Monday, August 6, 2012

my whimsical notions: materials

 this week, i've decided to do a series of posts on some of my favorite things: materials, techniques, tricks, and a few other things! this is basically a place for me to write about things i haven't found a place for.

wool: before i started knitting, i hated buying wool garments from shops in the mall. they were always itchy and awful. the real blame rests on the commercial manufacturers (and on the consumer too...), and the desire for cheap supplies that makes such a sub-par product. buying wool yarn, though, is like a miracle in it's softness, spring, and versatility. wool is perfect for sweaters, socks, gloves, hats, scarves, literally anything i can think of. if you think wool is itchy and awful, i'd love to give you a skein of merino to cuddle for a little while.

linen: linen is great for summer garments, market bags, anything you want to be sturdy and light! and with most linens, it gets softer with washing!

hand-dyed/painted: hand-dyeds/painteds look best when knit in garter or seed stitch, anything to give it a little texture and really make the color pop! if your hand-dyed is lightly variegated, it'll work well with a more complicated stitch pattern. what you don't want to do is mix a super variegated yarn with a complicated stitch pattern, or all your hard stitching won't be shown off.

koigu kppm: did you ever play that game as a kid, or for an ice-breaker, that goes: if you were trapped on a deserted island, what 1 book/movie/video game/candy would you choose to be stuck there with? well, koigu is my 'deserted island' yarn. i've used it for a few pairs of socks, a scarf, and most recently, an entire sweater! koigu painter's palette merino is 100% merino wool (read: extra soft!), with a tight twist that makes it super springy, and some of the most gorgeous colors. it works as a fingering or a sport. i think it'd be impossible to find something that wouldn't work for this yarn!

spud & chloe sock: this silk and wool fingering blend is great for socks, because it's got the springiness of wool and the silk holds it all together and gives it some support. i've also used it for fingerless gloves to great success! and the colorways are so vibrant!!

donegal tweed: a great all-around worsted weight wool, i've especially enjoyed it for hats, and for needle felting. kind of rough-spun, 1ply, with lovely complimentary tweeds! i'd really like to make a cowl, or use this yarn for fair-isle.

colinette jitterbug: i've only used this yarn twice-ish but i am in love! another great hand-painted fingering weight, with enough yarn for a pair of socks in one skein! i can't wait to use it for more pieces!

color and fiber content are always vying for supremacy in my knitting, and it usually has to be a case-by-case decision if i'll settle for a color for a better fiber content for the piece, or choose better colors.

**i have not received money, sponsorship, yarn, or candy from any of these people/companies for featuring their products/techniques. this is my tribute to my favorite things, and is entirely my own opinion, communicated under no duress at my own volition.

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