July 2017

Glistening Gotland

Sonja Bargielowska's picture
26 July, 2017 - 15:39 | Sonja Bargielowska

https://www.photojoiner.net/image/MW2FtWsm

Here at Blacker Yarns we try not to have favourites amongst the sheep breeds, but Gotland sheep do have a rather special place in our hearts. Perhaps because they’re the sheep Sue Blacker herself keeps?

We’re really excited to be launching a brand new colour palette in our 100% Gotland DK yarn on August 9th, and thought this would be a great opportunity to talk about this very special breed in more detail.

Sheep and Art

Sue Blacker's picture
23 July, 2017 - 16:51 | Sue Blacker

https://www.photojoiner.net/image/sPsxfFTW

Images courtesy of The Saatchi Gallery

At the Mill we have been thinking about art - for reasons which will become very clear in the near future!

So we have been hunting around for some sheep in art… please do follow the links to see these lovely things in greater detail, and remember all artists need patrons!

A current favourite of Sue’s, as shown above and also of the Saatchi Gallery, is David Smith. A shepherd’s son from Shropshire, his images of a shepherd and colourful sheep are very engaging and beautifully structured into the paintings.

The Linen Journey

Sonja Bargielowska's picture
19 July, 2017 - 14:00 | Sonja Bargielowska

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Lyonesse DK in Serpentine, Citrine and Aquamarine

We use linen in our Lyonesse yarn range – it adds great drape, crispness and strength to a yarn, but have you ever wondered how linen comes into being?

Linen comes from the flax plant (Linum usitatissimumi), which is one of the oldest cultivated plants in human history – currently thought to have been used for the past 9,000 years!  Growing annually, flax is ready to harvest around one hundred days after planting, sprouting up to three feet tall. The pale blue flowers are visible for one day only, causing a flourish in May/June. The variety used for fibre production is taller, making longer fibres for yarn production.

The Wool Journey Part 3: wool attributes – length, crimp and lustre

Sonja Bargielowska's picture
12 July, 2017 - 16:43 | Sonja Bargielowska

Length is less relevant to the processor than to the breeder!  After all, the breeder will be expecting to show animals in full fleece in all their glory, while the processor has to sort out the fibres and put them through machines.  So the processor can rely on some fibres breaking as they are processed and also may chop up some fibre to make it more usable, particularly if it is thick and strong.  A hand-spinner might wish to spin individual long locks together and craft workers may use individual locks as part of a design (e.g. wedding dress).

A lovely example of the use of Lincoln Longwool locks in the skirt and felt in the bodice is Louise Fairburn’s wedding dress which caused quite a stir of publicity in 2009, even reaching the Daily Mail!

http://www.photojoiner.net/image/4zadflkj

Introducing our new BFL laceweight colour palette

Sonja Bargielowska's picture
5 July, 2017 - 14:01 | Sonja Bargielowska

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The Bluefaced Leicester is a noble breed, originating from selective breeding in the early twentieth century by Robert Bakewell, specifically hand-picked for their “blue faces”, referring to their very dark blue, almost black skin. The sheep themselves are friendly in nature, while their Roman noses provide an air of aristocracy. 

Blacker Yarns

enquiries@blackeryarns.co.uk | +44 (0) 1566 777 635

 

The Natural Fibre Company

enquiries@thenaturalfibre.co.uk | +44 (0) 1566 777 635