english girl at home

A Sewing & Knitting Blog, Made in Birmingham, England


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Cornish Tin II & St. Kilda

British yarn maestros Blacker Yarns have two new yarns going on sale today at 10am!

Blacker Yarns Cornish Tin II & St. Kilda Yarns

The first is a range of new colours for Blacker’s St. Kilda lace-weight yarn, hand dyed by Joy of The Knitting Goddess.

Blacker’s St. Kilda yarn contains wool from St Kilda’s (an archipelago which is the remotest part of the British Isles) native Boreray and Soay sheep – two of the oldest and rarest of all British breeds – blended together with Shetland wool.

The St. Kilda yarns aren’t a one-off, but there will be a limited supply annually due to the fact that there’s only a limited amount of Boreray and Soay fleece available. That, coupled with the fact that this range is dyed by hand in small batches, makes this a really unique yarn (and likely to sell out fast).

Blacker kindly sent me a small skein of St. Kilda in the Conachair colourway, and I can report that the dyeing process means the colour has loads of depth – in the photos you can see that there is variation in the colour of my swatch, as opposed to a solid colour. I found the yarn bouncy, easy to work with, and great for showcasing texture and detail.

The range includes ten dyed colours, plus two natural undyed shades, and can be purchased from Blacker Yarns and The Knitting Goddess.

If you’d like to hear more about the yarn, there’s a great interview on episode 66 of the KnitBritish Podcast.

Blacker Yarns Cornish Tin II & St. Kilda Yarns

The second new release is the final batch of Cornish Tin II. This is a one-off, limited edition yarn to celebrate Blacker’s 11th birthday (following the very popular Cornish Tin last year).

The yarn is blended from 100% British fibres from small producers, and contains Alpaca, Portland, Saxon Merino, Gotland, Jacob, Shetland, Black Welsh Mountain, Mohair, and English Merino. The yarn is available in a silver grey, plus seven dyed shades (shown on the left in the photos below) all named after Cornish Tin Mines, and in 4-ply and DK weights.

To accompany the yarn, Blacker have released a gorgeous (free) sock pattern (going straight in my Ravelry queue!), and hat pattern.

Blacker Yarns Cornish Tin II & St. Kilda Yarns

I got my hands on some of the original Cornish Tin yarn last year, which was lovely to knit with, and from what I’ve heard Tin II is even more popular.

Blacker Yarns Cornish Tin II & St. Kilda Yarns

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Swatching & Shopping in Berlin

Berlin

While on holiday in Berlin recently I got the opportunity to spend time doing lovely things like swatching in the sun in the English Garden Teahouse within Tiergarten (obvious choice for an English girl in Berlin!).

I’m swatching here with beautiful Brittany needles, supplied by Little Lamb Wool, a family-run yarn shop who are a stockist of Brittany needles in the UK.

Berlin

If you don’t know Brittany needles, they are a US manufacturer of wooden knitting needles and crochet hooks. Both the needles and the packaging is simple and beautiful. Brittany aim to make a sustainable product, using sustainably harvested birch and recycled packaging. Chris Barnes from Brittany needles was interviewed on episode 11 of the Woolful podcast, if you’re interested in learning more about the company.

Berlin

The needles are satisfying to knit with. The feel soft but are actually very sturdy (Brittany will replace breakages within 5 years of purchase). The yarn is Blacker Yarns Lyonesse wool and linen blend.

After swatching and tea, me and Phil had a good stroll around Tiergarten.

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

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Berlin

I was fairly restrained in terms of fabric and fibre shopping while in Berlin. I had identified two knitting shops I wanted to visit in advance, KnitKnit and Handmade Berlin.

KnitKnit is a cool tiny yarn shop who produce some cute branded products, including needles and knitting first aid kits (containing knitting essentials).

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Handmade Berlin is a large yarn and coffee shop located in a great spot overlooking a park. They stock a large selection of high quality yarns.

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

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Berlin

I didn’t visit any fabric shops, but I did visit a number of markets looking for fabric.

I knew I’d find fabric at the Turkish Market, as I’ve seen all the garments Tea has made recently with Turkish market fabric. I bought myself a couple of metres of fabric and a selection of lace. If you’re in Berlin, i’d definitely recommend a trip to the market for fabric and notions, and as a good spot to buy food or stop for a Turkish tea.

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

I didn’t have luck finding fabric at other markets I visited (including Gendarmenmarkt, and Antikmarkt Ostbahnhof), although I’ve seen other people reporting finding fabric online. I did really enjoy Flohmarkt im Mauerpark (despite the last of fabric!) for general mooching and food / drink stalls.

Berlin

Berlin

Berlin

I also loved the street food event which is held every Thursday night in Markthalle Neun.

Berlin

Berlin

Disclaimer: I was provided with a pair of Brittany Needles by Little Lamb Wool; all opinions expressed are my own.