I did get three skeins of undyed Cornish Tin DK and knit the body of my Gwindra Shawl in it earlier this year.
The demand for this limited wool was so popular that Blacker are just about to release Cornish Tin II for their eleventh anniversary, and Sonia was kind enough to send me a sample along with some shade cards. It is a glorious combination of all-British fibres: Alpaca, Portland, Saxon Merino, Gotland, Jacob, Shetland, Black Welsh Mountain, Mohair and English Merino.
I decided to crochet a little coaster as it always surprises me that more crochet designers don't use pure wool or natural fibres, apart from cotton; I regularly see glorious and very time-consuming blanket pattern kits and they often come with yarn that is 50% or more acrylic. Which just turns me off. Personally, if I'm going to spend months on a project, I want to use proper sheepy yarn which will keep me warmer and last longer. Marie Wallin will be releasing a new Winter Crochet book at Yarndale and I believe she'll have some of the garments on display, which is another reason why I wanted to test out Tin II with my hook, which was a 3.75mm one.
From just feeling the ball of yarn, I could tell that it was much softer than its predecessor. It was very smooth to crochet and my washed and blocked swatch has bloomed slightly and has a wee bit of a halo with a few stray black and white fibres sticking out. It is soft and cozy to the touch and I think it would have a decent stitch definition and look fantastic in a cabled sweater. Seen side by side with the undyed Tin I (which, when washed and blocked got softer), I would say the only difference is a slightly more brownish tinge to Tin II, but it's barely noticeable. Running my hands over both projects, I can't really tell the difference in terms of texture or softness. Suffice it to say that fans of Tin I will be really happy with this newer version too.
Tin II will not only be available undyed of course. Have a look at these luscious colours!
At the moment, the Ding Dong Purple which is a deep plum, and the vibrancy of Wheal Kitty Orange are calling to me. Cornish Tin II comes in both 4ply and DK weights and will be available online on September 20th from both Blacker and online retailers such as BritYarn. And of course they will have plenty of skeins (I hope) at their Yarndale booth. It will be limited though, so get your hands on it early.
Blacker has also teamed up with The Knitting Goddess for their St. Kilda lace, a mix of Boreray and Soay wool, and she has dyed the most beautiful rainbow of colours. These will also be making their debut at Yarndale and will be available at both the Blacker and Knitting Goddess booths. There's a great interview with Joy at the Knit British podcast here, where she talks about the collaboration with Blacker and announces that there will be mini-skeins available of the St. Kilda lace too. A bundle of those is definitely at the top of my want list. I'm very pleased to see that Blacker has also introduced a darker undyed colour which is also very beautiful.