Episode 44: Summer Knitting Yarns

Blacker Yarns Lyonesse, Launching 1 May 2015.

Blacker Yarns Lyonesse, Launching 1 May 2015.

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This week, there’s a roundup of news from the yarn world, including a new online yarn store opening its doors as well as podcast latest. Enablers’ Corner sees a focus on which yarns to use for summer knitting, as well as a rundown of some commercial and indie dyed blends containing cotton, bamboo and linen. Finally, I review the new Lyonesse from Blacker Yarns, due to launch on 1 May 2015.


Yarn Shop Day is taking place on 2 May 2015 and will be supporting over 160 local yarn shops across the UK. Run by Let’s Knit magazine in association with ICHF events, there will be various activities going on at participating shops, including workshops, discounts and visits from yarn shop ambassadors as well as authors published with Search Press.

To find out if your local yarn store is taking part in Yarn Shop Day 2015, click the banner image.


BritYarn.co.uk to open its online doors in June

Brand new yarn shop BritYarn, run by Isla Davison, will be opening its doors on 2 June 2015. Specialising in British yarns with a strong emphasis on provenance, there’ll be a wide range of yarns from the likes of Blacker Yarns, Jamieson & Smith and Wensleydale Longwool Sheep Shop, as well as hand dyed from Eden Cottage Yarns, The Knitting Goddess and others. British based designers will also be well-represented.

To stay up to date in the run-up to the launch, head over to the group on Ravelry and join in the chat. You can also find BritYarn on Twitter and Instagram.


Podcast News

Blasta podcast is a new, monthly podcast hosted by Claire and Dearbhla, about the craft scene in Ireland.

Martine of iMake is back at the mic.

Enablers’ Corner

We’re discussing the finer points of choosing yarn for summer knits this week. As the weather gets warmer, our minds turn away from the fluffy, snuggly fibres and towards lighter weight yarns. Also on the cards is a shift away from animal-based fibres towards plant-based ones. What am I talking about when I say plant-based fibres? Specifically in this episode, it’s about cotton, bamboo and linen.

Cotton is durable, easy to care for and breathable. It’s cost-effective and comes in a dizzying array of colours. It’s machine washable and often improves, the more it is washed. There is no give in cotton, so for garments, you may need to choose a blend to give memory to the item, as well as provide an element of stretch. Take care when knitting with cotton as the lack of give can cause hand strain. Cotton can be pesticide-heavy in its production. If this is a concern, choose an organic yarn.

Bamboo is stronger than cotton and has good moisture wicking properties. It’s made form the bamboo plant and is harvested without killing the plant (unlike cotton). It’s less strong when wet than cotton and swells a lot in water; it also needs to be hand washed. However it creates a breathable fabric which drapes well, with a pretty lustre similar to mercerised cotton.

Linen comes from the flax plant. It’s laborious to manufacture, but is very absorbent and garments made from linen are highly valued for their coolness in hot weather.
Linen yarn us extremely strong and lustrous, with a crisp handle; it feels much softer when knitted into a garment. It’s absorbent and dries faster than cotton. It’s also very durable and remains strong even when wet.

Cotton Yarns

Commercial Cotton Yarns

Rico Creative Cotton (£1.99), Drops Paris (£1.79), Twilleys Freedom Echo (£3.29),Rico Essentials Cotton (2.89), Sirdar Snuggly Baby Cotton (£3.63), Rowan Handknit Cotton (£3.95), King Cole Cotton Soft (£3.95)

Hand Dyed Cotton Yarns

Vinni’s Colours Nikkim (£3.85), Nurturing Fibres Eco Cotton (£4.50/R35)

Bamboo Yarns

Commercial Bamboo Yarns

Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo (£4), Schoeller and Stahl Bamboolino (£4.50), Hayfield Fiesta (£3.39), Sublime Baby Silk and Bamboo (£5.04), King Cole Bamboo/Cotton (£5.59), Habu 100% Bamboo (£16.99)

Hand Dyed Bamboo Yarns

Vinni’s Colours Serina (£4.35), Nurturing Fibres Eco Bamboo (£4.50)

Linen Yarns

Commercial Linen Yarns

Rowan Creative Linen (£8.99), Rowan Pure Linen (£7.49), Drops Bomull Linen (£2.30), Quince and Co Sparrow (£9.75), Lotus 100% Linen (£10), Shibui Knits Linen (£11.50)

Review of Blacker Yarns Lyonesse

Launching on 1 May 2015, Lyonesse is a 50% linen, 50% wool (Falklands Corriedale and Merino), available in 5 shades and a neutral. It comes in both DK and 4ply at £5.75, and will be available from Blacker Yarns and selected stockists.

There will be more details and photos of this yarn as I reviewed it in a blog post on 1 May 2015.

Blacker Lyonesse Yarn, shown in the colour way 'Lapis'.

Blacker Lyonesse Yarn, shown in the colour way ‘Lapis’.


That’s all from me this week. As always, thank you for listening. Feedback is always appreciated, and you can email me or message me via Ravelry or social media. If you enjoyed listening today, please consider leaving an iTunes review, to help others find the podcast too. Happy crafting!

5 comments on “Episode 44: Summer Knitting Yarns

  1. caityrosey says:

    Claudia Haindpainted Yarns has some of my favorite linen yarns. The colors are gorgeous.


    1. Shinybees says:

      Oooh I will check them out – thanks!

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