Thursday, April 19, 2012

Yarn Postcard #2 + Giveaway!

Update: The winner has been announced- I'm turning off comments so no one enters by accident :-)

(For the first half of this little undertaking, check out this post.)

So last time I skipped the explanation for the Yarn Postcard project in favor of posting a bajillionty pictures...but now, let's see what Cirilia from Skacel has to say:

The typical life cycle of a yarn starts at a mill, or even further back, at a farm. Getting a yarn to market means hours of discussion, research, and engineering. It’s a fantastically interesting process that I’ve been lucky to be a part of, but it is just the beginning. When a yarn arrives, promotion begins. Shade cards are assembled and sales representatives hit the road to visit yarn shops across the country. Yarns and shade cards are sent to designers and many months later, a design might emerge. The design process is labor intensive and publication schedules are protracted, especially true for books.

As a designer, I know that yarns have lots of adventures prior to publication. Even the yarns that don’t end up in a finished design can be instructive or interesting in some way. Yarns will travel with us, or keep us company at home. Suddenly I had to know what these yarns were doing out in the world, free from grading restrictions, column limitations, strict washing instructions. What if the yarn could send me a postcard? I’ve asked some of my favorite designers to do just that, sending them a hand-picked assortment of yarns and asking them to document what happens, however large or small.

Admittedly, my yarn's adventures have been limited so far- they're mostly just hanging out with the rest of the stash. As time goes on, I'm sure you'll see some of these re-emerge in their final knitted form... and a few will be continuing their adventure elsewhere. But I'll get to that- let's just say hello to them for now, shall we? We covered a few yarns in the last post, but we're going balls-to-the-wall here.

accordion
Schulana Accordion
80% Merino, 20% Mohair; worsted weight

I have to say, I'm kind of a wimp about itchiness, but this is a darned soft yarn for being 20% mohair! It's a cabled yarn, which means each of the plies are made up of even smaller plies and if you were to take a cross-section of the yarn, it would be very round. Usually this means a nice stable yarn with great stitch definition, and that's the impression I'm getting from this guy here. I'm thinking something with cables, perhaps?


angora
Schulana Angora-Fashion
80% Angora, 20% Nylon, DK-ish weight

Angora is the pretty-pretty-princess of yarns, and that's pretty much how I feel about this one. It's super soft and luxurious. The nylon will, hopefully, keep it from shedding like crazy (angora's unfortunate pitfall.) This pale silvery gray is soooo my color. I don't know what I'll do with this one yet, but it'll be dainty as hell.


donegal
Schulana Donegal-Tweed: The Genuine Donegal.
95% "Pure new wool", 5% Cashmere; worsted weight

First of all, I think that ram would make a great tattoo. Secondly, how much do I love a yarn with a subtitle? Third... this is really soft for a Donegal. I mean, it's no merino, but I could actually see myself wearing this which is more than I can say for a lot of Donegal Tweeds. Love the oatmealy color, love the dense, "chewy" feel of the yarn. I think this would be a fantastic jacket, actually.


schulanagrande
Schulana Grande
100% Virgin wool; chunky weight? Maybe super chunky?

This stuff is Grande indeed. Big ole fat wool! Big ole bright color! It wants to be a kid's hat so bad it could scream.


simpli
Simplicity and Simpliworsted by HiKoo
55% Merino Superwash, 28% Acrylic, 17% Nylon; DK and worsted respectively

You can tell this stuff is classy- just look at those swanky labels. Now, I'm often very critical of yarns with large synthetic components, but DANG. This stuff is NICE. Soft, squooshy, smooth. It doesn't have an "acrylic" feel at all, I would've guessed it was pure superwash merino by touch alone. Not sure what they'll become yet, but together they remind me of mint chocolate chip ice cream.


insilk
Schoppel Wolle IN Silk
75% Merino, 25% Silk; worsted weight

This stuff reminds me of the Cashmere Queen from the last post- kinda crisp and fulled and almost cottony. I imagine it would have similarly excellent stitch definition. I find it extremely charming that it says "for lady sweater 500g." Hehe. Also: "Silky touches the wool while felting. Even smoooth and bright yarn."


xl
Schoppel Wolle XL
100% Merino, bulky

One more size up and one less ingredient! This yarn is pure feltywool goodness. I can't help but think it would make great fake dreads. Is that weird?

Also, I am soooo into dark teal right now. Dunno if you noticed, with the hair and all.


naturbelassen
Schoppel Wolle Baby Alpaka naturbelassen
50% Wool, 50% Alpaca, Dk weight-ish.

