One of the knitting-related blogs that I’ve discovered lately is called Eskimimi Knits, and I love seeing all of her projects. Yesterday I also found out that she’s doing this great project called Knitting and Crochet Blog Week – which is a fun way to get a lot of crafty bloggers to all blog on certain themes and get to know each other better all week. I’m so glad that I found out about it just in time to participate! Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up every day – if you’re a knitting or crocheting blogger (you don’t have to have a blog dedicated to it), why doing you join in too?
Today’s topic (2KCBWDAY1) is all about yarn – definitely one of the most important things to consider when you’re knitting or crocheting. And one of the most fun too – like most fiber enthusiasts, I have a yarn stash, because it’s really hard to pass up something perfectly soft or a gorgeous color. I keep my stash pretty low in general, due mostly to financial and space constraints – but I do have one. One of these days I need to go through it and weed out the yarn that I know I’ll never, ever use – but for now I keep it all. Just in case, of course.
I haven’t worked with too very many different types of yarns yet, again since my budget is pretty limited. I also stick to those that are machine washable – a must-have with kids, of course. Lately I’ve been all over sock yarns, since I’ve been focusing on sock and glove projects just about exclusively, so I’ll talk about a couple of those here.
The first yarn to discuss is the Mini Mochi that I used to make my fingerless gloves/convertible mittens earlier this year. There are definitely some things that I absolutely love about this yarn – especially the colors. I used a pastel range (called ‘baby face’), but I’ve seen the other colors that Mochi yarns come in and I love pretty much all of them! It’s also very soft and slightly fuzzy – and is machine washable (although can’t go in a dryer). It’s 80% merino wool and 20% nylon and is a single-ply yarn. I liked the single-ply a lot – it didn’t split the way that some of the multi-ply yarns I’ve used do and it knit very smoothly on my Addi Turbo needles.
Working with it was a dream – but I would never use this yarn again for a pair of something, like socks and gloves. Unless I didn’t care if the colors matched exactly – because it’s dyed before it’s spun, the colors definitely don’t go in a predictable pattern. I lucked out with my two balls and my gloves match fairly well. But I can definitely tell the difference between the two, especially since they were different dye lots as well, and one ball was much more subdued color-wise than the other. If I’d know what I would be making with it when I originally bought it, I would have bought two balls, not just one. For something like a hat or a scarf, this would be perfect – but I won’t use it again for socks or gloves. I have a book of patterns of various projects for sock yarn (other than socks), so I think I’ll definitely use Mini Mochi for at least some of them.
My second yarn is Patons Stretch Socks – (the first sock yarn that I ever bought), in the ‘olive’ shade. I bought this yarn originally because I liked the idea of socks that stretch, thinking that it would make sizing easier – and also because I loved the colors that it comes in. It took me a year to finish my first sock – and I think that was in part because I found this yarn really difficult to work with. The socks that I’ve made since with other yarns have been a lot easier.
The biggest problem that I had with the stretchy sock yarn was that it tends to curl and loop and tangle – I had to keep un-twirling the yarn between the needles and the skein and I felt like it was really twisted as it knit too. It’s not as soft as I’d hoped either – but the socks that I made definitely do stretch, which is nice when wearing them. It’s 41% cotton, 30% wool, 13% nylon and 7% elastic and although it says hand wash only, I have washed my socks in the machine just fine. I do hand dry them though. I had horrible problems with laddering while knitting them – in part because it was my first try at using dpns, but I’ve also talked to someone else who said that she thinks the stretchy yarn makes that problem worse in general too. I’m kind of curious to see if I’d have any better result by using magic loop – I have another couple of balls of this yarn (in ‘plum’ this time), so I’ll probably try and find out at some point. I love the colors so much – if I had a way to fix the twisting problem, I’d be a lot more inclined to use this yarn more often.
There’s a lot more yarn in my stash, of course – but these are a couple of the ones I’ve used recently. Right now I’m using a yarn called Ty-Dy Socks from Knit One Crochet Two. I like it a lot – but it’s a multi-ply yarn, and splits terribly. Or at least I have difficulty with making sure I’ve got my needle through the entire stitch anyway. Other than that it’s been really nice to work with and I love how the striping comes out. This color is called ‘Cherry Cola’ and my daughter absolutely loves it – good thing the socks I’m knitting are going to be for her!
Come back tomorrow to hear where I think I’m at skill-wise compared to a year ago!