Next up in my crochet explorations of Anzula yarns, it's time to turn to a lace-weight, Meridian. This blend of 55% Tencel, 35% Alpaca, and 10% Nylon arrives in skeins of 812 yards per 114 grams. The fiber combination creates a yarn that produces the best qualities of both the tencel (lightweight and slight sheen) and the alpaca (warmth, slight halo).
In my experience, Meridian is prone to splitting and somewhat sticky. These are two characteristics to think about when choosing your needle or hook and as you're ripping back to fix a mistake or start over. The hook I chose, wasn't the best choice and the lack of consistency in the blocked swatches proves that. I think a tip that is more pointed would have helped to reduce splitting and even my tension. For these swatches, the result is ok as I'm not stressing about accurate gauge. My goal for this project is to work with the yarn and get to understand it in different situations.
As Jill explained in her post, Meridian looks a complete mess before blocking! Be strong and reserve judgment until after the swatches dry, the result will be pretty. Even though my gauge is all over the place, the simplicity of the stitches highlights the characteristics of this blend.
Crochet, by both tradition and the nature of how the stitches form, loves a lace weight. While my tension and blocking leaves much to the imagination, the fabric of simple stitches is gorgeous. Process note: this is one of the last swatches for which I did a combination of stitches in one swatch. I've found single stitch swatches work better for these explorations. My photos don't do this yarn or fabric justice.
Comparing the knit and crochet fabric highlights the delicate beauty this yarn can create. I love the single crochet fabric and hope to explore it at different gauges soon.
Both the motif and lace stitches create fabric beautiful drape -- the granny square is incredibly light and the lace fabric wants to drift away! The granny square is small because I stopped after I completed four rounds, otherwise I may have continued for all 812 yards in my skein!
While the stitch definition during the making process leaves much to the imagination, I persevered. It should be no surprise that I am continuing my texture love in this Meridian swatch!
Can you substitute Meridian for any lace weight in a crochet pattern? There will be subtle changes to the fabric you create as it will behave differently than a 100% merino or other combination. The alpaca creates warmth with a bit of loft, the tencel is strong yet light. This is why swatching to learn the characteristics of a yarn and blocking is important.
All Meridian swatches are in the Sexy colourway, any perceived differences are due to the photographer.
Penny Shima Glanz spends her days spinning yarn and code into memorable projects. Small businesses rely on her for smart technology decisions. Designers rely on her to sample, test, and edit their hand-knit and crochet patterns. She loves muddy trail runs, fosters kittens, and lives in Westchester, NY with her husband and two resident cats. www.pennyshima.com