The last of the fulled yarns- this stuff is such a gorgeous natural color, and similarly crisp to it's sisters. Apparently "naturbelassen" means natural. Makes sense. This was exactly the yarn I was looking for a few years ago for a friend's hat. Darn it.


unisono
Zitron Unisono
100% Superwash merino, fingering weight

I love Unisono- I actually already have some in my stash (shhh, don't tell Cirilia.) It comes in some really fantastic striping colorways, and some more subtle gradient-ish ones (like the gray here) and solids. It's pretty much a good solid sock yarn... WITH A TWIST OMG. The yarn is infused with aloe and jojoba, so it basically moisturizes your skin while you knit instead of sucking it dry. I am alllll about natural moisturizers. The yarn doesn't feel weird at all- just soft. I'll have to report back on my hands after I knit with it.



kimono
Zitron Kimono
54% Merino, 46% Silk; fingering weight?

Even though it's mostly merino, the feel of this yarn is definitely a silk crepe. Very crisp and textural. It would be great as an airy-but-structured cardigan. The buttonless kind.


zauberwolle
Schoppel Wolle Zauberwolle
100% Merino; sport weight

I am familiar with Zauberball but I hadn't seen this stuff before- a quick search on Ravelry confirms my suspicion that it will knit up with slow, speckly stripes. Quite soft and in a refreshingly hearty 100g ball (most balled yarns are 50g). Thinking shawl, to take advantage of the color change.



kidp
Schulana Kid-Paillettes
42% Kid Mohair, 40% Polyester, 18% Silk; fingering weight?

SEQUINS! SEQUINS SEQUINS SEQUINS SEQUINS! YAAAAAYYYY!!!!!!
*Ahem* So yes, this yarn has some sparkle. Used alone in a lace shawl it would be very delicate and pretty, but I'm not really into knitting pure-lacy-mohair garments so I think this would be a FANTASTIC ride-along yarn to add a little halo and glitz.

sparklemohairswatch

The sequins are very subtle- you can see how they disappear in the picture above, but when they catch the light...

sparklemohairswatch2

Beeeautiful.



tamarillo
Schulana Tamarillo
100% Cotton; worsted weight

I don't know what Tamarillo means but it sounds like food. Annnnyway- this is a very unusual yarn. It's kind of fascinating to look at it super closely- it's basically a long knit tube with some looser-knit contrast sections. I had to swatch this puppy up:

textureythingswatch

Very texturey-riffic. It feels very typically cottony- smooth, crisp, not a ton of give. It has sort of a great raggedy, boho vibe- I think it'd be wasted in a normal tank top. It demands artistry! Haute-itude! Update! It totally is a food!


sedamar
Schulana Seda-Mar
88% Silk, 12% Nylon; DK weight?

Another knitted tube, but more chic and sophisticated this time. Love the shiny gold. The feel is halfway between "satiny-soft" silk and crepe-y silk. There is a secret shimmer of red under the gold that I just noticed right now. This one is perfect for an understated tank or shell.

soiemerswatch

(Once more, I think I'll go up a few needle sizes in the future- my swatch was rather tight and didn't take advantage of the drapiness.)



lambswool
Schulana Lambswool
100% Lambswool; sport weight?

I think I would've named this yarn something more jazzy than "Lambswool", because that just doesn't capture everything it's got going on- it's like if you took a nice neutral tweed and snuck in a secret rainbow. It IS nice and lambswooly soft, though. I'd love to use it in a project where traditional tweed is expected, in order to give it an extra punch. Bonus points for reminding me a little of Funfetti cake.



gobi
Zitron Gobi Premier
40% Merino, 30% Camel, 30% Alpaca; worsted weight

I saw the name of this one and I was all, I BET IT'S CAMEL and then it was. Whoop whoop. This a bit chewier and a bit less soft than one might expect given it's fiber content- more rustic. Sort of like I'd imagine camel yarn is in the countries where camels actually live. The color is gorgeous!



kidseta
Schulana Kid-Seta
70% Kid Mohair, 30% Silk; lace weight

This is a lot like the sequinny yarn, but with less nylon and a little thinner. Same rules apply, really- it's got a gorgeous halo and a touch of sheen and would be rather luminous in a lace shawl or garment. Pretty darn soft for brushed mohair. I could almost wear this around my neck, and I am the biggest mohair wimp in the world.




ecco
Zitron Ecco
100% Superwash Merino Extrafine; worsted weight

Let's wrap this up with a yarn I can only describe as "solid." It's soft, it's cable-plied, it's superwash, it's smooth, it's worsted weight- basically it seems like a perfect workhorse. I would make everything from baby blankets to "lady sweaters" with this quite happily.



