South American Goodies

Last week, someone gifted me two 100 g skeins of this:

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This yarn is Reginella Rueca made in Chile. It is a 100% wool that is super soft and quite fluffy. The yarn does has varying thickness throughout the skein (see below). Normally, I would not buy yarn like this on my own. I like my finished project’s tension to look very even throughout the garment. Never the less, the yarn was free and a quick Ravelry search (granted it was one vote) gave it 5 stars. IMG_7301[1]

I pulled out my size US 19 needles (aka the biggest ones that I have) and cast on 16 stitches. I intended on making a cowl as I had only 200 g of yarn to work with. I didn’t want to use just basic stockinette so I racked my brain for a simple and slightly textured pattern. I immediately thought of the broken rib stitch used in the Graham beanie and got to work.

Man using big needles and bulky yarn was a challenge of fine motor skills. Throughout this project I felt very clumsy. It was like I was just learning to knit haha. The needle size was also a huge contrast from the needle to yarn ratio I have been using lately (think US Size 2 needles and fingering weight yarn). By the half way point, I had gotten the hang of it and the rest of the project went a bit more smoothly.

The cowl came out nice. It is thick and cozy with a pop of color. I don’t think I will be wearing it as it is too warm here (think low 60’s). However, it will go into my gifting bin with the hope it will eventually find a nice home.

So would I use this yarn again? Probably not. I am not a bulky yarn fan and the finished look is too wobbly for me. Despite this, It was a fun knitting adventure 🙂

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Workin’ the Wool

So I finally finished all of my custom orders. My customer ordered a simple stockinette beanie. Easy enough right? Well not really. She saw the hat below and wanted her hat to be the same colors. Problem is I had no idea where I bought this yarn nor did I remember the brand. Ugh.

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Inspiration Colors

I searched yarn.com  and I finally found Plymouth Yarn Boku in Color #10  (wool/silk blend). It was stated to be a self-striping yarn with gradual color shifts and this dye lot featured blues, teals, and greens. Yay!

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I have to say I ordered the yarn purely for the colors. I had never used this brand before and the content blend was not my favorite. I find that this type of wool can be scratchy while wearing it. However, the colors were perfect so I took the risk.

The plus of this yarn is the gradual color changes throughout the hat. Visually it looks so pretty. Kind of like sunset in the mountains. Yet, there were two major negatives that I could not get past. #1 the coarseness of the fiber and #2 the fragility of the yarn. Let’s  first talk about the frailness of the yarn. I am a tight knitter and this yarn made me very conscious of that. Three times I pulled too tightly and the yarn broke! Talk about extra ends to weave in *sigh.*

To tackle the roughness factor I knew I could soften up my hat in the blocking process. A little internet research affirmed my thinking and I made sure to give this hat an extra long bath. I soaked the finished hat in a cold water and shampoo bath for about 5 hours. Thankfully, when I checked out the dried hat today, it was much softer. Yay! I had my fiance try it on and he was not bothered by the wool texture. Let’s hope my customer’s son won’t be either.

So would I use this yarn again? Probably not. However, if you enjoy yarns like Noro then this would be a solid substitution.