Since my creative focus this year is on publishing new designs, I’ve had the opportunity to try some great new yarns lately. Most are brand new products that have been offered for placement to publications, so I find myself working with yarns I’ve never seen or touched. It’s fun to receive yummy new yarns in big boxes and bags that have not been chosen by me. It’s a surprise; it’s like Christmas!
A new product I particularly like is Woolstok by Blue Sky Fibers. This is a new, light worsted weight yarn grown in Peru, 100% wool and available in 50g and 150g skeins. It is veeeery gently spun, producing an airy yet bouncy yarn that is exceptionally soft. When worked in flat stitches (like stockinette), it produces a smooth, velvety fabric. When mixed with knits and purls, Woolstok becomes oat-y and rich, puffing into purl stitches and creating heavenly definition. The colors are a subtle and gorgeous range that is deepened and made enigmatic by fiber dying first, then blending and spinning. I worked over 3500 yards of Woolstok without a dull moment.
As a long-time fan of “Kenzie”, I was happy to learn about another great yarn from HiKoo, SimpliWorsted. This is a durable workhorse, perfect for children’s garments or the new knitter. A blend of superwash Merino, acrylic and nylon, there’s no fear of shrinkage, felting or wear with this yarn. SimpliWorsted is an S-ply, so if you’re familiar with yarns like Sublime Extra-Fine Merino, you’ll know that this type of spinning produces a plump, round, buttery soft yarn with a very even texture. Even at looser gauges, SimpliWorsted becomes suede-like on the straightaways and perfectly defined for techniques like cabling or textured stitches.
Speaking of S-ply yarns, I recently had the opportunity to sample Naturally Soft Merino from MillaMia of Sweden. This is a lush and gloriously plump 100% merino that has been spun in Italy. It is, literally, a sport-weight version of Sublime. NSM blossoms into every available space, creating bouncy, highly elastic fabrics that are soft and comfortable to wear. The color range is pretty and very wide. (pssst! Watch for MillaMia playing a starring role in my upcoming shawl series 😉
Have you spotted any of the new Yarn Stories merino/alpaca DK? You’ll want to grab this one for sure. Silky soft with a slight halo, this British luxury blend is a joy to knit with and is just perfect for shawls, baby clothes and luxurious big-girl garments. The colors are stunning. I know that Yarn Stories is stocked quite widely in the UK (it’s spun in Yorkshire), but I’m not sure who, if anyone, is carrying it on this side of the pond. It’s definitely worth the wait; you can order it through LoveKnitting.
Since it’s Valentine’s Day tomorrow, you just might want to treat yourself! (At least it’s not fattening 😉