When swatching is a pleasure

There are times when swatching is a genuine pleasure rather than a chore and never more so then when you are getting your mitts on some brand new yarn to road test.

Samite is a new and permanent addition to the Blacker Yarns range and is an exciting blend of Blue-faced Leicester, Shetland, Gotland and 20% silk. It is a fabulous 3ply yarn which is woollen spun to keep its bounce and add strength that you don't normally find in silk blended yarns. Because there is a blend of dark and light fibres this adds great depth of colour and little nupps of silk add texture and interest to the finished fabric.

I knit my swatch in plain stocking stitch to see what the smooth fabric would look like and I was so impressed by how it knit up and how it blocked. The yarn has a beautifully light hand but yet has a little bit of woolly toothiness which makes it a real delight to work with. On 3mm needles I got a gauge of 21st and 28 rows to 4" and the resulting light and airy fabric would work well for a light summer cardigan maybe.

I knit a Peasy cardigan a few years ago using Rowan Felted Tweed and it strikes me that this would make a most excellent subsitute, maybe with just a little bit of adjustment for maths gauge. A colourwork yolked cardigan or sweater would also work really well with this yarn - the only difficulty might be in choosing your colours.

The 15 shades are beautiful - as you would expect from Blacker Yarns - and they all work wonderfully well together. And the names! Who wouldn't want to work with yarns named Aspen's Shiver or Tide of Dreams.

The yarn is having its debut at Edinburgh Yarn Festival and there is sure to be a lot of interest in it. But the lovely folk at Blacker yarns are keen to reassure people that this is a permanent addition to the range and will be available for general purchase in the very near future.