Diary of a Design: Day X

I’ve forgotten what day I’m on, but things are progressing well after a crazy month. I have booked a photo shoot for next week, but I have a bit of catching up to do. My front is complete, and the front and back have both been blocked.
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When I was making the front, I decided to make the neckline wider and this had the knock-on effect of making the shoulders narrower, so I frogged back some if the back and redid the shoulders. No biggie. I pinned the pieces together with safety pins and had a little try. I’m loving it so far.

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I also have half a sleeve

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Sorry about the woeful lighting, I’m blogging this from my local swimming pool!
All that’s left to do is the other sleeve and a half, sew it up and the neckline. Getting there! Need to get cracking with my knitmas gift too, so plenty of knitting for the month!
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New Yarn Alert: Westcountry Tweed

My grapevine tells me that Blacker Yarns have a new yarn coming out next month, November 14th.

It’s a DK weight yarn, coming in 4 colours: natural grey, heathery-purple, denimy-blue and sagey-green. It’s a small palette, but I think all the colours are going to work well together. Definitely that green and purple would look great together, and I can easily imagine a fab cabled man’s jumper in the blue.

I haven’t had any in my hands (yet), so I looked up the sheep breed information to get an idea of how it will feel.

The yarn is a blend of

Teeswater (actually, a crossbreed thereof) – staple length: 20-30cm; fibre diameter: 32-36 microns

and Welsh Black Mountain – staple length: 8-10cm; fibre diameter: 48-56 microns

by comparison:

Merino – staple length:~10cm; fibre diameter: ~15-25 microns

Corriedale – staple length: ~9-15cm; fibre diameter: 24-31 microns

Shetland – staple length: ~8-9cm; fibre diameter: 25-35 microns (10-20 for neck wool)

Staple length will tell you how long the fibres are in the yarn, and how much twist the yarn needs to hold together (longer fibres mean less twist). Fibre length also contributes to the strength of the knitted garment. Larger diameter fibres are also stronger, though they don’t tend to feel as soft. The larger diameter fibres are also harder wearing, but fewer people can wear them next to the skin.

So my best guess is that Westcountry Tweed will make great hats and cowls, and winter jumpers. It’ll look and feel good for many years, and while I might not use it for baby gifts, I reckon it’s going to be perfect for keeping warm when it matters, for a gift that will keep on giving. I’m actually thinking house-warming and wedding blankets. I will let you know when I get a chance to try it!

What is really interesting about the yarn though is that both sheep are rare breeds, from farms that are less than 100 miles from the mill, and Blacker yarns are continuing to do what they do best, bringing us great British yarns that celebrate the qualities of native and lesser-known breeds.

Keep your eyes peeled on their website for more news: www.blackeryarns.co.uk