Swatchbook – Swatch no. 3

Lyonesse 4-ply and DK by Blacker Yarns

I don’t think I every fell in love with yarn this quickly as I did with this. Lyonesse is a 50/50 wool and linen blend and it is a match made in heaven. I had worked with a linen and cotton blend before but the fabric was not half as nice as the swatches I made from the Lyonesse 4-ply and DK.

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The wool used in this blend is a Falkland Corriedale/Merino which is a soft white fibre. In  combination with linen, it gives the yarn a degree of softness and ‘memory’. The linen provides the yarn with definition and strength. The yarn is worsted spun which gives it a soft and smooth finish and results in drapery fabric. Overall, the yarn is light and knits up beautifully.

Lyonesse is available in 4-ply and DK, and around 15 colours to choose from. Due to the different fibre the dye is taken on slightly differently and the result is a lovely subtle colour difference. I got two different colour Citrine and Lapis. The colour variation is more noticeable in the latter. The yarn comes in 50 g balls and the 4-ply as about 175 m and the DK 110 m.

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I made four swatches in total, two from each yarn and I think I favour the 4-ply a little more. But let me tell you about the swatches. All swatches were knitted flat. I used 3 mm (US 3) needles for the 4-ply and 4 mm  (US 6) needles for the DK. I made a stockinette swatch with garter border for each yarn. The stockinette swatches show beautiful stitch definition and the fabric has a lovely drape and stretch to it. I got a gauge of 24 sts and 32 rows over 10 cm/4″ for the 4-ply and 20 sts and 28 rows over 10 cm/4″ for the DK.

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Next I made a garter stitch swatch form the 4-ply and I think it is my favourite swatch of the four. The fabric just feels amazing and the garter stitch really brings out the subtle colour variations of the yarn. Because it is 4-ply the ridges aren’t too big either and just give great texture to the fabric. The gauge I got was 24 sts and 44 rows over 10 cm/4″.

The last swatch I knitted was to see how the yarn would behave with structures (and also to finally knit a swatch from Norah Gaughan’s Knitted Cable Sourcebook). I knitted one repeat of the Fancy Double O pattern on a purl background and think the result is quite good. The cables aren’t as crisp and don’t stand out as much as they do with a yarn that is purely wool but I think the definition of the stitches is still very good. It appears to be a bit of a ‘softer’ cable but I think I quite like the look of it.

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I blocked all swatches and would also do so if I made a project out of the Lyonesse. It just gave the yarn the opportunity to relax into its shape and made the fabric feel nicer (at least to me).

Knitting the swatches gave me tons of ideas for spring/summer things to knit with it and I hope to be able to turn some into reality. With a yarn this nice it would be a shame to not have something in your wardrobe made from it.

P.S. To learn more about Blacker Yarn, the company who makes this yarn, you can check out their website or read my first Swatchbook post which also featured a yarn from Blacker Yarns.

 

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