Reinvent Too- A Yarn to Make You Think

Sometimes you can stumble across a yarn that can just make you think a bit. It might have an interesting color, a different construction, an unusual ply or twist, or in the case of Ancient Arts Yarns Reinvent Too for me it was the fibers that it is comprised of.

Not that the fibers used are all that unusual, it is more that I do not know if I have seen them put together in this way before. It is comprised of 49% Wool, 34% Mohair, 11% Nylon, 4% Acrylic, 2% Silk, so at a glance I can tell that it is going to have some warmth, some strength, some softness, and some durability. I cannot recall seeing wool combined with mohair, and having an addition of silk. These are all natural fibers with varying qualities to provide nice yarns all on their own, so often I see them highlighted in a skein where they alone are the shining star and there might be some other small contributors of support.

I guess the part that threw me the most was the large amounts of wool and mohair. Wool I have seen everywhere, but mohair I usually see in yarns that allow its fine quality and natural halo be the defining quality of the yarn. This is not the case in Reinvent Too. The mohair is a work horse of sorts adding its softness and warmth to this blend.

This yarn offers a very nice stitch definition, and even though it is listed as a worsted weight, I feel it is on the lighter side of this definition and would personally treat it more as a light weight or DK. It is not quite as soft as I would have expected, but still pretty nice. It may soften up after a hand washing, I have not tested this theory however. I think that it would work up nicely as a shawl, or a cardigan or jacket. I don’t know how well I would enjoy it as a scarf as it seems a bit rough to the skin on my neck, but a hat would probably be fine. I could also easily see this creating a small throw, it would easily work up great for spring and fall temperatures.

The color selection for this yarn is beautiful, as is normal for Ancient Arts, so you could definitely find a color to inspire you. The hanks have 198 yds/180m per 3.5oz/100g skein, that may limit it to small yarn projects, but I think you may be pleasantly surprised with it.

Merino & Acrylic- Deramores a Nice Choice

I was surprised at how soft and gentle I found Deramores Vintage Chunky yarn. It is quite lofty and works up very smoothly. I found it really pleasant to use, and would gladly pick it up again. It is not as springy as I would have thought by looking at it (yet there is a little),it is very stable and giving great stitch definition.

Deramores Vintage Chunky yarn. Www.lindadeancrochet.com

Deramores Vintage Chunky yarn

This yarn is half acrylic and half Merino Wool, which might explain the lack of springiness, as Merino may be known for its softness and warm, but it appears that this combination with acrylic reduces the amount of stretch that might otherwise be present. It is probably the Merino that gives this yarn its loft and airiness appearance, yet the acrylic tempers it enough that it could be worked as a home décor item, instead of the garment wear that I usually feel is better fitting for Merino.

It is a 5 ply yarn may have a slight tendency to pill after excessive wear, yet does not split when being worked. The fiber has a moderate length and this gives the yarn a slight halo, this is also caused by the ply. It allows light to be refracted offering a subtle type of sheen, that I cannot quite fond the word for.

This yarn is a medium weight and a generous 100 gram ball has 153 yards, which goes a bit further then you might first think. I would readily use it for hats and scarves, but also for pillows and afghans. As it does not have much weight for a hearty drape, I would not use if for hairpin lace, and it has a bit too much spring for broomstick lace and love knot stitches, but it will work well with most all of traditional crochet methods.

Arya Ebruil Yarn Has Some Definite Possibilities

ScannedImageYarns with only a single twist can create a unique stitch that is well defined and full, but there can be some draw backs. I experienced these with a new yarn, Nako Arya Ebruil.

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Nako Arya Ebruil yarn

The yarn has beautiful colorways, with long gradient color, so long that it maybe that only the beginning and end use of the skein will share the same tones. It is lovely lace to superfine weight yarn comprised of 80% Acrylic, 10% wool, and 10% Alpaca, so it is not only durable, but has a little extra warmth. The feel is quite soft, and the single strand has a nice twist.

