Monday, 28 March 2011

A Tale of Two Yarns 2KCBWDAY1

I'm quite excited to be participating in the second annual Knitting and Crochet Blog week (obviously I didn't participate in the first one having never knitted before, let alone seen the vast array of online resources and community that exists!) - Especially due to the lack of my own content this week - some small level of progress has been made on my cardigan, but yesterday boyfriend and I spent the day gardening... I'm so not cut out for manual labour - I couldn't even pick up my knitting in the evening, my arms were like wet noodles *laughs and winces at the same time*

So, luckily I have a week's worth of pre-defined topics to write about ;)

"Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them."

It's been quite interesting to think about this, especially as I don't have a lot of experience with a huge variety of yarns. I had to spend a fair while trying to decide which to write about as my favourite, but my least favourite was easy, so I'll start with that ;)

It's Sirdar Big Softie, that I bought online from Kemps, at the vast cost of 59p per ball *laughs*. I was very new to knitting when I bought it, in fact I'd only made my very first scarf at this point, and I had no idea about how different yarns felt or behaved. But it was cheap, and I didn't want to spend a lot of money on yarn before I knew that I'd want to carry on knitting. Besides, it looked so soft and fluffy in the picture!

I tried knitting a couple of things with it and hated the way it felt in my hands, there was something that just really didn't appeal. Even at a needle size above the one recommended, the stitches were really tight (at first I thought I'd just inherited my mum's tendency to knit tightly, but later experiences have not proved this to be true). 

I tried knitting "my so called scarf" with this, but the overwhelming sameness of the colour really detracted from the pattern, it ended up looking very matted and flat. So I frogged and, as you can see from the state of the picture above, have not touched since. 

Now, onto a yarn that I love. This was quite hard, and I'm still struggling to pick one of three while I write this. My three contenders are: Rowan Kidsilk Aura, Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk Aran and Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend...

Hmm, they all seem to have something in common *laughs* It wasn't until I started thinking about this post that I realised what a sucker I am for something with silk in it! And now, having looked at the pictures, how I apparently like purple a lot more than I realised *confused smile* I suppose there is a real richness to it, that works especially well in conjunction with the silk.

I still haven't 100% decided which I love the most. I have a feeling it'll soon be the Manos, but as I have only played with it so far, and not actually made anything, right now I'm gonna go with the Alpaca.

I remember the revelation of knitting with it, how soft and buttery it felt in my hands. Apart from some mercerized cotton (that I still haven't finished making a scarf with - that stuff is hard on the hands!), this was the first non-acrylic/acrylic-blend yarn I'd ever used. At the same time I went from plastic and aluminium needles to bamboo, so it was a pretty intense change!

I liked the way the stitches looked, the way the fabric draped and the fact that this was the yarn I made my first wearable, non-accessory item with *pridefulness*

I loved every second I spent knitting with it, constantly stopping to stroke what I'd made so far *laughs* And so began my emerging love of all things silky ;) 

Of course, due to not having been knitting long, there are plenty of exciting new yarns to try out that I've read lots about on other blogs. My only problem is the fact that I want them all, right now, despite only having two hands!


  1. I started off with Sirdar Click when I took up knitting again (from Kemps!). I progressed to more expensive yarns pretty quickly... Manos del Uruguay silk blend is one of my favourite ever yarns, so soft and the colours are gorgeous.

  2. Yep, I definitely went to more expensive ones pretty quickly, as soon as I decided I enjoyed knitting and would continue, I started to invest more. I'm loving the Manos so much that I can't decide what to do with it (and I've already picked out another 3 colourways that I want!)

  3. Manos Silk Blend is one of my favourites, too! So soft and lovely. I agree with you on silk blends, though. Mmmm.

  4. Seems like a lot of love for Manos out there ;)

  5. I haven't tried the Manos yet but I really want to. I hear so many good things about it.


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