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 Defined!

Great stitch definition and easy to use yarn, which is the best way to describe Merino Textura by Plymouth Yarns as part of their Plymouth Select collection.

This yarn is a bulky weight made up of 62% Superwash Fine Merino Wool and 38% Merino Wool. It seems a bit redundant to state the Merino wool, but there is a bit of a subtle difference. The Superwash Fine Merino, is a fiber that is of smaller diameter and thus is softer. Also being superwash means that this fiber has been treated so that it will not felt. Essentially even though this seems to be the same kind of wool, it really is not. Just over 60% of this yarn is going to be very soft, and not felt, but the remaining 40% can felt, so take caution is washing and caring for your final project in this yarn.

It does feel very nice in the hand. For being a bulky weight I would think of it almost as like a medium weight but a bit heftier. The twist of the yarn seems very stable and for a four ply, it has a nice even round yarn. The clarity of the yarn and ply makes it great for a project that has textural stitches. It will allow popcorns and cables really stand out, as well as enabling open stitch work to easily shine.

I think this is a great yarn for outer wear, like a jacket or even a top layer sweater. The feel is soft enough for direct skin projects, but for me it is the weight that makes it outer wear, I like to layer and the heavier layers are on the outside. This yarn would also work up well in accessories like hats and scarves, or even home décor like a fabulous throw. This yarn will not disappoint.

Crochet Really Is The Love

There are moments that crochet can remind you that how powerful and important the skill can be. One such moment happened recently, as I was repairing an afghan that was brought into my local yarn store.

Repairs can seem intimidating, but really they are just a bit time consuming. Often the most difficult part is finding yarn or thread that matches the piece being repaired. Fortunately I am a bit of a pack rat, so I have a pretty extensive yarn collection. This allows me to have some flexibility in finding a suitable yarn to use. The next really important thing is to catch all of the loose loops of the stitches still intact to ensure that they do not unravel further. This also helps to see where the damage actually stems from and helps gain insight in how to fix it.

The repair that I just completed was one that can be fairly common, any time there are many stitches worked in one place there tends to be more stress on the yarn the stitches are worked into. Sometimes these strands fail and allow all the stitches to become unsecured at the base.

When I undertook the repairs I did not know the story behind it, I did not know the special memories or meanings in these stitches. I just knew that it was important to someone. I never strive to “improve” the quality of the piece, if loose ends are not securely woven it, I just check to make sure that they are not unraveling the fabrics. I try to keep the character that the piece came to me with. I try to just bring the fabric back to whole so that it can continue to be treasured.

I often later learn the stories, some for a grandmother’s handiwork, a sister’s gift, and in the case of my last repair a wife’s final gift to be shared with the first grandchild. It is on these occasions that I really appreciate how much crochet is more than just yarn and stitches, it is love. I am fortunate that I can help that love continue to shine.

Soxy Lady Can Take You Places

It is easy to shy away from yarns that have “Sock” anywhere in its name, or on its label, after all a few crocheters work up socks, but not most. However the name really should not place a limit on its possibilities.

Sock yarn is typically a lighter weight, either a fine or lace weight and sometimes even a light weight. By weight I am meaning the diameter of the strand, the smaller the diameter the skinnier the yarn, the smaller the weight. Some yarns will identify this on a numbering system, in which case sock yarn can range from a number 1-3, with a number 2 being the most common.

Diamond Luxury Soxy Lady www.lindadeancrochet.com

Diamond Luxury Soxy Lady yarn

I have been playing with Diamond Luxury Soxy Lady, which is comprised of 60% superwash wool, 20% alpaca, and 20% nylon, with a generous yardage of 437yrd/400m/100g per hank. It is soft in the hand and creates a nice stitch definition. It has a bit of springiness yet not enough to compete with the openness of lace work.

There can be a benefit to working with a sock yarn, especially if you are not use to using “luxury” yarns. One of the most obvious benefits is price. Price per yarn makes this a very economical value. In some cases you can make a complete shawl from a hank or two of sock yarn, and feel like you have created something of heirloom quality.

Another benefit is that it is usually created with some durable fibers. Often the fibers will be machine washable, such as superwashed or boiled wools, making lit more family friendly and easy to care for. It usually contains a filament that gives added strength to the overall yarn construction and use, such as silk, nylon, or some polyesters. This fibers are strong and wear well, and when you ideally make socks you do not want to replace the heels all that often. So the yarn is designed to wear better and hold up longer.

Often the color variety is vast and the selection of yarn is great. Smaller yarn companies offer a sock weight yarn, and fun colors are always available. Some have short color repeats, some have long color repeats, some have muted tones, and others are vibrant. There really is a lot of selection.

The Soxy Lady by Diamond Luxury fit all the above characteristics, and I can see great possibilities for it in the future.

Silk Blend- It Is My Weak Spot

I have to admit I have a weak spot for silk. This weak spot could have grown as a child, with the thought that silk was an ultimate luxury, something to glamorous and out of reach. Regardless, it still has a special place for me.

Manos del Uruguay has a nice yarn, Silk Blend, that the name alone attracts my attention. It is a single ply yarn that is made up of 70% merino extra fine and 30% silk. So merino extra fine, is essentially wool from the sheep breed Merino, and the extra fine notation indicated that the micron count is very high (micron count is the measurement of the diameter of individual fiber, the higher the number the smaller the micron count, the soft the fiber). This yarn does live up to the label, it is soft, a real joy to use.

Silk Blend www.lindadeancrochet.com

Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend yarn

The silk offers strength and a subtle sheen to the yarn. Silk is one of the strongest fibers available and like wool it holds warmth. Silk shares a lustrous quality that adds a warm radiance in the overall appearance, while using its strength to add integrity to this single ply. Even with the fibers being warm this yarn seems very breathable and I would be happy to work a light weight sweater in it.

The single ply of this yarn does give me a bit of a pause. Even though it has great stitch definition, really allowing the stitches to shine, it has a bit of a halo. It does not readily pill, but I think that after continuous use, or multiple times being ripped back, that it may become a bit unruly and not nearly as fun to use. So keep the project simple, and one that you feel comfortable with the stitches, and you will only notice the fine qualities of this yarn.

Each hank is 1.75oz/50grams, with a substantial 150yrd/135meters, easily making a beanie or fingerless mitts. I would feel comfortable with a few hanks to make up a nice scarf or wrap.