hooked by the magic, and by the togetherness that I could see,

Thirteen years on, Blackburn Yarn Dyers have helped me to progress,

Their support, loyalty and genuineness, is amongst the best,

Once that you work here, not many people ever leave,

Treating employees well and keeping production here is what they believe,

I am now in charge of the production at the mill,

Teamwork, honesty and togetherness is my philosophy still,

Encouraging ideas of innovation and change to succeed,

And from this, producing quality yarns for crafting was a great idea we all agreed,

We hope that our yarns will be loved by all that use,

We are always open to new ideas, feedback and views,

One real vision of mine is to become part of the amazing world of crafting,

Already it seems as magical as textiles and could be another love everlasting,

And one thing is for sure, we will always give back to those that do need,

Charity work and donations are something that I believe in, not greed,

Just to finish off, why the name Three Bears, I hear you say,

Well, my friends call me the ‘Green Bear’ and it is for my family that I most care,

My children, Owen and Eden and my wife Nina are:…..’My Three Bears’

Anthony Green,

Founder & Director of Three Bears Yarn

How can you resist?! Anthony’s brilliant poem tells you all about the history of the yarn, and of the textile industry in Lancashire, in the north west of England.  Britain has a rich textile history, and it is so exciting to hear such passion for making new yarn from a craftsman like Anthony – drawing on his own experience of the industry being passed from generation to generation.  It is a magical process, yarn production – and Three Bears Yarn has created a delicious range for those of you who just love the cool, crisp feel of knitting (and crocheting) cotton.

Anthony Green, director of Three Bears Yarn on the LoveKnitting blog

Three Bears Yarn produces three weights of cotton yarn in their Affection range:  4ply, DK and aran.  It comes in 50g balls, or 225g cones – great for larger projects!

The first time I got my hands on this lovely cotton yarn was at LoveKnitting HQ, when we were making snowflakes for the wonderful charity HomeStart’s Snowflake Appeal!   Three Bears Yarn extremely kindly donated all the yarn we sent out in our snowflake packs, and our LoveKnitting and LoveCrochet communities made 2,500 snowflakes to adorn the Christmas trees at Kirsty Allsopp’s HandMade Fair which were then distributed to HomeStart families all over the UK!

The Affection 4ply is delicately fine but pleasantly sturdy too, bringing enough structure with it for openwork summer tops and lace throws, and I have no doubt that it will be popular with crochet and amigurumi fans all over the world as well as knitters!  It’s a fabulous choice for babywear, when you need finished fabric to be fine and soft, especially in warmer weather.

Checking shade, Three Bears Yarn - Loveknitting blog

Anthony Green, checking shades

The DK is fine and pliable, perfect for all your summer knitting and baby garments.  It’s good to handle, feels great on the needles and has a good twist, without any slip or split – which is essential for cotton knitting!  A fabulous staple for warm weather cover-ups and cardies, Affection DK has super drape – which works well with both elegant lace patterning and kidswear too!

I confess, I love the aran weight best – it has brilliant stitch definition and it’s a light aran, almost worsted weight – great for homeware (think blankets and cushions) and accessories too.  If you want a cotton yarn with a little bit more weight, you’ll love this!

Three Bears Yarn Affection range on the LoveKnitting blog

Let’s talk about the colour palette.  It’s clever.  There’s a good range of pastel shades, essential for cotton yarn fans – but there are rich jewel tones too – I love the Shamrock Green, the Poppy Red and Sunglow Yellow – and nestled in amongst these classic shades, is my favourite ever Duck Egg – if there was a colour to soothe the soul, this is it.  The beauty of this combination is that you can create gentle baby palettes, fizzy fun stripes  – and modern elegance too – making more complex colourwork a breeze!

All of these yarns will work well for the toy knitters amongst you too – and they’d be wonderful for other nursery accessories – blankets, newborn mitts and bootees.  The specifications matter – to the industry and to the consumer – and Three Bears Yarn is very precise about the quality of the dyeing process, ensuring that all batches are accurate and consistent. Splitting is a common complaint when knitting or crocheting cotton yarn, but the Affection range is fantastic – and the spin ensures that this yarn just doesn’t split!

