(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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The sequins are very subtle- you can see how they disappear in the picture above, but when they catch the light...
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:
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!
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.
(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.)
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.
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!
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.
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!