Yarn review: Blacker Swan Falklands Merino DK

This is one of the lushes softest yarns I’ve touched, more like suede and cat ears.

If you consider I’m pretty much knitting through the Blacker Yarns collection, then this is some kind of zenith. I do promise to review other company yarns. I find myself suddenly away from my stash, and I had to enlist my husband to dig into my swatches and pull this one out for me 🙂

Name: Blacker Swan naturally coloured Falklands Merino DK knitting yarn

This is very different from other merinos I’ve used. It seems I’ve mainly seen merino in the super wash form used by hand-dyers. This is a very different creature.

Yarn Details

  • Company: Blacker Yarns
  • Type: DK, Sand fawn colour in this case.
  • Plies: 3 ply
  • Fiber: Falkland Island Merino
  • Gauge I got: 4″ = 17.5 sts x 26 rows, 4mm.
  • Ball/skein length: c.50g c.110m (c.119yds)
  • Wash method: Handwash
  • Where purchased: Blacker Yarns site
  • Ravelry listing here.

Tasting notes – Purr

This yarn has convinced me I have synesthesia. When I touch it I hear a low growly purr. It reminds me of something animally and wondrous like kitten ears or my cats belly. You just want to put your face into it. This is so different from the superwash merino I was familiar with.

Knitting with it – What it feels like to work with it.

What a pleasant yarn to knit with. It’s like a little hug for your fingers. My one word for this is HUG. I remember when I first tried it, I had been frustrated by a 100% alpaca which was so slippery. And I felt this lovely yarn wrap around my fingers, and I let out an audible “Ohhhhh.”

The one comment on Ravelry said the yarn was loosely plied? That was not my experience at all. I knit continental combined, so I know the annoying unwinding the commenter writes about. But I didn’t notice that in this yarn at all.

This yarn would have great stitch definition. I’m glad I used seed stitch for the edges of the swatch. This post from Kate Davies “Neutrals” shows some samples with fine cables in this yarn.

In the skein – What it looks like, or feels like.

It’s squishy soft but plenty of body. This isn’t a limp or hollow/lofty yarn. I love that there are a variety of natural colour blends. The yarn also comes in over-dyed colours and 4 ply weight as well.

The Blacker site points out the coloured fleeces are rare. “Almost all the sheep are white and coloured fleeces are a rarity. Colour is discouraged as it can taint a whole bale and most of this wool is going for industrial scales of production and dyeing.”

In the swatch – Include needle details and final tension stitches/rows per 4″.

According to my notes, I got 17.5 sts x 26 rows over 4″ on 4mm needles.

It’s cuddly and soft knit up. And my swatch made me think of fine suede.

I carry my swatches on trips with me, I know it’s weird. But I do get some additional information about wear. I don’t do any proper abrasion testing otherwise. I guess if I was hardcore I’d make two, so I could keep one nice. I’m not that hardcore (yet?) I noticed a pill. But with a yarn this soft I think it’s expected. But I wouldn’t say this is “pilly” yarn at all.

Washing/blocking notes

I soaked and washed in Eucalan. I didn’t need to pin this down. I just let it dry. The swatch didn’t have a huge difference before and after. It was plush when I knit it, and plush when it was dried.

Ideas for things to make with it

Did I mention this is so soft? The only place I ever struggle with some wools is on my forehead. This is one yarn I can have on my forehead.

I mean if you had to wear a balaclava – you want it made out of this.  Heck make a whole body suit. OK no one is going to do that. Wait (yes someone knitted a body suit).

More likely you’re going to want to make a cuddly sweater in it. Or a hat or a cowl.

This would be ideal for a baby, because babies need the soft stuff!

Footnote: Thanks to Ronan!

Thankfully, my husband met me on facetime and I walked him through my swatches til we picked this one. Then he showed our kitty Tora, and really, if I had to compare this yarn to anything it would be her belly. Sadly didn’t get a good screenshot of him!