When I started working here at Over The Rainbow Yarn, one of my first tasks was to open all of the boxes of new yarns, and check them against the packing lists. (Yes, it was pretty much just like Christmas.) Karla and I waded through piles of yarn in the basement, and then hauled them upstairs to start making rainbows on the shelves. The biggest project was the giant back wall of Cascade 220, over 100 colors. We arranged, rearranged, went to lunch, and came back to rearrange again.
The wall of Cascade 220
Now, almost five years later, the time has come for a change. We sold off our Cascade 220, and carefully vetted new yarns. We swatched them, we gave them to our regulars to knit and felt, we agonized, changed our minds, and eventually came to a decision. Finally, as last week’s blizzard closed in on us, we sent out our order to Plymouth Yarn Company for 101 colors of Galway Worsted! The yarn arrived in enormous boxes on Friday, blocking Lauren’s desk and almost filling the back office. I had a moment of panic, wondering if I had gone insane and ordered far, far too much yarn. (But Jennifer, I hear you saying, there’s no such thing as too much yarn!)
And indeed, you are right. In fact, I’d say I ordered exactly enough:
Ta daaaa! Galway Worsted!
This new worsted weight yarn is 100% wool, and knits at 5 stitches per inch on a #8 needle. It’s perfect for sweaters, cowls, hats, mitts, felted bags… pretty much everything. Come on by and admire our beautiful new rainbow!
Some of you may remember my yarn quest– that is, making test swatches for how well our yarns felt (or don’t felt) by hand. I’m sure they would felt better in the washing machine, but because I knit a lot of dolls I prefer to sculpt the yarn and wool stuffing as I felt. Now that we’ve acquired Galway Worsted, I have yet another yarn to test! I’ll be knitting this swatch on US 3 (it’s recommending US 8s) and am hoping for good results. I’ll be sure to let you all know in my next post how it goes!
When I knit something that will be felted later, I tend to prefer using a yarn I know will wet felt by hand very well. While I do love how much easier it is to throw things into the washer and dryer, I don’t get as much control over the shape the piece gets felted into as well as I would like. Since I knit a lot of dolls, I often use my hands to sculpt the wool as it felts. For this reason, I normally lean towards using yarns from Quince&Co.– particularly Lark and Chickadee. As I’ve been knitting and felting test swatches of all the feltable yarns around the store (an ever ongoing project of mine ), these ones have remained my favorites so far.
There is one, however, that I wasn’t entirely sure would felt, and if so, how well: Tern. Some of you may be familiar with this Quince yarn. For those of you who aren’t, it’s a lovely fingering weight yarn made of wool, but it also includes a fair percentage of silk. I simply had to make a test swatch. The verdict?
Knit on US 0s
Tern absolutely felts, and much more than I thought it would. I’m sure if I had used a washer and dryer rather than some vigorous hand rubbing it would have felted more.