Yarn Development

Meet our lovely stockists!

Sonja Bargielowska's picture
20 January, 2018 - 12:10 | Sonja Bargielowska

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Here at Blacker we thought it was about time to give our lovely stockists some love, find out more about them below!

 

Name: Isla Davison - now retired but a lovely person and we have retained this item for her views

Company name: BritYarn – United Kingdom - now closed

Why did you open a yarn shop?  Sometimes life takes an unexpected change of direction. I was made redundant and quite a few people, knowing my love of knitting and yarn, suggested I should open a yarn shop.  Initially I thought it was a crazy notion as I never imagined running my own business. However, it set an idea growing, and that, combined with my passion for British yarn, became BritYarn!

The Wool Journey Part 4: Wool Attributes Amongst Breeds, Natural Colour and Health

Sonja Bargielowska's picture
23 August, 2017 - 14:00 | Sonja Bargielowska

Here we look at three important aspects of fleece and fibre: consistency/style, colour and animal health.

Consistency varies considerably between different breeds, within the breed and across the animal. We can have Gotland sheep, all of which have lustre longwool, with wide variations of thickness and crimp between different animals and a range of these across the body of an individual.

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Images courtesy of The Fibre of my Being and Wovember

Blacker Brushwork - Our 12th Birthday Yarn

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18 August, 2017 - 12:10 | Sonja Bargielowska

 

One of the joys of having our own mill, is that it gives us the freedom to experiment and try new things.  For the last two years we've celebrated our birthday in September by creating a limited edition - one of a kind - yarn, and this year is no exception.  Like all our yarns the development of Brushwork was an organic process, which began with the fibre. 

Glistening Gotland

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26 July, 2017 - 15:39 | Sonja Bargielowska

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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

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23 July, 2017 - 16:51 | Sue Blacker

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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

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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!

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Introducing our new BFL laceweight colour palette

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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. 

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Blacker Yarns

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

 

The Natural Fibre Company

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