Saturday, January 21, 2012

Yarn Choices

I have a real tendency to agonize over yarn choices for projects, and to agonize over projects for yarn.  It is just that I want the perfect yarn for the pattern, and the perfect pattern for the yarn.  Sometimes the yarn speaks to me, and that makes things easier, but sometimes the yarn stands mute and then I end up with extra yarn because I can't decide.  Consider the picture above.  On the left we have The Unique Sheep Luxe in the Silverlode colorway, on the right is The Unique Sheep Tinsel Toes, also in the Silverlode colorway.

Luxe has been my go-to fingering yarn for a little while now and I have knit 3 shawls in it this past year.  Luxe is 25% Tussah Silk, 75% Superwash Merino, a combination that I love.  I was introduced to Tinsel Toes with the Christmas Shawlette and I must say that I have become quite infatuated with it.  Tinsel Toes is a 50% Superwash Merino, 50% Tencel blend.  The Tencel (a cellulose fiber that was created as a substitute for silk) gives the yarn a wonderful sheen, but unlike silk it does not take up dye very readily.  When you get silk wet it opens up and sucks up the dye, resulting in wonderful deep jewel tones.  The fact that the Tencel does not take up the dye, while the wool does can give the yarn a slightly heathered look.  It also mutes the colors some as can be seen from the photo above.  I love the sheen and the texture.

I had originally bought the Luxe in Silverlode for Galadriel's Mirror, because I wanted to have the effect of a mirror that might be created in a pool of water hence the silver to blue transition.  Unfortunately, the Luxe didn't quite have the sheen that a mirror would have so I knew that I had not found the right yarn for the pattern.  Then I knit the Christmas Shawlette with the Tinsel Tinsel colorway and I knew that it would be the right yarn.  I had a 10% off coupon burning a hole in my knitting bag, so early this month I ordered the same colorway on the Tinsel Toes.  It came today and I am very happy with it. I think it will be perfect for Galadriel's Mirror.

Of course that means I have that set of Silverlode in Luxe sitting around feeling abandoned.  Well, to be honest it has been feeling abandoned ever since I bought it because we both knew it was not the right yarn for that pattern.  I think that I will use it for Le Petit Prince, knit from the dark blue to the silver instead of from the silver to the blue, of course now I have to get beads (such a hardship, I know) to match.  I have ordered Love Spoken Here on Luxe (I think the yarn base in the photo is Tinsel Toes, or maybe Pashmi) for that mystery knit along, but now I think I will use it for the Secret Garden shawl, which will bounce the yarn that I have already bought for that project...and so it goes.  For me, at least, it is important to get this right because if I don't I just will not enjoy knitting the project.  I have forced myself to persevere a couple of times when I have been in that situation but I don't like it and want to avoid it as much as possible.

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