Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ode on a (Non)Grecian Yarn

Why is Louet Gems fingering weight yarn so lovely to work with?

This is Koigu KPPPM in the colourway I think of as "Orchid." (Gorgeously hand painted on Gems fingering weight)

I love the delicate sheen, the tiny little pillows of puffy merino, the yarn's gentle stretch and "steel magnolia" strength. I love the texture of Gems Pearl when it's knitted up, whether in stockinette, cable, or lace. The slight pebbly nature that adds interest to anything I knit...And, of course, I love the way it takes up colour. (I'm suffering from Anglophilia today.)

Is it weird to love a yarn that much? To take it out and gaze at it because the way it's spun makes me (oddly?) happy? Or am I not alone? Do all knitters feel that kind of passion for one yarn or another?

Neighborhood Fiber Co. uses Louet yarns, including my favorite. In fact, Karida dropped off a little cake of Brightwood the other day. Hand-painted yarn house calls...Now THAT'S luxury! I can't wait to use it. I'll be casting on for my chevron scarf as soon as I finish the second Orchid Sock.
Here's my yummy little Brightwood "yarn muffin" (blue), waiting with its friends to be knit into something wonderful. (BTW: I also adore her Brookland colourway...Uh oh. I feel another purchase coming on.)

Looking at my "I-can't-wait-to-start-these-projects" stash, I see that nearly all of my current and future projects involve Louet Gems fingering weight yarn in one way or another. Socks, of course. And the soon-to-be-mine Chevron Scarf. And the edging on Tahoe (sadly pushed aside while I complete the Orchid Socks, but I'll be back to work on it soon!).

And Gems is not just sock yarn--it can be used for almost anything. Check out Melissa's lovely Annabelle design (scroll down a bit, on the right-hand side). She made it in sock-weight cashmere. But wouldn't Gems make a great substitution?

(My small collection of Claudia Hand Painted yarn, also based on Gems.)

At last year's Maryland Meat and Wool Festival, I saw dozens of knitters crammed like sardines into the very small Koigu booth, grabbing armloads of skeins out of baskets marked "Sale." I was shocked...

To me, some of the colours were a bit--how do I say this--garish? But my fellow fiber-holics didn't seem to notice the colours. They just pushed, grabbed, and bought. I attributed this to the sock-knitting craze that pre-dated today's lace knitting craze. But maybe I was wrong. Maybe it was the yarn itself, and the mostly-fabulous colourways were the icing on the cake...

I really would like to know what you think. Do you feel the same way? Or are you true to another? Tell me: What yarn makes YOU lapse rhapsodic?

Go ahead, I know you want to comment...and I promise not to let the cat out of the bag ;-)



.k said...

Hey, you visited my blog and asked about rosie sock yarn -- it´s Opal Uni 1413.
You have sooooo beautiful yarns here! I really need to take a look at your blog much more :D

Karida said...

i'm a very visually motivated person. some people can read something or hear something and then create art to evoke the mood. i'm more likely to look at the cover of the pier 1 circular that came in the mail and dye up some yarn to match the color scheme of the model room (the story of brookland).

amanda j said...

I look at colour more than anything I guess, but I must admit I am swayed by other people's suggestions. My problem is my location - I can't get anything yummy here, and always have to pay postage to get anything!!

Sheila said...

Isn't it great when you find a favorite yarn? You just want to tell everyone about it. I love Mountain Colors yarns. The colors are wonderful and they knit up like a dream. Funny though, I haven't tried their sock yarn. I will have to add to the stash!