Yarn Review: Blacker Yarns Brushwork – Swatching.

Here in the louleigh factory, Christmas starts early.  I have a stack of fun fabric all cut out ready to sew, and these beautiful Brushwork swatches have been swept onto a pile of things to do.  However, it’s Yarndale this weekend, and I’m hoping to see all the colours in the ball at the Blacker Yarns stand.  Yes, I’m planning a little purchase.  So let me tell you about my swatching adventures.

IMG_3398The first ‘swatch’ is the Autumnal Mitts by Jo Bangle.  I wanted to see how the yarn would look with some open work, and stitches moving about.  This pattern was SO fun to knit.  The first mitt weighed 16 grams, and it broke my heart to find I was 5 grams short of a second mitt.  I got 21 stitches over 10cm using 3.5 mm needles. I love the stitch definition in the patterned section.

IMG_3397The yarn does bloom when knitted at a looser gauge, however I wanted to try it on a slightly smaller needle.  I thought this would also show off a cable pattern a bit more clearly.  This swatch was knitted on 3.25 mm, with a stitch gauge of 22 stitches over 10cm.  I prefer this slightly tighter gauge.  The fabric on the mitt is a little bit loose for my taste, and I think the tighter gauge gives a three dimensional stitch pattern more definition.

IMG_3393Finally, I wanted to see how the yarn would look in a fabric that wasn’t knitted.  The pin looms came out, and I used every last yard making a couple of wee swatches.  The small swatch has just been woven and washed.  The weave is a little loose, and it feels like a fine Welsh rug.  The large swatch has been for a spin the the cake mixer.  I popped it in with some detergent and boiling water, then let the mixer run for about 20 minutes.  The resulting fabric is lush! The weaving tightened a little, and the fabric is soft and drapey with a stunning halo.  A garment in this fabric would be snuggly and luxurious.

Overall the swatches have a rustic woolly appearance, but they are super soft.  I’m wearing my shawl made from Jamieson and Smith 2 ply lace weight, and the Brushwork yarn is discernibly softer.

The second swatch is in situ for wear testing, and I’ll be back on Friday to tell you how it went.

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