A Humble Yarn

jenjoycedesign© Cascade-220-fingeringThis week, while at my LYS I fell in love with a new yarn.  As I held it I instantly knew  it’s potential. It comes in lovely 50g skeins, so I could really squish and caress, and yes, this stuff is amazing. Why didn’t I see it before? Because I was like a schoolgirl, with a schoolgirl crush on elite British wools, I guess that I had my eyes closed.

jenjoycedesign©cascade-220-fingering2

Colors left to right : Natural, Doeskin, Charcoal, and Jet.

I bought four skeins for barely more than $20, and  brought them home in their cheery little orange paper bag.  It felt wonderful.  I showed it to Jeff , who is my scratchiness barometer (that is, he is an extreme case of  FOSW  ~~ fear of scratchy wool) and he was impressed with it !  So in recent days I have been thinking about my new find.   I have decided that as a developing designer, it is important that I am ‘yarn conscienscious’, yet not yarn elitist.  Well, in most cases.  That is, in most cases I will design something entirely for itself,  using a yarn that I feel compliments the design, and also that I feel is easily accessible, and easily affordable. ((Though , still,  there are those special design occasions to showcase beautiful specialty & heritage yarns, for which I am very happy to be elitist . . . lol )).

jenjoycedesign©natural-cascade

Color : Natural

A challenge indeed. One of the reasons I have liked Jamiesons Of Shetland Spindrift, a  2ply fingering yarn, is because it is not expensive, but very affordable, considering it’s imported from the actual Shetland Isles.  However, I have learned by observation, that not everyone has easy access to this British wool , even though it is growing in popularity as the boundless community of the internet brings us knitters together globally.

jenjoycedesign©Cascade-doeskin

Color : Doeskin Heather

I am talking about a very popular yarn which I never noticed because I was maybe being a bit of a yarn snob. Yet at the same time, I developed this closet tendency to buy inexpensive yarn on-line. Strange indeed.  Though I adore the ease of my on-line purchases , I do happen to live up in the backwoods, and it’s not always cost-effective to drive to the next county to purchase exactly what I want.  I have had a yarn epiphany regarding this LYS exclusive . . .

jenjoycedesign©Cascade-charcoal

Color : Charcoal

I’m talking about Cascade 220 yarn folks, in fingering weight.  100% Peruvian Highland Wool.  50g skeins = 273 yards / 250 meters. 2 ply.  About $5 per skein.  What I have here is four neutral undyed colors in Jet, Charcoal, Doeskin, and Natural.

jenjoycedesign©Cascade-jet

Cascade 220 fingering : Jet

Striking resemblance to the yarns with which I created my Vineyard Rows Highland Bonnet .

My Vineyard Rows bonnet (tam) however, will remain a Jamiesons Spindrift novelty , as it is inspired so much by Scottish Highlands that I believe the Scottish wool is completely perfect, but I will list the Cascade 220 fingering as an alternate yarn on it’s pattern pages.

jenjoycedesign©Vineyard Rows2

You can guess that the next up & coming thing I am working on , will be a Vineyard Rows design, and in the yarn which is beautiful yet humble and very likely at your own LYS.  I still have a crush on Virtual Yarns Hebridean and Jamiesons Of Shetland, but perhaps I’ll broaden my more local horizons , this side of The Pond.  I tell you, Peru really has it going on these days when it comes to yarn !

11 thoughts on “A Humble Yarn

    • Let me tell you Chookie, how lucky you are to have Hebridean 2ply and Shetland yarns everywhere in your own back yard. Here not so. 🙂 Forgive me I do still relish like a schoolgirl, my crush on yarns from your land. 🙂 xxxx

  1. I know what you mean, Cascade 220 has always been there. Its a reliable good yarn. I tend toward the odd ones, the handpainted like Mountain Colors made in Montana. But not for all things. I like a lot of yarns, but find myself knitting a sweater with a cotton blend. I never thought I’d like a blend before, but it is knitting up nicely and softly. And I know a lot of knitters who use acrylic, and knit constantly. Its a good thing the yarn shop has a wide variety of yarns for different pocket books. I like to splurge on my yarn, but I also like a good yarn that isn’t expensive. You’ve made me want to go tomorrow and look at the Cascade 220 again in the LYS!! 🙂

    P. S. I love reading your blog, its such a nice diversion from the never ending study I have to do. and I learn a lot as well. And also Walking with Emma, I enjoy those with their slideshows. Glad your still writing, keep up the exciting work. Those are beautiful colors btw!

    • Hi Martha, nice to meet a real live Cascade knitter. I have been ordering Knit Picks online for a few years now, because the price can’t be beat, and when ‘sketching’ with yarn, and knitting for growing kids, wash-ability and expense governs my choices all the way. Well, color too. So I suppose this would compare to Knit Picks’ Palette, but really , it seems a lot better quality just by feeling the yarn. I was just really pleased to find it (well, the shop owner pointed it out for me, I was standing right next to it). 🙂 Thank you for your kind words ! xxx

    • I didn’t even *look* at the other Cascade yarns, I mean the worsted weight is what coined the name ‘220’ as it has 220 yards (Morrie told me that) … but the Cascade Fingering Weight… so much the Spindrift in color and thickness, I just had to try as an alternate to the Vineyard Rows collection which I fully intend to augment this Autumn, come harvest time 🙂 …. as it is really soft ! Peru has it going on I tell you !

  2. I have always loved Cascade! When ever I find it on my travels I always pick up a skien all mitsy eyed. Definetly Spindrift is more cost effect on my side of the pond. So that is the silver lining. 🙂 I am sure what ever you make will be beautiful.

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