Saturday, September 19, 2015

Happy Birthday Blacker Yarns!

picture courtesy of Blacker Yarns
Blacker Yarns are celebrating their tenth anniversary at their Cornish woollen mill in Launceston this month by releasing a limited edition yarn they have named Cornish Tin, spun from ten different fibres to create one gorgeous, soft and bouncy yarn that is a pleasure to knit with.

Cornish Tin truly is a celebration of British grown fibres and includes Gotland, Jacob, Shetland, English Merino and Black Welsh Mountain plus mohair and alpaca to create a beautiful bouncy yarn with lustrous sheen and a delicate halo after washing and blocking.

Cornish Tin comes in two weights - 4ply (100g/347m) and DK (100g/220m) priced at £12.90 a skein. Both weights are available in a natural grey and four bold colours, all named after Cornish tin mines and all of which tone together beautifully.

Blacker Yarns very kindly sent me a sample of the 4ply in Wheal Rose Red to play with...

How beautiful is that? The yarn felt very soft and smooshy (is that a word? It should be...) but with a slightly rustic hand spun feel to it. I couldn't wait to get it on my needles!

After playing around with a few basic stitches - garter, stocking and rib - I decided that the 4ply would be just perfect for a lace pattern I had been playing around with recently...

picture from my Instagram feed - for some reason my phone camera cannot cope with the rich burgundy red colour and turned it purple...

The yarn is beautiful to knit with, soft on the hands but grippy on the needles so perfect for lace work. It's not at all splitty either (which comes in handy when you realise you're a stitch out on your lacework pattern and you need to undo a couple of rows!).

Once washed and blocked the fabric softens even further but the stitch definition is fantastic. The yarn has a lot of stretch in it so it's ideal for lace projects that require quite aggressive blocking! It still feels pretty robust though - I feel that this yarn will wear well and be perfect for hats, scarves, cowls, shawls and gloves.

I love Cornish Tin so much I *may* have broken my yarn diet and snaffled myself a trio of skeins...

Cornish Tin was released yesterday (as this blog post was supposed to be but wasn't. Long story. I won't bore you with the details...) and Blacker Yarns own online shop has virtually sold out of a couple of colours already so if you want some you had better be quick!

So - you have your precious skeins of Cornish Tin - now what to make with it?
Well Sonja at Blacker Yarns has come up with a couple of lovely patterns - some colour work mittens and two hats - that can be downloaded for free from their website.

I have also created a special pattern too, based on that lovely lace above!

The Lost in the Forest Mitts pattern is inspired by the Forest I call home. Knitted flat from the top down and seamed leaving a gap for the thumb, both mitts are identical with no shaping so all you have to concentrate on is the lace pattern, making them an ideal first lacework project. More experienced knitters will be able to whip up a pair in an evening! Best of all they only use about a third of skein of 4ply Cornish Tin leaving enough yarn for another little project!

Lost in the Forest Mitts are just perfect for autumnal woodland rambling and foraging for wild blackberries (a favourite September pastime of mine!)

The pattern is available as a free download from Ravelry until the end of September. Just click on the link below. I hope you enjoy knitting the pattern as much as I enjoyed creating it!

Finally I would just like to say

Happy Birthday Blacker Yarns

Here's to another ten years, and more, of beautiful British yarns! 

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