Friday, August 5, 2011

Kind AND Sparkly

I liked different things about all of the sampler yarns, but the one I liked everything about was Buddy's sparkly golden yarn. Sparkly yarn that looks just like any other skein of Buddy yarn...or does it? Stay with me.

I love how the Cotswold curls reappear when you wash the freshly spun yarn.

Cotswolds were at one time known as the sheep with the golden fleece. This was not a reference to the color of their wool, but the economic value garnered from the part they played in the lucrative Medieval wool trade. In fact, elaborate wool churches were built from the enormous profits.

Enormous profits?


Excuse the creamy yellow tint. I've worked and worked with the white balance (what makes white look white in a photograph) in the wool house (not to be confused with a Wool Church built from Enormous Profits) and this is as close as I can get to real life. See the hint of sparkle?

It won't knock you out, but it will catch your eye and make you take a second look. Outside in bright sunlight it's very subtle; inside at night with the lights on? Pop! I'm glad I hadn't started spinning the lace weight for my Buddy shawl. It's definitely going to have some gold glitz...and I can't wait!

Left to right - Marcel and the bunny fuzz, Marcel and some alpaca and a tiny bit of gold, Jacob and kid mohair, Marcel and alpaca, soft white wool with bunny fuzz.

I wasn't super jazzed by any of the bunny yarn until I washed it and fluffed it up. I was most interested in the bunny blends because I've fallen in love with Dianne's Phoebe (go look at her sitting under a chair in her studio - Too. Cute.) and I can feel my resolve dissolving.

The alpaca blends were fine, but I'll have to own up to being a bit prejudiced against them from the start. Not only did I find the beautiful fiber fussy to wash (give me grease over dirt any day), but for some reason I am scared of llamas and alpacas. I don't know why. I've never had a bad experience of any sort.

I have horses, so it can't be the size that bothers me. I think it might be their long skinny necks with their (albeit cute) faces/eyes that look down on me with, well, the same look Graham Lamb gives me. I know when I'm outsmarted...and they know I know. I think I'm a wool girl ;-).

So the second yarn I couldn't wait to sample was the Jacob/kid mohair blend. I love picking out a knitting pattern and working up a small sample. This yarn was soft and slippery and the hand wound ball was rolling all over the couch as I cast on. Luckily I have a beautiful yarn bowl from Flat Creek Wool and Pottery. Worked like a charm. A really pretty charm.

Yep, I like it. And I learned (by accident/mistake) a couple new techniques. First, there is a purl "column" between the small cables and the large. I forgot and knit it straight across. Nice. I was pretty sure I could drop all those stitches down and pick them up as I did. Good practice, especially the way I knit.

Next I sent one of the small cables the wrong direction. I did this way back on the Trinity Vest and didn't know I could fix it. I thought I'd have to rip back 6 or so rows of knitting (which I wouldn't hesitate to do now thanks to Stella :-) and couldn't make myself do it. I decided to try to rip the 4 stitches down on this sample, reverse the cable and pull them all back up. Ta da!

Soft fuzzy yarn. I wonder if it will overwhelm the patterning as it continues to halo?

Another look at the two samples. I realize for true lace knitting you'd rather have a clean (not fuzzy) worsted spun yarn, but that's what's nice about spinning and knitting for yourself. You can make it just the way you like...and apparently fuzzy is me. Just look at my own Cotswoldy hair.



Jenny Glen said...

They spit! That's why you don't like them. Deep down, you know that you don't want to be spit on.

Alice said...

I agree with Jenny. You wouldn't even like to SAY the word, let alone think it could happen to you.

I love the experimenting you have done with the fiber blends. I like wool with a halo because it looks more like sheep au'natural.

Graham's locks are lustrous without any addition and are one of my favorites.

Michelle said...

I agree with Alice; I love the experimenting you've done, too. We all learn, without having to do it all ourselves! (I count myself lucky to just eke out time to SPIN!)

Christine said...

Llamas do tend to look at you as if you are a sub species don't they? lol

All of the yarn is gorgous. I wish I could spin as well as you. I just need another 24 hours in every day.

thecrazysheeplady said...

Nah, I spend most of my life filthy dirty, so I don't think it's the spitting factor. It's a totally irrational fear.

I'm definitely not a great spinner, but it all looks good knit or woven up :-).

Nancy K. said...

I wish I could KNIT as well as you! Maybe someday. I wonder if I'll be able to knit while I'm in the hospital.... ;-)

I had three French Angora Bunnies. They are SO beautiful and cute. The problem is ~ those three bunnies were more work than my twenty sheep!

Just sayin' Don't say I didn't warn you!

Peacecat said...

Gorgeous, yummy yarns!!!

Angora bunnies are so fun. I had a German Angora, Fluffy Bun-Bun, that had the sweetest personality in the world. And her fur didn't mat (which can be a more typical German A trait).

Terry said...

SO pretty!

Dianne@sheepdreams said...

Beautiful samples! Marcel's pretty brown fleece looks good with everything.

You really, really need a Bun! And, just for the record, my llamas and alpacas have never spit at me...ever. In fact, I'd have to say they are much cleaner to work with than sheep (and you know how I love my sheep).

Alice said...

Love the heart-shaped yarn layout in the first photo. Cardworthy :-)

flowerweaver said...

Looks wonderful to me, but then I'm a fuzzy kind of gal, too.


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