Three Bears Yarn cotton ready to dye - LoveKnitting blog

Cotton yarn ready to be dyed

Three Bears Yarn also make a delicious Chenille – and you’re going to love the shade range – there are six rich jewels and an old gold, perfect for both garments and homeware! If you love the nap of chenille, this is a great yarn for anything destined to be stroked!  I can see cables and other stitchery working up very nicely with this Chenille, and because it’s DK weight, you can double the yarn for a heavier, hardier finish too.  Don’t save it for the cushions though, because this cosy cotton would work well as a jumper or cardi!

Three Bears Yarn Chenille on the LoveKnitting blog

 What’s more, we have a gorgeous FREE PATTERN for you to download!  These cute cardies are sized for 0-3 months, and will work up fast in Three Bears Yarn Affection Aran! Click the image to download the pattern!

Stripe Cardi from Three Bears Yarn on the LoveKnitting blog

Three Bears Yarn is a brand with integrity, and it shines through in their yarn!  Crafters who love cotton will love this range, it’s clean, crisp and honest – I’ll be looking forward to my summer knitting with this in my stash!

For more brand reviews and inspiration, don’t miss a post and …

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About the Author

Merion admits that her stash is wildly out of control, but has many projects in dream-form! She loves knitting, crochet, Shire horses, cake and garden swing-seats.


Last updated: February 8th, 2016.

12 Responses to Introducing Three Bears Yarn!

  1. Maureen says:

    I love the Story of Three Bears Yarn and Anthony. The yarn looks lovely and the colors so vibrant.

  2. Carole Hickey says:

    Can’t resist responding to people with passion and an attitude which reflects mine. A lovely story.

  3. lesley says:

    Will your DK survive socks? It is a problem for me to find a cotton that I will be able to knit into socks. Yarn looks lovely, I hope it will.

    • Merion says:

      Hi Lesley – yes I’m sure it would survive socks! It’s quite a fine DK too – so it’ll be happy on DPNs. I would say though, that cotton alone might make slightly more slouchy socks than usual because there’s not nylon in there to help them keep their shape – but this is a very smooth, sturdy cotton – so definitely worth trying!

      Kindest,
      Merion and the LoveKnitting team

  4. frances says:

    loved Anthony’s message, I spent 16 months in England and brought “tons” of yarn and patterns home, excellent yarns found in England!

  5. Sue says:

    Lovely to hear the back story to a yarn. I have just got back into knitting again after a few years break and would love to try this yarn, not knitted with cotton before.

  6. Kim says:

    Now THERE is a love letter to Three Bears Yarn! Not only do I really want to try the Aran as per your suggestion but now I’d like to work there too haha! Great article, thank you!

    • Merion says:

      Thank you Kim! We are very passionate about our yarn here at LoveKnitting, and when something comes in with poems attached, you can imagine the love!

      Merion and the LoveKnitting team x

  7. Babs says:

    hi love your wool and this pattern … newish to knitting could i used dk for these cardies …. would love to try it out

    • Merion says:

      Hi Babs,

      You could use the DK but your finished cardies would be much smaller. The Three Bears Affection Aran is quite a lightweight aran, you won’t find it cumbersome!
      Kindest,
      Merion and the LoveKnitting team
      x

  8. Rosie (Bedcrafter) says:

    I love this yarn and its one of my favourites when it comes to cotton :), as I use cotton as my main yarn fibre as I’m vegan.

    The Aran cotton is perfect for amigurumi, best yarn I’ve ever used for it if I’m honest and it’s my go to yarn it. I have also started using their DK for amigurumi too after following a pattern made for their DK yarn and I’ve been very impressed with the results.

    I love their yarn and my absolute favourite is the chenille, it’s Devine and I’m in love with it. I’ve already made a cosy cowl and used it on some super chunky hats where I double stranded it for a strip section and I have the yarn ready for a poncho too. I can highly recommend this stunning cotton chenille, I’ve never tried anything like it and it was love at first sight!

    I use their yarn a lot now, it’s my main go to yarn and it’s one of my favourite cottons around especially as it does not split which is amazing. I’ve also reviewed there yarn, both the range you’ve spoken about and some trial yarn on my blog too and i couldn’t recommend it more highly :).

    Rosie / Bedcrafter

  9. amanda says:

    My! a local producer and supplier. They are just “down road” from me. I will have to seek them out and knit something in their beautiful yarn ASAP

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