Wednesday, August 20, 2003

New Yarn (for me, anyway...)

I remember when I first learned to knit, back in 1983, and there were precious few yarns that blended animal and plant fibers. As a matter of fact, knitting with cotton was very difficult, there wasn't much that I really enjoyed (except for a yarn called 'softball' which had a binder thread that created a 'kink' and gave it a much nicer tension than the average cotton yarn.)

I remember 'discovering' Baruffa Maratona (my first exposure to merino yarn - ah, young love...) and 'discovering' the first cotton/wool blends (I thought the wheel had been reinvented and I'd died and gone to heaven! - it BREATHES! It has MEMORY!)

Today blends are old hat, but they're still a minor miracle to me. Even the 'pure' yarns - 100% of something - are more knittable these days than the first rough and unforgiving cottons.

I'm working with Tahki's Willow right now for a twinset project. I'm so excited about the project (it will be simple, yet - hopefully - so beautifully engineered that beginning knitters feel comfortable attempting it and experienced knitters will be intruiged.)

Willow is a heavy (4.5 sts = 1") Linen & Cotton blend that does have a tendancy to split - but has a beautiful hand and lovely drape when it's knit up. Every positive has a negative. The splitting, while annoying, also allows the yarn to flatten out and have a nicer hand when knit up (more woven fabric-like) which leads to a good drape.

It's a trade off, but I think it's worthwhile in this case.
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posted by Annie at


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