I thought I would start the last leg of my Blacker Breeds Jacob yarn review by including a link to The Jacob Sheep Society website. The section on breed information is really interesting; and I love that the shop includes a calendar, so you can have a Jacob sheep for every month of the year.
The armpit test swatch has been travelling about with me for four days now. It does have a slight prickle factor, however it’s not so prickly that I notice it all them time. I probably wouldn’t enjoy this next to my neck, but might put up with it as a hat.
In terms of wear and abrasion – I can’t tell the difference at all. It looks like the same swatch I showed you a few days ago – not so much as a whisker out of place.
All in all, I’m very impressed. The yarn has awesome stitch definition, and I think it would show off cables or lace equally as well. Blacker have it for sale for £7.20 for a 50g ball. A garment for me would be around £80, which is near the top of my normal price range. However, I think this would be well worth the investment. I suspect this yarn will wear like iron, and continue to look smart for many years to come. If you are thinking about knitting a pair of hard wearing mittens, or a wardrobe staple cardigan, it would be a wonderful choice. I really hope that Blacker include it in their standard range.
I’ve been having really good fun swatching with the Blacker Breeds Jacob yarn, that I started chatting about yesterday. They sent me the DK to try out in Purple Clay and Purple Granite.
My first inclination was to use both colours, and cast on for a bit of brioche. This stitch seems to have been absorbed into the realm of hand-dyed merino, so I wanted to give it a whirl with a more robust, woolly yarn. I’m completely smitten with the fabric, and want to resort to descriptors like ‘smooshy’. Blacker Breeds Jacob has a crispness to it, so the yarn will really hold a shape. In brioche the columns of stitches stand up to create that wonderfully insulative double layered fabric that we all love. The fabric feels cosy, and I suspect it would hold its shape and wear well. I knitted my swatch on 3.75 mm needles at a gauge of 17 stitches over 10 cm.
I made two swatches in stocking stitch. The first one (above in Purple Clay) was knitted on 3.25 mm needles, at a gauge of 23 stitches over 10 cm. Weirdly, I knitted the second one (below in Purple Granite) on 3.75 mm needles and arrived at exactly the same gauge. This astounded me because the fabric of each feels quite different. The Purple Granite feels a little softer, and has more drape. How earth I’ve arrived at exactly the same gauge on two different needle sizes is utterly beyond me. (I swear I’ve double checked this about six times now.) I can only put it down to the texture of the fleece in it’s different natural shades. The different coloured fibres, from the same fleece, can vary significantly in fineness and texture.
In the interests of wear and tear testing, I’ve popped one of the swatches into my bra strap for the armpit test. Pop back on Friday to see how it got on.
I’m so excited to talk to you about the new samples that Blacker Yarns sent me before the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. They released their new Blacker Breeds Jacob yarn at the festival, and sent me some to play with.
My first every encounter with Blacker, way back in 2011 at Wonderwool, involved a sweaters quantity of Jacob yarn. It was a woollen spun DK weight yarn, and I used it to make my first CustomFit cardigan. The cardigan is lightweight, has held its shape well, and has never had to be de-pilled. It’s a garment that non-knitters comment on a lot. The fit and the fabric always look smart. The fabric is quite prickly, so it works well for an outer layer.
This new take on a Jacob yarn is quite different. For a start, Blacker have worsted spun the new version. The resulting yarn is much smoother and more dense. It comes in DK and 4 ply (fingering), and the colours are really interesting. Jacobs are a spotty sheep. The folk at Blacker have sorted these multi coloured fleeces to make four natural colours. Then they’ve dyed each of the natural shades in purple, blue, and green. So you end up with sixteen shades that all work really nicely together.
As usual, I’ll start with the yarn specs today, and carry on with my impressions of the yarn in swatching latter this week.
Yarn weight DK; Skein weight 50 g; Fibre content 80% Pure New Wool (consisting entirely of Jacob); Length 110 m; Tension 20 stitches over 10 cm; Recommended needle 4 mm; No. of plys 3; Made in Cornwall, UK.
Yarn weight 4 ply; Skein weight 50 g; Fibre content 80% Pure New Wool (consisting entirely of Jacob); Length 175 m; Tension 28 stitches over 10 cm; Recommended needle 3 mm; No. of plys 2; Made in Cornwall, UK.