Yarn of the Week

Paton’s Soy Wool Stripes has been the yarn of the week. I read about it on Crazy Aunt Purl, and when I got to the part about it costing only $6 a skein and being available at Michael’s, I grabbed the car keys. Crazy Aunt Purl had compared its colorways to Noro, which added to my motivation.

When I located SWS at Michael’s, I had an “Oh, this is that yarn!” moment. I’ve been eyeing SWS in the Herrschner’s catalogue, but their photos left me uncertain about how this yarn would knit up, so I’d been doing my usual thing: folding down a corner to mark the yarn, but then tossing the catalogue in the recycliing without ordering. And a good thing, too—Herrschner’s wants $2 a ball more than Michael’s, and that’s before adding in postage.

I bought one skein each of Natural Blue, Natural Geranium, and Natural Green (which is as much pink as it is green). I believe the “natural” is in the name because each yarn includes some warm taupe in its color range. The blue SWS has become a rolled-brim beanie for Melissa, something she asked for a while back. To stop the rolling, I followed the stockingette opening rows with six rows of P one row, then K1, P1 one row, and had my second SWS-aha! moment. The stitch had been improvisation on my part (or so I thought), but actually, it’s a pattern I used on several scarves a year ago, which worked particularly well because the stitchess on each side are both pretty enough to wear as the “right” side: a knot-like stitch on one and a knit/moss rib on the other. So once I’d finished Melissa’s beanie, I pulled out the geranium skein and knit a whole hat using that stitch. Cute! I’ll get a pic and a “quickie pattern” (x inches of this, x inches of that, then decreases) up tomorrow.

This single-strand yarn—70% wool, 30% soy, 110 yards per 80-gram a skein—knits like a wool, but has a glossiness to its finish that must be credited to the soy. In fact, this yarn was slick enough that it took a few rounds to get used to working with it on my Addi Turbos. If I’d had wood circulars in the right size, I would have swtiched to them. This shine gives depth to the colors and invites petting. The color transitions are crisp, but not abrupt, no muddly spots between shades. The striping came out beautifully on the hats. I knit them both 80 stitches around and got stripes that averaged 1/2-3/4 of an inch in width. I’ll definitly be using this yarn in the furture and will keep my eyes peeled, in case it ever goes on sale at Michael’s (do let me know if you spot it anywhere at bargain prices).

For the record, Sparky has also given it his seal of approval. I wound the leftover yarn from the second hat into a little ball for him, and he carried it about in his jaws, prancing like a circus pony. He has become quite good about only playing with the yarn I give him, despite his early stash-weasel tendencies, so I like to allow him a bit of fun now and then.

P.S. Last night as I fell asleep, I was thinking of turning some of my cotton washrag yarn into placemats. What do you think?