Day Seven: Something About Yarn

Fourth Edition is taking part in the Knitting & Crocheting Blog Week, and you can read more about that blog project here. I often get asked which is the best yarn I have ever used. I never know how to answer because, for me, the quality of yarn is wholly dependent upon what project I am doing. When I think about yarn, which I admittedly do all the time, I just try to think about it in context. What type of project am I making and who am I making it for? How will the object be treated, how will it be used and how often will it be used? Do I need to think about maintenance? In other words, every yarn has a purpose.

Many knitters shudder at the thought of acrylic yarns, but I maintain they have their place in the knitting world. Knitting for young children? Acrylic yarns (or woolblends) will seem like a god-send because they can be thrown into the washing machine with nary a thought. Acrylic yarns also have a better range of colours, they will not pill as readily and certain brands will arguably withstand nuclear holocaust (or toddlers).

I do not tend to knit for children, though, so I mostly use natural fibres. Since I live in chilly Scotland I also tend to use mostly woolly yarns.

New Lanark Aran is one of my favourite yarns. It is locally produced, is available in some truly beautiful colours and, best of all, it knits up like a dream whilst still being affordable. Old Maiden Aunt is another guilty pleasure - she dyes beautiful sock- and lace-yarns. I adore Rowan Kidsilk Haze which has a beautiful halo and yearn for a project in Rowan Lima, a soft and complex merino/alpaca-blend.  Drops Alpaca is one of my desert island yarns. I'd happily roll around in Noro Cashmere Island.  Also, I hoard Dansk Naturfiber 1-ply kidmohair/merino because I think it may be discontinued, it is absolutely divine, and I rarely get a chance to get my clammy hands on it (I used it for my Laminaria shawl). I dream of making something out of Garthenor 1-ply. And let us not forget handspun wool - I am lucky to count some hand-spinners among friends.

Meet the glittering star in my yarn stash firmament, though.

This is Färgkraft SoftBlend, a 2-ply laceweight Gotland-wool handdyed using organic dyes by textile artist Margrét Kållberg for the Färgkraft co-op in Sweden. 765 yards of utter perfection.It ticks all my boxes: rustic, organic, laceweight, Scandinavian, and dyed in my favourite colour in the entire world.

A Swedish friend of mine gave it to me last year as a birthday present. I am still trying to decide what to make from it. I feel tempted to pair it with my favourite shawl pattern, but on the other hand I also feel tempted to pair it with a traditional Scandinavian (or Nordic) shawl pattern.

I have many, many lovely yarns in my stash thanks to friends and family, but the Färgkraft 1-ply just stands out for me. I may never actually use it, you know..