Blogtober 2023 : Day 6 – Future Dreams yarn

I’ve got something lovely and yarny to talk to you about today!

West Yorkshire Spinners, my favourite yarn company (Have I ever mentioned that before?  I’m not sure 🙂 ) has brought out lots of new yarns for the autumn and you can see them on their website, but the one that really caught my eye was this one:

A ball of yarn in shades of pink and neon green

It’s called Future Dreams and it’s been developed in association with a breast cancer charity called Future Dreams, and WYS will be donating £1 from the sale of every ball to the charity.

One of the (many) reasons that I love WYS is that their values match mine very well, and this is not the first time that they’ve associated one of their yarns with a charity or a social project.  They make a donation to the mental health charity Mind with every sale of their Retreat yarn and they help to support the Shetland croft community through sales of The Croft yarn.  Breast cancer is something that affects a huge number of people every year, most of them women, and many of those will also be knitters so it’s not a surprise that WYS should choose to support a breast cancer charity to help give back to their wider yarn community as well as all the other people whose lives are turned upside down by a diagnosis.

I must say that I’d never heard of Future Dreams before this yarn came along.  I’m incredibly fortunate that out of all the illnesses that have touched our family over the years, breast cancer has not been one of them, but for those who find themselves in that scary situation, Future Dreams is an incredible place both on and offline to make sure that people know they are not alone.  The charity’s mission is to provide practical, physical and emotional support for those diagnosed with breast, to fund vital secondary breast cancer research and to promote breast health awareness.  That’s a big mission, and when you look at the website you can see that their support is extensive: there’s information to help people from diagnosis through treatment and surgery – there’s even a glossary page and what a thoughtful, useful thing that is.  Anybody who has been diagnosed with any illness knows that the words used by medical staff can be as incomprehensible and frightening as the thought of what’s to come, so being able to understand what you’ve been told is an immediate way to turn down the volume of fear just a little.

Along with the information on the website, there are classes and workshops that you can either attend online or in person at the Future Dreams House in Kings Cross, London.  They range from community groups, writers’ groups, a monthly yarn therapy knitting group and other creative activities to physical exercise (with online classes too!) and mental well-being, and very practical classes such as mastectomy show and tell, and using head wraps instead of wigs.  There are weekly introductions to the House during “tea and tour” sessions too, so you can get to know the place before attending classes if you feel that would be helpful.  There’s a special section for friends and families too, because a breast cancer diagnosis doesn’t just affect one person.

I’ve got to say that it makes my heart so happy to know that I am associated with a company that would choose to support a safe place for people with a breast cancer diagnosis like Future Dreams.  I can’t imagine how scary it must be to find out that you have breast cancer, but after looking at the website and talking to Danielle, WYS’s Business Development Manager and seeing how inspired she is by the organisation, I can see that Future Dreams offers a way to help keep you afloat at a time when it feels like you are surely going to drown.

You can watch a video about the yarn therapy group at the Future Dreams House by clicking this photo:

So now, having told you about the charity that the yarn is supporting, let me tell you a bit more about the yarn.

It’s a Colour Lab DK yarn so that means that it’s 100% wool.  There’s a Makealong to go with the yarn and WYS have produced two patterns (one knit, one crochet) for flowers which can be made with the yarn and then sent to be part of a Future Dreams display in Spring 2024.

The patterns are both printed on the inside of the ball band, or you can download a copy for free from the WYS website here, and there are also video tutorials for both of the patterns on the same website page.

Of course, you don’t have to make flowers with the yarn if you don’t want to – it’s a ball of DK yarn so you can make anything you want with it, including socks!  There’s a free Basic 8ply (DK) Socks pattern right here on the blog which would work beautifully with this yarn!  What I would say, though, is that because Colour Lab is 100% wool then unless you intend to make sofa or snuggly socks with it, I would use a sock yarn contrast for the heels and toes to make it more hardwearing.  I made a pair of Colour Lab socks when the yarn first came out and the heel wore through quite quickly – and that was a surprise to me as I usually poke my toes through my socks! 🙂   You could use leftover 4ply yarn held double and that would work nicely as a contrast and make your socks more sturdy.  There are a few WYS Signature 4ply colours that would work with this if you have any in your stash, and because I do know that there are other yarn manufacturers around, you could use one of their colours instead 😉

It would make good socks, wouldn’t it?

A striped knitting sample in shades of pink and neon green

The Future Dreams yarn is available from WYS stockists and many of the yarn shops that stock it have been organising fundraising and knit n natter sessions around the yarn and making the flowers.  Don’t be put off from going if you don’t want to make flowers – I’m sure everyone would agree that being with like-minded yarny people is far more important that what you’re actually making.  In fact, I can honestly say that I spend more time unpicking what I’ve knitted at a knit n natter group than knitting it because I’m too busy chatting!

So what do you think?  Do you like it?  I’d love to know your thoughts on the yarn and what you might choose to make with it!



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11 Responses

  1. Gretchen Hrusovsky says:

    Oh my gosh I can’t believe I forgot it was Blogtober until number 6 showed up in my inbox . .. . . so I had a lovely binge of all 6 at once. Hoping I can get my old brain in gear for the rest of the month (I am looking forward to a nice Winwick Mum treat every morning here on in!)

    • Kathryn says:

      I saw this online yesterday & thought what beautiful colours.
      My friend has just had 6 months of Breast Cancer treatment, with positive outcome so far.
      How many flowers do you think a ball of wool would make?
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the wool for socks too. Very much appreciated. Kath x

  2. Susan Rayner says:

    I love the concept of Future Dreams and wish we had known about it when my sister was diagnosed just before Covid hit – she went through a double mastectomy, chemo and radiotherapy with no support at all, her husband now allowed to go into the hospital with her or attend any doctor’s appointments – no wigs available, no after care at all – if only we had known.
    But the wool is lovely and I will certainly be getting some for such a great cause.
    Thank you for telling us about it. I love WYS.

  3. Jayne says:

    My mum has just had the all clear after a mastectomy and further surgery.
    I’ll be buying this yarn to knit her some socks, even though iv only ever used sock yarn-wish me luck !

  4. Jennifer Goodman says:

    my late mother in law also had breast cancer and it was a long fight but she won the battle. I think it is wonderful that a yarn company would support women in this manner.
    here in Oklahoma we are finally getting a taste of fall, the feed store here has bales of hay mostly for the ” city folks” to decorate for Halloween and fall decorations. wheat farmers mostly here.
    looking forward to tomorrows blog post. have a wonderful day

  5. Maxine Togneri says:

    I bought it yesterday. I’m going to try weaving it into a scarf for the winter. What beautiful colours and what an amazing cause

  6. Geraldine Preece says:

    Christine you express yourself beautifully, straight to the heart, it’s always a pleasure to read what you have to say. Gorgeous colour.

  7. Anne says:

    When I clicked on the video to watch the yarn group therapy it just takes you to a page listing your various blogs – no video.
    Very interest article about the Charity and its work. Thank Christine for the info and what a gorgeous ball of yarn to support them.

  8. jane says:

    I bought this yarn and their Christmas 4ply and Jay while visiting the Uk this month. I went into a beautiful LYS called the Yarn Dispensary in Faversham Kent. I was so carried away with all the yarns I did not notice it was DK until I got home. I will knit socks with it anyway. Thanks for the tip about using contrast yarn with nylon to make them more durable.

    • winwickmum says:

      I think that the Future Dreams yarn would also look fabulous as a cowl or a hat if either of those ideas take your fancy. I’ve got cowl patterns on the blog but you’d need to reduce the number of stitches quite considerably from 4ply so it may be better to look online instead 🙂 xx

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