So what is a single strand? Well yarn is usually made up of multiple strands of twisted fiber that are plied together, meaning they twisted together in the opposite direction than they were originally created, it is this tension that creates a study yarn. A single simply means that it is only one, being the initial twist of the fiber, there is no plying with others to create a tension. This does cause some definite positives as it creates a nicely defined stitch, and can easily highlight various stitch work, but there is a drawback, it tends to pill, and is not a yarn that you want to rip back often as it usually snags on itself. This is due to the fact that the individual fibers are not as securely “locked” into the yarn structure and can break free of the twist. All of these characteristics are present in this yarn.

That being said, it still has a nice drape and feel that encourage me to put it to use. I can see where this yarn would lend itself very nicely to a wrap of shawl, possibly even a garment (I would suggest sleeveless, to avoid underarm pilling).

Uncovering the Wool from Over My Eyes

ScannedImageI will admit, as a long time crocheter, I used acrylic yarns almost exclusively for years. I do not say this as a negative thing, acrylic yarns have many practical purposes and companies are creating new textures of yarn with them daily, but there are other practical mediums out there that deserve attention too. However there were several reasons for my long term use of acrylic.

First, availability. In years past I could actually pick up Super Saver in the grocery store while my mom got milk and eggs. Since it was already at hand it was easier to use more regularly. However times have changed, even finding the box stores with Super Saver are getting harder to locate (or involve quite a drive to get to). However box store yarns have become more diversified and I can find fibers that would have been seen only in small local yarn stores in the past.

Secondly, I knew how to use it. A pull skein is a simple concept that involves no extra work on my part. I could pick up a skein and a hook and go right to work, with a hank I was at a loss. I did not want to look like I was confused or unskilled, so I never really picked them up. I guess I figured that if the yarn could confuse me as to how to actually start using it, things would not go well. But after meeting some local spinners and learning how yarn is created at a wheel, I learned how to handle a hank (Here is a past post that shares the explanation).

Vineyard at Dawn Shawl (back), Crochet! Magazine Spring 2013 Photo courtesy of Annie's

Vineyard at Dawn Shawl (back), Crochet! Magazine Spring 2013
Photo courtesy of Annie’s

Finally, thirdly, cost. I like to think of myself as spend conscience. I always looked at the cost per yard to find my best value (I admit I still am very aware of this even today). However, over the years I have come to realize that quality can make a really difference in my end product. Often the yarn can make or break a design. I use my Vineyard at Dawn Shawl (pattern in Spring 2013 Crochet! Magazine) as an example (created with a Blue Heron Rayon/Metallic), it has great drape, and is just striking, but if it were worked up in a chunky yarn it would have a very different effect, imagine it in soft, fuzzy mohair, which would be a different effect as well.

So, while these three obstacle where in place, I never tried luxury yarns or even wools for that matter until the last decade or so. When I first attempted wools, using my value shopping method, I found fibers that were not the most ideal. It worked up like I expected wool to, scratchy, itchy, and somewhat stiff. It played into all my negative preconceptions, but the more I learn out fiber the more I realized that not all wool is created equal.

Basically saying “wool”, is like saying bouquet, while terms like Merino, Shetland, and Romney are names of the flowers. These “flowers” have different properties that offer a different quality to the yarn. They have different degrees of softness, of loftiness, of felting ability, of amount of twist in the end yarn, and of durability. I won’t pretend to be an expert in know all the differing qualities of wool breeds, but I do know that the differences are there and can really make a difference in the end quality of my work.  

New Born LambOne of the first grading areas is the diameter of the individual fiber. The smaller the measurement in microns the finer the yarn, for example Superfine Merino might have a range of 15.6-18.5 microns, while carpet wool can have a measurement of 35-45 microns. This is before they are spun into yarns, so basically the larger the individual fiber the courser it will be. This alone can create many differing yarns out of wool, but then there are other properties such as crimp and staple length that play into a yarns texture. So you cannot take the term “wool” on face value, different wool breeds react differently (even to felting, some felt very little and others felt just by looking at a washing machine). I guess like most of us, there is more than meets the eye.