NOW! The fun part. I'm going to give one of you some of this yarn! I don't know which ones yet, I have to decide what I can bear to part with. To enter to win, just leave a comment telling me which of these yarns you'd most like to play with (the ones in the last post count too.) If you win I'll try to include your favorite.....unless it's my favorite too. Mwahaha.

You have one week!


64 comments:

  1. So many yarns!! This must have been the most exciting mail in the world.

    I have a soft spot for DK angora and very felty singles and that strange papery-crisp hand, so: Schulana Angora-Fashion, Schoppel Wolle IN Silk, and Schoppel Wolle Baby Alpaka are the ones I most wish would show up at my house. Also Schoppel Wolle Cashmere Queen from your last post. OMNOM.

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  2. I love this post (and your amazing nail polish).

    If I HAD to choose...I'd totally go for the Schulana Kid-Paillettes. You said it, girl, SEQUINS!!!! Think I'd make something lacy to show off the yarn/sequins combo.

    Knitting heaven!

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  3. I'm craving that HiKoo Simplicity/Simplicity Worsted! It looks scrumptious, and I agree with you--the labels are SWANKY! :)

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  4. I am really drawn to the Kimono and the Schoppel Wolle IN Silk. Apparently I'm on a silk kick. (You'll see when I send you my Doomsday proposal.)

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  5. Zitron Gobi without a doubt. It looks slippery and soft and drapey and lofty all at once. I'm thinking sweater with a big loose cable somewhere. It's beautiful. Then I'd go to the Unisomo because who doesn't love sock yarn with all its possibilites. I love the semi-solid look of that grey ball. I just may have to buy that one somewhere. I can see it in a shawl. It appears to have the neccessary "squish" I look for.

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  6. So much pretty yarn! If I had to pick just one skein, I think I might choose the Schulana Kid-Seta. So pretty!

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  7. I would totally go for the Zitron Unisono. I love knitting socks and this one looks to be on the thick side, which would allow me to knit some patterns that need a larger needle.

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  8. Great post - it's nice to think about how I would use yarns that I wouldn't normally gravitate to. If I had to pick one (you know, hypothetically), it would definitely be that Zitron Unisono. I love love love a tight, squishy twist. (why does that sound dirty? anyway.)

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  9. before i finished scrolling down, i gasped "how pretty!" at the Zitron Kimono. i also fell in love with the Schoppel Wolle Cashmere Queen from your previous post. i'll have to go check these out on ravelry.
    ~dana

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  10. I really like the Zitron Unisono!

    Rachel

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  11. Ooh, pretty! Zitron Unisono or Kimono, they look like exciting yarns!
    So interesting blog to follow, and so many pretty patterns :)

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  12. There are SO MANY FUN ONES! I love the Schule Grande, Schoppel Wolle Zaubenwolle, and Schulana Lambswool because of the bright ka-pow colors (and German names, whaaaat, awesome!)

    I also really like the Simplicity, Simpliworsted, and Zitron Unisono because colors are also gorgeous, but more muted and understated.

    That was one magical box of yarn, lady! :)

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  13. Schoppel Wolle XL, Schulana Sumerino Print, or the Schulana Violon, if only because I'm super curious about all of them, and don't think that I would give myself the luxury of trying them out otherwise. pretty pretty!!

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  14. I've been dying to work with Angora—I've never had the opportunity, and I'm sort of wondering if I'd love it or hate it. I'm also kind of fascinated by how many bunnies have to give up their soft stuff to make a ball of yarn—I visited a farm last summer, and it takes a lot of bunnies, I'll tell ya!

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  15. Ooh, the Schulana Seda-Mar and the Schoppel Wolle in Silk is calling my name. I am such a sucker for anything with silk in it. I would love to make a cardigan or even a warm cozy scarf!

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  16. If I walked into a yarn shope and these were the total selection,the Zitron Kimono would have me pulling out my wallet, especially because of the rich, deep blue. Then it would probably want to play with the Schulana Seda-Mar, becuase blue and gold work so well together - think King Tut and you'll be on the same page as me.

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  17. OMG, the Cashmere Queeeeeeeen! And/or the simplicity/simpliworsted. These yarns are so cool, it's been great seeing your thoughts on them!

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  18. Ooooh, that Schulana Kid-Paillettes with the sequins is amazing! The Schoppel Wolle Cashmere Queen from the last post jumps out at me too!

