I love yarn! You didn’t realise? I love the colours, the texture and the smell, yes even the smell. I love the different breeds of sheep, alpaca, angora rabbits and cashmere goats – woolly creatures that make yarn possible. I love spinning, dying, knitting, weaving, tapestry and embroidery. I love anything that can be done with yarn!
New yarn is always exciting! Sometimes I know what I’m going to make with it, and sometimes I don’t – I just love that yarn, got to have some. So many possibilities, so many choices! Should I design something for myself or use another designer’s pattern? Should I make a garment or an accessory? Should I use the yarn for a trim or the entire garment? Should I make a garment that will go with clothes I already have, or should I make a garment then find something to go with it?
Some of these questions are easily answered. When I impulse buy yarn I rarely buy more than a ball or two, so I am restricted to an accessory or a trim. And I usually choose yarn in my favourite colours, so whatever I make with it will coordinate with clothes I already have. And I usually design my own accessories. I love colours. It’s not difficult put a colour scheme together, but it can be difficult translating the colour scheme into yarn. Often one or more colours are not available in the current season’s range. And sometimes, when you knit them up, they don’t quite work together; one colour is too bright or dull or too red or too yellow! One way round this is to buy a yarn of many colours.
This first yarn is Prism from Collinette Yarns in Wales. It is 50% wool, 50% cotton and comprises two strands, each of which varies in thickness and changes colour separately. This colour is called “slate” and it is predominately a bluey-purpley-grey, with flashes of many other colours, some of which are quite bright. It comes in a hank; the photos you see were taken when I wound it into a ball. Doesn’t it look beautiful?
I think I’m going to use this yarn for a hat or scarf. But what stitch to knit? This can be a difficult choice for a variegated yarn. The ideal stitch will enhance the yarn, but all those colours can hide an interesting stitch pattern, so it is best to choose something simple. I’ve tried a few out, but I’m not quite decided.
My second yarn is Faery Wings from Fyberspates. This particular is one of Jeni’s hand-painted yarns; I was lucky to buy the last one in this colour batch – because they are hand-painted they are not reproducible. It is 67% silk, 23% kid mohair and 10% nylon. The silk gives it a real shimmer.
This yarn is predominately purple-blue (there is a theme developing here), with some golden yellow and some interesting in between colours. I’m not sure what this will become, but it will be beautiful!
The last yarn is Summerspun from Rowan Yarns. This is 50% wool, 50% cotton and the two plies change colours at different points. I bought the Summerspun in a shade called Greenwich (122) along with some Handknit Cotton from the same company. The colours don’t fit with my theme so far, and the fibres are not woolly, but I know what I’m going to do with these yarns and have knitted some sample swatches, but you will have to wait to find out; it will be a surprise!