This 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.
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 )).
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.
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 . . .
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.
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.
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 !
Love the yarn – looking forward to seeing what you will make!
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
Beautiful colors…I love them as is…delicious.
Ya, lets go down to Yarns On First and check it out ! (then have coffee next door at Annettes) 🙂
That sounds like heaven! What I would give to join you both. x
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 love the colours. If this is natural, undyed yarn and is as soft as you say it is then I want/need some. It looks as if it has lovely twist, too.
So what are you going to knit with it?
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 !
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.
Thats great to know Kay ! Lucky you to have Spindrift so accessable . 🙂