Friday, August 22, 2008

Knitting: yarn advice 101 needed!

As if it weren't enough to be on the verge of a 20-year high school reunion that for some reason I have decided to attend (having never been to any of the other reunions, I don't see why I chose this particular one to show up at, must be nostalgia due to age or senility, due to same), I have also decided to knit myself a little something to wear for it. The little something being the "Lacy Hug Me Tight" from "Knit Two Together". You can view it here: That took long enough to decide, now for the yarn...

Help! The pattern is a fitted shrug; holey but fitted. The yarn called for is Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk. So why not use that? 1)I have my doubts about its form-keeping abilities. 2)I need to stick to my self-designated budget, (be good, be good, be good), so I am considering two yarns from Knit Picks for the project: Shine Sport and Andean Treasure.

Andean Treasure would be my first choice, except that it is baby alpaca and it might be itchy, and would hold its shape? And how does it do after washing and wearing in the long run? I made a fantastic pair of socks for my husband out of really nice baby alpaca, but they are so warm they should have a warning on them and they itch me, sensitive me, silly me. This will be the first time I knit something for myself. I have four sweaters to make for my munchkins (because I said I would), so I don't want to mess around with a project that will look shabby six months from now. Anyone knit with this? How did it keep its shape? How would it feel on bare shoulders?

Shine Sport seems like a shoe-in, since it is half cotton, half modal. However, I have read on one review that it sheds "little shards" when knit, that can irritate hands as much as wool. Yikes, this sounds alarming! Personally, I can knit with wool just fine, I just have a problem wearing it. I also read that the Shine wears and washes fairly well, at least in small garments. Any experience with knitting this? And with adult-sized garments?

Last of all, are there other yarns you would recommend for this project? Keeping in mind budget, shape-holding and itchiness, thanks!


  1. Hi there. I just got your comment on my blog. If you're on a budget, I would recommend either Knit Picks Elegance (a silk/alpaca blend) or Misti Alpaca's Suri Silk (another silk/alpaca blend). I think they're both quite inexpensive and the gauge seems right.

    Good luck!

  2. Thank you, Ingrid!

    I have been looking at the two you recommended. I am tempted to go with the Elegance by Knit Picks. How hard did you find the pattern? I have heard mixed reviews of the completeness of the "Lacy Hug Me Tight"; no sewing directions, no directions for how long to make the lace ruffle. What did you think?

    I have also had recommendations today for a silk/acrylic blend or a cotton/linen. My husband's grandfather suggested a wool/acrylic with an extra skein of silk to add sparkle. I am going to keep yarn shopping, and wait for Ravel to send me an invitation!

    Thanks again,

  3. The pattern seems great. I want to take a look at it. Maybe that will be the project that gets me going again? We can match :)! Lets go to that yarn shop in Muscatine so that we can feel the yarns to your liking. I am very visual, oh an tactile.
    or cashmere, like roger said, whichever.

  4. Angela,

    Do you have a knitting store where you live? I always go to the knitting shop across town and "feel" through their bargain bin to find what I want. I totally agree that you do not want to do 100% wool, though. Too itchy for a baby and too warm most of the time. My absolute FAVORITE yarn of all times is a cotton-wool blend I found at Jo-Anne's Fabrics called Jo-Ann Sensations Bellezza Collection Dolcetto Yarn. It is pricey - like all yarn, but they often have it at 40% off and then I buy a ton. It is the softest stuff on the planet and is all cotton and wool. Perfect! And the colors are gorgeous for babies. It does have a bit of nylon in it - 54% Wool, 24% Nylon, 22% Cotton
    You can find it right now at Jo-Ann Fabric online for $4.19 a bunch.

    Blessings & Health,

  5. Hey Marta,

    Thanks for your input, yes, we need to head to Muscatine, it would be a fun trip, regardless of whether or not we find yarn!

  6. Hi Kristie,

    Thank you for the suggestions! I went to bury my fingers and neck in yarn at our yarn shop yesterday. I found such pretty stuff. I will have to check out Jo-Ann fabric as well, the cotton/wool yarn sounds heavenly; what a great combination for elasticity and softness!

    I so enjoyed your Waldorf workshops!


  7. I apologize for those who don't read or speak French (yet) but I read my first comment on that marvelous blog, in French !


    Ici dans le sud de la France l'été va bientôt faire place à ce que nous appelons l'été indien.. Les matins rafraîchissent et le besoin de mettre une "petite laine" se fait sentir.
    Merveilleux blog, Angela !
    Il m'a rappelé mes premiers souvenirs d'enfant regardant sa maman tricoter avec des mains expertes et si rapides !
    J'ai tricoté mon premier pull-over à 10 ans avec des restes de cachemire. Il était plein de mailles sautées et de trous mais j'étais si fière de le porter !
    Un peu d'amour dans chaque maille de son tricot, c'est ce que ma mère nous donnait.
    Nous avions des pulls, des petits sacs et des bérets assortis, et étions si fières ma soeur et moi de porter ces merveilles !
    Angela, laisse ton coeur parler et choisis la laine qui te plaît, la première impression est toujours la bonne !
    Encore bravo pour ces tranches de vie !
    A bientôt


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