Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yarn Just Keeps Getting Better!

It was the turn of this century when I began my own crafting business and became a real customer of commercial yarn. I had yet to begin spinning my own, but I was designing my own products and selling at craft shows. After a few years, I felt like I had sampled every yarn on the market. This can't really be true, but I bet I came close!

After a few years, my world turned to spinning and dyeing. I went from yarn snob to serious yarn snob. At one point I even decided to eliminate commercial yarn altogether. Then, a couple of years ago, my focus began to shift again. While my business had become a dyeing enterprise and still is, I began to focus more on design and pattern writing.

When I create a new pattern, I usually end up making several run-throughs of the design before I'm happy with my finished product. I found myself turning back to commercial yarn because it saved time and I could work up my first prototypes with inexpensive fiber. I also decided that I wanted to make my models out of yarn that was affordable and readily accessible to everyone. This meant going back to the big chain stores. I was pleasantly surprised with what I found. Commercial yarn just keeps getting better doesn't it?

So I opened my heart back up to commercial yarn and began to visit my old haunts. They are probably your haunts too, like Webs and Yarn Market. Not only has the variety of natural fiber yarns expanded, but the acrylics too. Once more, the acrylics are becoming more sophisticated and softer than ever and don't even get me started on the blends. There are so many wonderful blends! Here are some of my recent purchases.

The thick and thin on the left is by Universal Yarn. It's called Bamboo Bloom Handpaints in a colorway called Koi Pond. It's 48% Rayon from bamboo, 44% wool and 8% acrylic. It comes in nice 3.5oz, 154 yard skeins. I was looking for a variegated worsted weight to make up my Regensburg Scarf, and I think this is going to be very pretty.

On the far right is a sock yarn by Wisdom Yarns called Poems Socks in the color Aurora Borealis. I'm so happy that sock yarn has become as popular as it is because I love this weight for so many projects. The beefy skeins are nice too. This one comes with 459 yards which is plenty for me to make my City Scarf. I'm working on Christmas projects and these colors are just perfect for someone on my list!

Now I have no idea what I'm going to do with the crazy acrylic in the center. I first saw this Triana yarn by Katia when I was in Germany earlier this year. Sadly for me, the woman ahead of me got the very last skein in the little shop in Uberlingen, but the store owner showed me a scarf that had been knitted from this novelty fiber. I should have guessed that this style of yarn would become all the rage as it seems to be popping up everywhere. Even Patons is launching their own version tomorrow called Pirouette which is selling out practically before it hits the stores. There are YouTube videos demonstrating how to work with this style of yarn. So far all I've seen are a bunch of ruffly scarves. I'm sure over time, the creative community will come up with some cool designs for this new, funky yarn. I hope I do too!

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