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  19. Definitely that bulky yellow. THE COLOR! However, the simplicity/worsted looks pretty darn awesome too. Hats....

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  20. Well, I'm no good at choosing just one. I sometimes leave my LYS empty handed because the other option is one of everything. My favorites are:

    Schoppel Wolle Zauberwolle - love the long color changes for a shawl or cowl
    Zitron Kimono - I'm on a bit of a silk kick
    Zitron Unisono - that grey is so pretty! and yarn that moisturizes as you knit - that's either genius or a horrible idea, I need to try it to know which
    Schoppel Wolle XL - Teal has always been my favorite color
    Schulana Angora-Fashion - I've never knit with angora, but I've petted the bunnies at fiber festivals and would love to try it.
    Schoppel Wolle Cashmere Queen - love the color and an interesting combo of fibers - silk and cashmere.

    If I have to pick just one, it'd be the grey Zitron Unisono.

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  21. The Unisono looks soooo awesome, but the Schulana Seda-Mar looks like something incredibly awesome is going to come out of it.

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  22. I would love to try any of them, but if I could pick my faves are the lambswool with the rainbow-ness, the HiKoo Simplicity/Simpliworsted, and the Schoppel Wolle Zauberwoole.

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  23. From the photos and your descriptions, the yarns that appeal to me the most are 1) Simplicity and Simpliworsted (love mint chip!), 2) Zitron Unisono (especially the gray, which looks like it would knit up into awesome socks or maybe a shawl) and 3) Zitron Kimono (which would definitely work for a shawl or drapey cardigan). Can't wait to see what you do with the samples! (sjn821 on Rav)

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  24. I would love to try out the Zitron Unisono or the intriguing Schoppel Wolle XL.
    thanks for this chance to win!

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  25. ooooh i love the tweedy ones, and the zitron kimono-- you are totally right about a drapey cardigan.

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  26. Zitron Unisono is totally great, I love the subtle changes in color.
    Schulana Tamarillo reminds me of my rag rug and I would love to play with the texture. plus, cotton is great for warm weather.
    Schoppel Wolle Zauberwolle's color fascinates me, and I've been experimenting with self-stripers lately.

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  27. I would love to try the "Zitron Kimono" or "Zitron Unisono" thanks for the yarn details and great pictures, and of course, the opportunity to win!

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  28. i would love the schulana grande or the schulana donegal tweed. thanks for hosting!

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  29. I love the Schulana Donegal-Tweed. For some reason it just looks so home-y! Thanks for the contests! Even if I don't win, it's fun to think about what I could do with the yarn if I did :)

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  30. I'm a fan of the Kimono and the Shulade Grande(the bright yellow yarn.)

    So pretty!

    Thank you for having this giveaway!

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  31. in loooove with the zitron unisono yarns. i am also peculiarly drawn to the bright yellow schulana grande (!?). so hard to pick one! thanks for the contests :-D

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  32. My favorite is the Schulana Seda-Mar. Why? I love anything shiny!

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  34. Ooh, the Schulana Lambswool! That yarn has been on my wishlist since I first saw it. I've got a sort of split personality about colors--my favorites are either super-saturated, pure colors or desaturated naturals--and the Lambswool manages to combine both together in a really cool way.

    Also, it's kind of relieving to hear that you are sensitive to the scratchiness of yarns. I've only recently admitted to myself that I find a lot of yarns (and thus, unfortunately, many of my existing FOs) too rough to wear. I'd love to hear more about your favorite yarns for next-to-skin softness.

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  35. I have to choose???? Okay, it's too hard to resist trying some camel! Wow!

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  36. I liked the Schoppel Wolle Cashmere Queen that you highlighted in your last post but I can't imagine that you'd part with it so I'd choose the Zitron Unisono (love the grayish blue colorway!).

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  37. Ecco, Gobi, Kimono... I love these three the best and would love to try any of the yarns!

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  38. Gorgeous yarns! Hard to pick, but I'd say simplicity and simpliworsted are my favorites--the two look great together (and, yeah, I love those label designs).

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  39. You know what? If I win, I'm going to make this sooo easy for you. I'll let you choose what to send me. Seriously, quality yarn is such a luxury to me (on my very tight budget) that I rarely ever get any. I'm at least 2 hours away from a yarn shop (other than the big box craft stores, which don't really count as a yarn store). So, the truth is, ANY of the yarns you displayed in either this post or the last would absolutely thrill me to receive! :-D

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  40. All drool worthy yarns. It is so difficult to pick one, but I think I will go with Zitron Unisono. Have fun petting the yarns!

