Earlier this month some lovely folks at Blacker Yarns sent me some yarns to try in celebration of Wovember. I wanted to swatch these and post sooner, but I got caught up in my NaKniSweMo sweater goals and then the holiday. I finally got a chance to swatch the yarns this weekend, so I thought I would share my thoughts. This was a fun yarn tasting because I had never heard of or worked with some of these types of breeds. Most of these are wooly wools. I’m used to lots of merino or many times I just don’t know what type of wool is in the yarn. These were pretty specific and were often pure blends. This first tan one was Pure North Ronaldsay. It’s an Aran weight and the color is natural. The label also says it’s woollen spun. As a non-spinner I don’t know the difference between woollen and worsted spun, but it’s nice that the info is provided. This one had great stitch definition and felt like it would make a fabulous winter sweater or outer garment. It’s not super soft, so it might require a layer underneath. I loved the natural heathered look of the yarn and the thick wooly feel while I knit it. This turquoise yarn (color=Over-Dyed Turquoise) is a Pure Shetland and is also woollen spun. It’s definitely softer than the Pure North Ronaldsay. I wouldn’t hesitate to wear this next to the skin. It’s about the same level of softness and weight as Rowan Felted Tweed if you’re familiar with that yarn. I loved this color so much. There is a slight heathering to this yarn as well, and this picture doesn’t do that justice. It has a subtle grey mixed in with the gorgeous turquoise. I knit this swatch on a 3 mm needle. I’d call it a DK or sport weight yarn. It seems like it would be fantastic for a fair isle project, and I might mix it with the next yarn and do just that. This is Pure Dark Wensleydale, a DK weight yarn in a natural color that is worsted spun. It has a bit more sheen than the previous two yarns. It’s got a bit more of a wild feeling. Something about the feel and texture reminds me of mohair a bit. This yarn seems like it would have wonderful drape for a garment. I could see myself making a Breezy Cardigan out of this because I think the drape would be elegant for those oversized blanket-like sweater fronts.This is Pure Bluefaced Leicester. Again, the color is natural, and this one is called a 4 ply, but I’d call it a fingering weight probably. This one was the softest of the bunch and had a lovely bit of a halo in the swatch. This one feels soft enough for baby garments or anything really. I love it and I want much much more of it. This one was worsted spun. I have only worked with BFLs for socks (as far as I know), but I would love to use this for larger garments.
The yarn above is a Pure Gotland, a woollen spun DK in the color Over-Dyed Plum. This one is not one I would wear next to the skin, but it seems like it would be great as an outer layer or cardigan. It has a lovely bit of sheen and excellent stitch definition. Honestly, this one wasn’t my favorite, partly due to the lack of softness and I’m also not a huge fan of the color. The swatch on a 3 mm needle did have a nice solid feel, and later I realized the needle suggestion for this weight was 4 mm, so it might feel very different on a larger needle.
The final yarn is a blend of Hebridean wool with Mohair. It’s a 4 ply, woollen spun in Over-Dyed Olive Green. It has a nice sheen in the swatch. Mohairs make me itch a little bit, so I think that was affecting my judgement of the softness, but it is a gorgeous yarn nevertheless. This would be another excellent candidate for fair isle projects.
Thank you to to the folks at Blacker Yarns for letting me try out these lovely breeds of wool. They have a wonderful selection of wools and I was really excited to try yarn from some breeds I’d never learned about before.