Look – an Ishbel that I finished over the weekend. I am in love. Between working with this yarn (more on that in a minute) and looking over today’s list of yarns going up, and knowing what we have coming up in the near future, I realized something. It is important to me to work with beautiful yarn. So I came up with my own personal yarn rules.
1. I want it to feel good on my hands, since I’ll be spending hours and hours working with it.
2. I want it to look good when the project is finished and blocked and ready to wear … and long after that.
3. I want to be happy that I spent the time and money on the whole thing.
Pretty simple rules. It helps me to make better yarn-buying decisions for my own personal stash. For the first rule, that means I know that I like the feel of soft merino, alpaca, cashmere, soft cotton, and silk. (Not all together – just in differing combinations and in different bases.) I don’t like things that feel rough or squeaky in my hands. For the second rule, I know that it means that I want to buy quality yarn, from quality dyers. I have added other yarn into my personal stash over the past years that was not necessarily a good quality, and not necessarily well-dyed, and those went into my give-away pile. (Some were samples to see if we wanted to carry them here at the shop, some were “too good to pass up” sale items, and others were just …. a lapse of judgement, I guess!) For the third rule – well, that automatically works out if I followed rules one and two.
Back to the Ishbel shawl. This skein of yarn fit all of my rules. Julie (of Juliespins) sent me a sample of this yarn to test out. You just have to know, I’m not a yellow person. It’s not that I don’t like yellow, really. There are a lot of great yellows out there. In fact, I still have a pair of in-progress yellow socks, started during a time of too many cloudy days in a row. But I very seldom see a yellow in yarn that I “have” to knit. Other colors always catch my eye first. This skein of silk/merino from Julie was one that really grabbed me. It was a combination of the color and the silky sheen and the luxurious feel. I just knew I needed to sit down and make something out of it. (And when the big batch of it arrived last week for the shop, I grabbed a different color. Love the base.) I think I needed a bright yellow shawl/scarf to wear in the middle of winter, right?
This is what I mean about wanting to work with beautiful yarn. Every time I sat down to work on this project, the yarn made it that much more fun. And in addition to using these kinds of beautiful yarns myself, I love sharing them with you! So here are some of the beautiful things that we have for you tonight:
Juliespins Silky 435 – 16 colors of this same fingering weight yarn base that captured my attention during my Ishbel knitting. And you already know what an amazing job Julie does on her dyework.
Fiesta’s Gracie’s Lace – another one that falls into the “beautiful to work with” category, because this laceweight yarn is a mixture of merino, cashmere and silk. And at 950 yds. per skin, there is plenty to work with.
The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga and Skinny Bugga – the merino/cashmere/nylon yarn bases that we have all become addicted to. Just as wonderful for socks as it is for shawls and cowls and scarves and sweaters.
So you’ve read my three yarn-buying rules. Do you have any others that you go by?