I was very excited about this yarn from when I very first heard that Blacker were going to release a silk blend. I love silk blends. I love that they feel special and luxurious but also appreciate the strength and durability of silk. The more I found out about the new yarn, the more excited about it I became. I learnt that the silk would be ahimsa silk – silk that is harvested without harming the moth grubs. I think that it’s always a good thing to have more ethical choices in all areas of life!
Then when Blacker sent me a sample of Samite I was increasingly excited as I beheld the yarn itself, and as I learnt even more about it.
The first thing that struck me was that the yarn retains a natural, woolly feel. It’s not as smooth and shiny as I’m used to with silk blends. This is because the yarn is woollen spun. There is a fascinating article written about the differences between woollen and worsted spun yarn on the Blacker/Natural Fibre Co. blog.
The second thing I noticed was the colours!
Oh those beautiful colours! In my last Blacker Yarn review for Tamar I said that I loved the colour range but that in an ideal world I’d also have red, orange, and brown options. Blacker have delivered! They still have the beautiful pinks, greens, and blues that I love – but they’ve added a range of warm firey colours – perfection!
Turning the colour card over, I read about the inspiration for the yarn. By this point I was going weak at the knees with adoration! The new Blacker Samite; ethical, woolly silk-blend, has a colour palette inspired by the pre-Raphaelite and Arts and Crafts movements. I looked again at the colour names, so poetic! I think my favourite name is Bursting Figs but I love Drowsy Flowers and Wild Bee’s Hum too!
Bursting Figs is one of the colours that I was sent to sample! The other was Aspen’s Shiver.
At first I was reluctant to cast on a swatch. In my mind yarn this precious had to be used to make a real something rather than ‘wasting’ on a swatch! But I’ve recently discovered how easy it is frog, soak, hang and reclaim yarn from a swatch – so that’s one less excuse for not swatching!
With the Victorian theme of the yarn I had to swatch my Leighton House Handwarmers colourwork pattern!
The yarn was a joy to knit with and I think that it’s perfect for colourwork! I knit this swatch on the recommended 2.75mm needles and it’s created a lovely warm fabric that I expect would be hard-wearing. Of course I’m mentally planning different colour combinations and dreaming up romantic design ideas!