Getting a new yarn in the mail is always fun. I didn’t mind a bit that it was coming “au natural”, or what is called griege goods in the textile/fashion industry.
This is the latest yarn in the Anzula Luxury Fibers yarn catalog, Lucero. You may have seen it making appearances on social media. Always beautiful in dyed yarn, the Stellina adds such depth to the soft natural color that this yarn is just beautiful au natural. You can imagine it in your favorite Anzula Luxury Fibers color.
I took a photo of the skein when it arrived:
then threw it on the swift and made cakes:
I knew what I wanted to do with it, so I went directly to a swatch of my project concept. You can read about me blocking it here. I didn’t like the gauge I got with a US size 6[4mm], so I started over on a US size 5[3.75mm]. If this makes you sigh, you haven’t knit with this yarn! I am always happy to be knitting with lovely, soft, enjoyable yarn, so I really didn’t mind redoing my swatch at all. I was actually disappointed that I couldn’t redo it right away, but I had other knitting to do.
Since I was enjoying this yarn, I decided to undo my swatch and wet block the yarn so I could reuse it. I love it when it is all crimped up, and it looks kind of disappointing when it nearly smooth again.
Ever wonder why we do that wet blocking to yarn after we rip it? It is so the crimps don’t inhibit the yarn when you are re-knitting it. If I hadn’t wet and steam blocked it I wouldn’t have bothered to wet block the yarn before reusing it. I hung it with a tiny bit of weight hanging from it, and I could steam it if I wanted to smooth it more.
In the meantime, I worked on my usual flat gauge swatches, just to get a feel for Lucero in a variety of stitch patterns. I used a US size 3[3.25mm] needle. There were really no surprises in this DK weight, 3-ply yarn, except maybe how much texture there was! I decided to work my main project stitch pattern flat on US size 5[3.75mm] needles. This eyelet pattern [you can get the instructions and chart to swatch here] works up nicely; I think I favor seed over stockinette on the larger needles though. We’ll see when it is blocked.
So the numbers are in.
There isn’t a lot of change from unblocked to blocked. When I picked up my blocked swatches, I nearly swooned with how soft my knitting felt! I noted how the garter didn’t stretch out as it often does. I also noted how smooth and lovely my Stockinette now looked on the swatch using larger needles.
I pulled out the in-the-round swatch I am working on. There is the tiniest bit of difference in the unblocked and blocked feel of the swatches. Cashmere does love a good bath! I took my gauge on that unblocked swatch just out of curiosity. At this point I only have Stockinette. I used the same needles as I did for the flat swatches, using the magic loop.
These are the numbers: 25 sts and 30.5 rows to 4” OR 6.25 sts and 7.625 rows to 1”. If I get the same sort of shift as I did on the flat swatch, I think my blocked numbers would be 6 sts and 7.5 rows to 1”. So if you have ever wondered why your gauge taken flat did not foretell your in-the-round gauge, there it is.
Have you been following my Meet the Yarn posts? Do you ever look at the WPI and ply information? Lucero is 16 WPI and a 3-ply yarn. Remember, I am working with Au Natural, which means the yarn hasn’t been dyed. I decided to do a WPI card for the yarn I blocked, which might be similar to after dyeing. That yarn is 13 WPI.
I think we should be paying a little more attention to the yarn ply when we are looking at yarns and what we think they will do. I am noticing a distinct difference between 2-ply and 3-ply yarns. Look for more on that on my blog on January 31.
Look at my blog on January 24 (it always posts just after 5 pm PST) for a sneak peak at my Lucero project.