Layter-ing along

I've started knitting Layter (Rav project), and it's going well! I'm actually nearly finished with the first body section, then there's a sleeve and another half to do. It's going quick - garter stitch and short rows which are easy to memorize once you've got going.

Knitting with all these different yarns has been a pleasure. I already swatched with most of these yarns, but by the end of this project I'll have knit with almost a full 50 or 100g of each, getting to know the character to each one.

Layter jacket garter stitch cardigan in natural colored British wool yarns

The first yarn of the sweater is Stylecraft Ethical Twist, a blend of 70% organic wool from the Falklands and 30% alpaca. This is really luscious yarn, sadly discontinued but happily available on eBay at a deep discount. In fact I bought a bag of this, and I'm going to use the rest on another sweater project. It's soft and warm, with a little bit of alpaca halo. I have this yarn in two natural colors, white and brown.
Creamy white and grey natural colored wool wip jumper
The second stripe is Whitefaced Woodland. I got this wool on eBay in the form of a 1-kilo cone, spun from the seller's flock by Halifax Spinning Mill. The Whitefaced Woodland breed is listed as Vulnerable by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. Its wool is bouncy and medium-soft, and this DK-weight that I have is going to be great for a sturdy jumper (I'm thinking something with cables).

The third stripe in my Layter is knit in Kerry Hill yarn - which I purchased from Rosewood Farms. Kerry Hill is a wonderfully bouncy wool, a bit softer than the Whitefaced Woodland and a creamier color. Even though I have 4 stripes of white/cream in my jumper, they each have a different tone to them. It's especially apparent in sunlight.
Stripe #4 is Lleyn lambswool from Cornish Wools. Though it's lambswool it's not particularly soft, but it has got fantastic stitch definition, and it's a beautiful deep cream color.
Truth be told I was very pleased to get into the colored wools! White can be nice and it's great for dyeing, but I love the range of fawns to browns to greys to blacks you can get from blending natural colors together.

The first splash of color is a light grey wool from the Jacob sheep of Charlecote Park. Charlecote Park was the home of George Lucy, who in 1756 brought the very first flock of Jacobs into the UK from Portugal. They now have one of the largest Jacob flocks in the UK. Jacob has a reputation for being a 'strong' wool, but truth be told this is softer on the hands than the last three.

If we're going by softness, though, there is really no contest: The winner is the next two stripes, knit in Blacker Swan. Swan, a newcomer from Blacker Yarns, is a luxury yarn if there ever was one. Super soft merino wool sourced from Swan Inlet Farm in the Falkland Islands. Blacker Swan is available in a 4-ply and DK version (this is the DK), in dyed colors and undyed blended with colored BFL and Shetland to create these subtle shades - Stone, a very light gray, and Sand, a pale beige with rosy undertones.
It's so soft, and also a bit thinner than my other DK yarns - it creates a fabric that practically melts in my hands. I'm not going to lie, it was a welcome change from some of the rougher wools in this project - but I also know that the softness comes at a price, and I fully expect these sections to pill quicker than the others.

The final stripe I've knit so far is from Cornish Wools again - this time the Alpaca/Lleyn blend, which creates the most beautiful light fawn color. It feels both soft and sturdy, with a firm hand and a little alpaca fuzz.

I've still got 6 yarns left to knit - the last few stripes, plus the sleeves. And, I've already divided all my yarns in half, so I don't have to worry about running out of yarn before the second half. I have a good feeling about this sweater. (Famous last words?)



  1. That looks like it's gonna be awesome, nice that you can show off so many different yarns in one project!

    1. Thanks! I am very excited for it. A woman in my knitting group was showing off hers last week and it was fab. The best part about it, for me, is that each of the yarns has a different story and characteristics.