Blacker Swan, launched in 2012, is based on a partnership started between Blacker Yarns and Andrez and Ali Short from Swan Inlet Farm on the Falkland Islands. Andrez and Ali have now retired and they handed on the flock to Mike and Donna Evans at Spring Point Farm. Like the Shorts, the Evans shear these specialist Dohne merino sheep, sort and grade the fleeces and send them by ship to the UK, where we turn the fine white fleeces into luxurious worsted spun single flock yarns. In order to enhance the base shade and reduce the tendency of Merino to pill, we also add 8% Shetland or dark Blue-faced Leicester wool to our Pale Maiden base yarn and 15% to the Stone and Sand bases. The small amount of dark fibre increases the depth of dye shades and enhances the special Swan palette. Dusty Miller is pure Merino.
The handle is very smooth, soft and luxurious: possibly the best knitting yarn in the world! Being worsted spun, the yarn has a bulky, drapey quality and good stitch definition, which will work well for structured and flowing garments and also for textures.
TENSION/GAUGE: to be sure of tension, you should always knit a sample tension swatch. Generally the knitter is one variable but the pattern is another, depending on the intentions of the designer! As a guideline: for this worsted-spun yarn, in 4-ply, on 3mm/US 3, UK 11 needles, you will get 28 sts and 30 rows to a 10cm/4″ square, while with DK on 4mm/US 6, UK 8 needles, you will get 20-21 sts and around 28 rows. The WPI is usually 18 in worsted spun yarns.