Today sees the launch of an outstanding new yarn called Cornish Tin. It has been produced by Blacker Yarns to celebrate their first 10 years in the industry. Like many good things, it is a Limited Edition and has been carefully blended from 10 of Blacker's favourite small producers. Cornish Tin celebrates more than just a milestone though. It embodies all that is special about this company's ethos - preserving rare breeds and helping to sustain local communities.The yarn is available as a DK and a 4ply and combines Alpaca, Gotland,Shetland Jacob, Shetland, Black Welsh Mountain, Mohair and English Merino. This blend means that it is a dream to knit with and suitable across a range of techniques, especially lace and colour work.
And it is the colours that are the real icing on the birthday cake for me. The palette is small but in no way limited. Four colours, named after Cornish Tin mines are balanced with a slivery grey that picks up and holds the light beautifully.
Every day this week I have been counting down to the launch by focusing on the essence of each colour via my Instagram, (@sarahhazell6) and Twitter (@sarahhazell6) accounts.The idea behind each of the images is to build up a real sense of the depth of each of the colours.
I hope I brightened your Monday with Botallack Blue. Botallack is one of the oldest and most easily recognised of Cornwall's tin mines, (especially if you watched the recent BBC adapatation of Poldark!). This blue really packs a punch when used on its own and provides great definition when combined with some of the other colours.
Ruby Tuesday was all about the deep and velvety Wheal Rose Red. This proved quite a tricky colour to photograph, but I hope the image gives you some idea of how sumptuous it is - think of a nice glass of red wine and wood smoke and you're nearly there. This mine suffered a great disaster in 1846 and only the engine house and mine stack remain. It is now part of the Lappa Valley Steam Railway complex.
I love teal and Dolcoath Turquoise does not disappoint. This is a real slaty teal and one that you see all over Cornwall everywhere from the sea to local packaging. Dolcoath means 'old ground' in Cornish and at its height was the fifth most productive mine in Cornwall. Rather like some co-operatives today, the mine often paid shares or 'dollies' to its shareholders. I think this will be a firm favourite for knitters and will certainly feature in the project that I ma working on currently!
By Thursday I thought everyone might like a break from colour and looked at Levant Grey. I really like neutrals that you can't quite pinpoint - is it grey, is it pale brown?, because they respond so well to a variety of contexts. On it's own Levant will look demure and understated. In combination with Wheal Rose Red or Botallack Blue it will provide contrast without being stark. Today Levant Mine is a National Trust property near St Just, where you will find the only Cornish beam engine still operated by steam. Some of my Instagram followers said that this was their favourite image.
I saved one of my very favourite colours until last! Pengenna Green has to be seen to be believed. It is a powerful green without being harsh, similar to the beautiful weathered greens you find on old pieces of copper. In terms of colour depth it sits somewhere between Botallack Blue and Dolcoath Turquoise, On a dull day it would be the colour of the sea - tranquil and calming with hidden depths.......
I hope you have enjoyed sharing in the celebrations of this new yarn!
I'll be back in the next few days to talk about my recent visit to St Ives and how it has inspired my next project.......