All About Yarn

Yarn Spotlight: Bambino Taffy
January 18, 2011, 9:21 am
Filed under: Yarn Spotlight

Sweetie Pie Hat Pattern in Peppermint Stick

Bambino Taffy, from the wonderful company Be Sweet, is a combination of five coordinating colors of Bambino (a soft organic blend of organic cotton and bamboo) that self stripes as you knit, plus it’s machine washable!

Sweetie Pie Hat Pattern in Sweet & Sour

In addition, Be Sweet has included their adorable “Sweetie Pie Hat” pattern on each Bambino Taffy label! What a wonderful treat!

Hot Chocolate Toddler Hat in Cocoa

On Be Sweet’s blog I came across an article that featured an alternative hat pattern that uses Bambino Taffy’s Cocoa colorway. The designer, Irina Lawrence, shared her “Hot Chocolate Toddler Hat” pattern with Be Sweet for free! If you’d like to have a copy of Irina’s pattern you can go directly to Be Sweet’s blog by clicking on the following link: Enjoy!

Yarn Spotlight: African Bead Ball
January 13, 2011, 11:45 am
Filed under: Yarn Spotlight
Pink African Bead Ball

Pink African Bead Ball

Be Sweet’s African Bead Balls are a combination of delicate boucle mohair yarn and a thin metallic strand with African glass beads hand strung throughout. This beautiful mohair yarn comes from the fleece of Angora goats that are the descendants of a breed originally from Tibet and brought from Turkmenistan to Turkey, where the Turks reserved the rare and precious yarn for royalty. In 1830, The Turks shipped a group of does and castrated bucks to South Africa, not knowing that one doe was pregnant and would give birth to a male kid. Interbreeding with local breeds eventually resulted in a hardier Angora goat, and now South Africa produces 65% of the world’s mohair.

“You may be asking yourself, “What’s so special about mohair anyway?” Mohair usually refers to a silk-like fabric or yarn made from the hair of the Angora goat. The word “mohair” was adopted into English before 1570 from the Arabic mukhayyar, a type of haircloth, literally ‘choice’, from khayyara, ‘he chose’. Mohair fiber is approximately 25-45 microns in diameter and is one of the oldest textile fibers in use. It is both durable and resilient. It is notable for its high luster and sheen, and is often used in fiber blends to add these qualities to a textile. Mohair also takes dye exceptionally well. Mohair is also warm as it has great insulating properties. It is durable and resistant to moisture-wicking, stretch, flame and creases. It is considered to be a luxury fiber, like cashmere, angora and silk, and is usually more expensive than most wool that comes from sheep…. Mohair has been used for garments and wares since the 16th century. This amazing fiber has so many redeeming qualities, it’s no wonder we still use it today.”*

* “Be Sweet Love’s Mohair.” Weblog entry.Waggle Dancing. August 31, 2010.

African Bead Balls are hand spun and dyed by women in South Africa under a job creation program that has offered opportunity in an economically depressed rural region with a 75% unemployment rate and little opportunity aside from hard labor in pineapple fields. So, enjoy this beautiful product knowing that you have brought hope into a South African community and that a portion of your purchase is helping support the local school!

Yarn Spotlight: Woodland
January 3, 2011, 12:56 pm
Filed under: Yarn Spotlight

“Blending plant fibers with wool has long been a wonderful way to marry the bounciness of animal fiber with the silkiness of cellulose fibers. Classic Elite’s new Woodland yarn takes a cue from history for its composition: Stinging nettle, used as a fiber for centuries in Asia, lends its strong bast fibers to soft, lofty wool in an airy spun singles yarn. Like other plant fibers, nettle takes dye differently from wool, lending a subtle heathered effect to the yarn.”

“Yarn Spotlight.” Interweave Knits Winter 2010: 14. Print.

Woodland is part of Classic Elite’s eco-conscious Verde Collection because of its use of environmentally-friendly nettles. Nettles are a perennial that requires low levels of water and little or no pesticides. Nettle fibers are similar to linen and hemp but produce a softer, silkier fabric. Nettles show color well and when mixed with wool add lightness, minimize shrinkage and are breathable.