At last I can tell you all of the fantastic things we have in store for you with this amazing collection launch! You may have read the first details of this collection in the blog post here and it was a lot of fluffy, yummy, soft and silky good stuff but it is far from all we have in store!
Not only is there the collection itself - a full five interchangeable colours on two bases that work as a pair - but Black Stag has been lucky enough to collaborate with two fantastic designers who not only have a plethora of luscious photos to whet your appetite, reviews so you don’t just have to take my word for it but also you have two patterns perfect for this yarn pairing! Instant inspiration! I’ve seen both and they are to dye (ha!) for.
Now, as you’ve already had some fibre details we’ll get back to the rest later, first let’s introduce you to the designer dream team! I am utterly thrilled that Babs and Victoria agreed to lend their considerable skills to this collection, they were given the same yarn in their choice of colours and came back with two very different but equally fantastic demonstrations of what it can do. I can quite honestly say I have never been so excited to see things take shape and have been waiting to share them with you.
Victoria Marchant of Victoria Marchant knits describes herself thus:
‘Passionate about inclusivity, infatuated with texture and colour, and a fan of making life easy, I produce clearly written patterns in multiply accessible formats that produce beautiful results without too much fuss.’
Her site is a treasure trove of useful information, fantastic tools like the yarn weight calculator and patterns that show her incredible talent for beautiful textures in both fabric and stitch technique and bright, delectable colourwork, all communicated clearly and thoroughly so those of us not entirely fluent in the language of knitters can translate for our fingers and get results we love. A collection of clean, elegant designs that are truly designs for all in both knitting and crochet. Entrust yourself into her hands and you absolutely won’t regret it.
Victoria’s latest pattern ‘Rosehill’ exemplifies all of those things with beautiful textural details, inclusive sizing and excellent instructions.
*Ed op - do check out the ‘Happy little penis’ stitch, it’s a personal favourite.
Babs Rudlin of Babs gets crafty is a self described:
‘…Crafter, teacher, natterer and experimenter…You will mainly find me crafting away as a knitter, seamstress, happy hooker and quilter. Come join me finding new patterns and techniques to stretch your skills.’
Babs’ website is another Aladdin’s cave of not to be missed information, she is a polycraftress and has a wonderful talent for inspiring your creativity with plenty of support to help you conquer things you may not have attempted, in her own words:
“The joy of creating imbues your work with a greater meaning. Share your joy through gifts or teaching others to connect to their creativity.” - Babs Rudlin
And I really couldn’t say anything better - whatever your skill level (and whatever your craft! Knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting) there are thorough, clear and engaging patterns, challenges and advice series that showcase her passion and skill at not only creating beautiful things but taking us all on that journey with her, ending up with a finished object that will be treasured and a real feeling of accomplishment.
One of her latest patterns is demonstrates exactly what I mean - I’m not a particularly gifted sock knitter so when I saw the ‘Dragonscale socks’ I wanted to make the beautiful socks but immediately thought they weren’t for me. Well guess what? They are! And for you! Babs’ talent shines through but she has a remarkable skill for helping others get over the crafter’s block that holds us back. Check out her community tabs for more ways to connect with others.
As you can imagine I couldn’t feel luckier to get two such fantastic people to add their magic to a collection I thought couldn’t get any better. It is something really special to find people who can not only see your vision but make it more and who share your values of inclusivity, community and collaboration.
I’m not going to tell you about their patterns, I want you to hear about them in their own words - and you will!- instead I’m going to talk to you about the collection itself:
The Soulmate collection is so named because never have two yarns been so perfect for each other, both a delight to use on their own this mix of light fingering 100% superwash Merino and Suri Alpaca & Silk laceweight combines into more than a sum of it’s parts - the fabric made is light, has beautiful drape, is so so so soft, squishy, warm (seriously, you have to feel it to believe it) and has a wonderful subtle halo. For the swatch I was using 4 strands in total and not once did they tangle, catch or misbehave in any way - when I say this is heavenly it’s not hyperbole.
This is the pinnacle of luxury and I would be amazed if you don’t fall in love with it too.
If it’s so good together why have I left them as separate skeins? Excellent question! Because I’ve dyed them to be able to mix and match your base colour and lace colour. You can choose the effect you want. They mix absolutely amazingly and give such an interesting result. Usually in colourwork the prominent colour is the strand held in front, with this mix the prominent colour is the laceweight.
That’s what I wrote about the collection and everyone who has used this pairing has had the same good things to say about it which was music to my ears, and not one of them was my Mum so there was no obligation!
Yarn tech specs:
Fibre: 100% superwash Merino
Weight: 4 ply / Fingering / 20 wpi (3 ply construction)
Meterage: 500m / 547yards per 100g / 3.5 oz skein
Fibre: 74% Baby Suri Alpaca / 26% Mulberry Silk Non-Superwash (singles)
Weight: Laceweight / 2 ply / ~ 30 wpi
Meterage: 300m / 328 yards per 50g / 1.8 oz skein
Offered in the following 5 colours:
Eternity Rose: Semi-solid red
Doves are only Pigeons with good PR: Semi-solid silver grey (Our customer, and my, favourite grey)
Anthracite: Semi-solid charcoal black
Kingfisher: Semi-solid Black Stag Teal mix
I Want To Break Free: Semi-solid hot fuchsia
Dyed to be flexible these pairings look rich and vibrant when both yarns are the same colour and they have a wonderful textured effect when you mix and match them with the laceweight being the prominent colour and the base colour peeping through the halo. Whatever colour pairing you choose the fabric will be the same soft, drapey, warm and incredibly touchable mixture that works for so many things from accessories to special garments.
One Soulmate, a 500m Merino and a 300m Suri/Silk, retails at £30.00 with an option to add another Suri/Silk skein at a total of £44.00 for 3 skeins and 600m of Suri/Silk.
Pre-orders open on the 18th June with yarns being dispatched by the 26th of June.
There is an exclusive early release dye to order link for all pattern testers as a thank you.
In the meantime you’ll have pictures and content galore to really show off quite how special this is, it’s definitely time to treat yourself!