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  41. They all look very interesting but I think the Schoppel Wolle IN Silk would have to be my first pick fav!

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  42. I'd love to get my hands on the Zitron Unisono.

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  43. I would love to know what the Schoppel Wolle Zauberwolle looks like knit up. I've been making shawls lately and this striping slowly phenomenon intrigues me.

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  44. I would love to see what you might choose...most of my knitting is done for my daughter who is about your age. She loves your designs...she also loves hats...and we thought it would be cool to knit one of yOur hats in a yarn chosen by you.

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  45. I love the Zitron Unisono and the Schulana Accordion. So much structure!

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  46. OMG, that orange color of the Schoppel Wolle is freakin fabulous.

    But then, Schoppel Wolle Zauberwolle is just fun to say. Zauberwolle. Zauuuuuuuberwoooooooolle!

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  47. I work a lot with Simplicity and I love the yarn. It washes and dryes like a dream, and you are correct, it does not feel like acrylic at all. Thanks for the great reviews.

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  48. Ohh! More pretties. You are one lucky knitter, aren't you?
    I'd love to take some yarn off your hands.....maybe the Zitron Unisono (since, you know, you have some) or the zauberwolle.

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  49. I already love Unisono, Kid Paillettes and Kid Seta. Would love to try the Lambswool, Tweed, Ecco, and any of those yummy, semi-felted Schoppel-Wolle yarns. I like all-natural yarns, so I tend to stay away from the Simplicity. I'm sure it's lovely, but I'm a bit of a snob about mixing acrylic with wool. Just seems unnecessary to me. :)

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  50. The Zauberwolle is calling to me, saying "Windswept shawl, please!" But I am not fussy, I'll take any and all of them!

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  51. Your descriptions make them sound so inviting! I'd love any of them, except the mohair and angora ones. They don't work well here in SoCal.
    Since you ask for a favorite, I'll say Unisomo or Zauberwolle.
    I am Goodstuff on Rav.

    Thanks!

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  52. The Unisomo looks mighty tasty! I'd love to play and see how soft my hands get! I like the comfy look of Gobi too :)

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  53. Schulana Kid-Paillettes is just my kind of yarn. Laceweight, mohair and sequins, the perfect combination. I think it was spun by the fairies especially for me.

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  54. I love schoppel wolle. All of those are lovely. I also enjoy superwash and merino so the zitron unisono would be awesome! I also like hikoo :) all is wonderful and would be awesome to knit with though!
    Thank ya!

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  55. id love to try the Schoppel-Wolle in silk or the schulana angora fashion or the Zitron Unisono :) it all looks like fun!

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  56. I would love to try the Simplicity and Simpliworsted by HiKoo, the Zitron Ecco, and the Schulana Lambswool. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway!

    greyowl60 at yahoo dot com

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  57. I'd love to try the schulama seda mar, with the silk thanks for the giveaway
    robinlscott4 at hotmail dot com

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  58. From the first post I'm still ogling the Sumerino Print. I love the speckly, denim-y look.

    From this one I love the Unisono. I just love fingering weight, and the idea that it moisturizes at the same time is just too awesome! It looks fab. :)

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  59. I'd love the sequin one (Kid-Paillettes) or maybe the camel one (Gobi premier). You are so lucky to receive this all, I'm jealous! ;)

    Seriously, I'd accept any of these yarns with joy hehe!

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  60. I'd also love to try the schulama seda mar. What a fantastic looking yarn!

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  61. Wow that's tough choice. Well, I would go for the Zitron Gobi Premier.
    First it is a blend of alpaca, camel and merino, which means: soft, warm, smooth and very yummy :)
    Then this is worsted weight it seems, perfect yarn for a chunky accessory, a cowl for instance, which would be knitted in no time. I just love "instant gratifications" projects :)
    And then, I like the color because it matches very well the "pure and simple" aspect of that yarn. But if this is already your favourite, well I would go for nearly any of the others ;) And if I don't win I'll have a look in Germany next time I go, I had never came across any Schulana yarn before, seems worth giving it a try! Thanks for that discovery :)

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  62. I would LOVE to play with the Schulana Kid-paillettes! I've always eyed sequinned yarns and never taken the plunge b/c i wasn't sure what the texture would be knitted up. The kid-paillettes looks nice and soft AND sparkly, which would rock my world.

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  63. I love your descriptions so much! The funfetti cake lambswool one looks cool, as does the weird texture-y cotton and the donegal. Love me some tweeds!

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