The Yarn Collective

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I have tried knitting with a lot of different yarns, as you can imagine – many of them have found their way in to my stash.  While I like a lot of them there aren’t many I love.

Felted Tweed by Rowan is probably my all time favourite although the current palette is a bit dull for my tastes; Yarn Stories Fine Merino DK, but I have to declare an interest in this yarn because I worked on the brand from its inception; Berger  de France Goomy – a fantastic sock yarn in really tasteful colours.  Spindrift by Jamieson’s of Shetland which has the best range of colours for my beloved Fair Isle.

Now I can add a new yarn to this select band,  The Yarn Collective Bloomsbury DK curated by Carol Feller.  Developed by Love Knitting/Love Crochet I have to admit to being a bit sceptical when I heard about it.  Their first own brand yarn, Paintbox, was not particularly good.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not averse to a value yarn but I found the acrylic too crisp and the cotton too floppy.

However The Bloomsbury DK is a lovely merino yarn with plenty of bounce and drape, and the semi solid shades give a lovely depth to your knitting. Spun in a family run mill in Peru from ethically reared sheep, the yarn is kettle dyed, which is how they achieve their distinctive colour blends.  Apparently the mill also contributes some of their profits to a school in the Highlands of Peru.  Ticking lots of boxes for me there.

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Each yarn from The Yarn Collective is curated by a different designer who chooses the palette and creates some special designs for their yarn.  Carol has put her colours together in to 3 groups for the Bloomsbury DK, Surfer Blues, Fall and Fuchsia, but I think all the shades work together across the range.

I loved playing with this yarn so much that I have designed a hat to celebrate its yumminess. The blue I used is called Surf and is almost iridescent in its colour saturation. Just beautiful! You can find the pattern here.

rococo1I haven’t yet tried the worsted or lace but if the DK is anything to go by I should be in for a treat.  The only downside is that, being on a yarn diet, I can’t buy any of the yarn until next year. Rats!

Mixing colours

img_20161115_124118When I was at Black Sheep Wools recently, one of their lovely staff showed me a new yarn from Wendy called Evolution.  Made up of 4 ends the colours gradually change one strand at a time.  There is also a German company called 100 Farbspiele that offers more unusual colourways.

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I was quite intrigued but Evolution is a cotton blend and I’m not keen on knitting with cotton.  This set me thinking about how I could create my own version of this yarn.  I am a huge fan of the webshop Colourmart, where you can buy yarn on the cone in the most luxurious blends so I spent a happy hour putting together colour combinations.  I would love to have worked only in cashmere but until I am sure I can make this technique work I decided to limit myself to laceweight merino yarn and chose 3 lovely shades to try.

img_20161115_104901I had to sit down in a dark room to work out the maths – I thought I’d share my little chart with you.

img_20161115_104926Each cone has 1300 metres on so this was the best combination to use up most of the yarn. I used a fishing line counter to measure the meterage and wound the yarn off in to cakes.

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My gradient will start with the taupe, go through the teal to the blackcurrant.

To combine the yarns I used wooden knitting needles threaded through a box and a ball winder.Then simply gather up four ends of you first colour and change as each cake runs out.

img_20161115_120302I am very happy with the result and am going to knit Xanadu by Kitman Figueroa – her designs are always such a pleasure to knit.  The designer has used a 4 ply and according to my measurements this new yarn is coming up as nearer a dk so I will need to swatch and  hope that I have enough yarn. Wish me luck!