i am wanting to knit a jumper for my other half in a british wool, but the ones i have felt have all been quite rough, what is the softest british wool?
Most wools feel very rough in a ball. In my experience, and this is with german and american wools, they soften up a bit after being washed and laid out to dry, and even more so if you use an acceptable fabric softener or woolite. Find the softest one you can handle, look at the care instructions and do some swatches. You kill several birds with this stone by seeing how it feels when you’re working with it, how it works on your needles, what it looks like and what it looks like once it’s been washed.
I have done a lot of knitting with Patons Classic Wool Merino and it is very soft. It is from the Canadian branch of Patons - the UK also has a Patons with some different yarns. patonsyarns.com.
I’m not sure if you want absolutely pure wool, but I have a favorite Rowan yarn that I used to make a carrying cape for my brand-new niece. It is Cashmerino DK. It has about 10% cashmere in it. Even though cashmere can sometimes bother my nose, this one doesn’t because there is so little in it. It does, however, make the wool feel silky. In the skein it doesn’t feel as soft as it does when you actually knit it up.
I’ve found that the price is competitive with most 100% wool yarns(at least compared to comparable brands). I don’t know if that’s what you’re looking for, but after working with it I highly recommend it. I also really like the Rowan Big Wool if you want a chunky wool. I assume you’re looking for a worsted weight. I like Collienette Jitterbug, but you would have to double it to get worsted weight. That would be expensive (especially in the US).
If you decide to go with something other than British wool, I highly recommend Cascade yarns. It is Peruvian wool, and I really like how soft it is. If you are in the states, it tends to be cheaper, too. Hope some of that applies to your question.