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.
Their long lustrous locks are reminiscent of finely wound springs, which have become highly-prized within the sheep industry. The long-wool breed produces fleeces that are semi-lustrous in nature and renowned for predictability in micron count (fibre diameter) and fleece weight. BFL drapes well and the fine fibre, with fewer scales, makes it comfortable next to the skin. It is also very durable with good dye absorption meaning striking colours are attainable from the creamy fleeces. They have become the most popular breeding rams within the British Isles, often being bred with other British breeds to create mules.
Image courtesy of Jumaka
Our BFL lace-weight yarn is worsted spun, meaning the yarn goes through an additional five processes in the mill to remove the shorter, coarser fibres. This creates a more luxurious yarn, with a sumptuous handle – it’s no surprise BFL yarns are a firm favourite amongst hand knitters!
Our vivid colour palette is inspired by coral reefs and the animals that thrive on them – BFL was perfect for this as the brightness of the natural fibre makes the dyed shades really luminous. Our customers requested brighter colours in recent feedback surveys and these yarns certainly deliver.
Here at Blacker we are very conscious of our environmental impact – even though we are a non-organic yarn producer, most of the products we use are organically certified. Using organic products during our yarn production reduces the amount of nasties in our effluent water, reducing water pollution which is harmful to marine life.
Unfortunately coral reefs are under threat from humankind, even though they have survived in quiet equilibrium with the rest of the world for hundreds of thousands of years. Bleaching of coral is reaching an all time high, meaning the fabulous colour inspiration we have taken for this collection may not be around for long. The natural world has a great way of forming unexpected, yet beautiful colour combinations.
Image curtesy of Scoop Whoop
To get your creative juices flowing I have put together some possible colour combinations, although the possibilities are vast with the thirteen fabulous shades. This new range will launches on July the 7th, so not long to go now!
Glowlight Tetra, Moonlight Gourami and Shoal
Ivory Tree Coral, Leatherback and Acropora
Shoal, Long-snout Seahorse and Lightning clownfish
We are so looking forward to the wonderful projects you make with this lovely yarn - don't forget to share your progress on social media and Ravelry here.
Thanks and Happy Knitting!
- Sonja :-)