Meet the Yarn: Croquet

Jill Wolcott


50% Superwash Merino, 50% Tussah Silk
+/- 230 yd / 210 m
4.75-5.75 sts / in US #4-7

I was surprised to find only 74 Croquet projects on Ravelry, although happy faces abound, as do beautiful finished products.  Croquet retails for about $33 a skein, and most people have one to three skeins (230 yds to 790 yds). The 120 Croquet stashes on Ravelry are mostly not available for sale or swap, so I think this yarn could use a little more explanation and comment to encourage yarnies to dip in and use it. 

Croquet in Saffron, Charcoal, and Au Natural.

The yarn is a DK weight blend of tussah silk and super wash merino (50% each). The WPI is 16. This is a little heavier at 230 yards than the other Sport and DKs in Anzula’s line-up.  I know when I made my Lisse Hat I had to adjust the number of stitches to make it work.  Some of the project comments were that the fabric was heavier or the shawl ended up being larger than expected.  This is just one of the problems with how we categorize yarn, and has nothing to do with the marvelousness of Croquet itself.  I think the silk makes this less squishy than some of the yarns a knitter might be comparing it to.

Here are my gauge numbers in Reverse Stockinette and Stockinette and in a cable pattern, and a lace pattern.  

Some yarns are clearly better in a fabric stitch, and others in a lace.  I think what sets Croquet apart is that is it equally lovely in both.  If you have a smaller quantity, work it up in a hat or cowl; if you have more, a lace shawl or a sleeveless top will be ideal.  If you have even more yarn, it will make a lovely garment.  I will be redoing the pattern for my lovely Florence cardigan in Croquet.    

This fabric is going to slightly heavier, and the silk makes it a little slippery, so it will drape beautifully.  Remember to calculate for that!  Whenever the silk content is high, swatching and blocking are essential.  I recommend that the swatches be hung to get a true sense of what is going to happen with the fabric in your final piece.  Do not think that the result you achieved with another yarn is going to be achieved identically in Croquet.  I’m very pleased with the stitch definition, the ability to work cables, and the openness achieved in the garter lace I’ve worked up in Croquet.  The light plays wonderfully with the silk and the signature tonal dying from Anzula Luxury Fibers.

I made the Lisse Hat from Croquet about 18 months ago.  I loved knitting with the yarn—so much so that I was willing to rip out the top of the hat and shorten it to a better length.  To me that is always a good sign.  It means I like working with the yarn, I am happy with the results, and I get to see what happens when the yarn gets reknit.  It is an informative process for me.  

The hat used smaller needles, US 3(3.25mm).  I used 88 sts instead of 96 sts (to fit my stitch pattern repeat).  You can download the information pdf for the original hat so you can plan. And you can find the Lisse pattern on Ravelry here. I don’t have unblocked gauge numbers for this, but based on the numbers above, expect a little contracting for the stitch gauge and slight expansion for the round gauge.

Do your homework in a swatch so that you will love your result!  Look at my blog post for information on customizing this hat pattern to work with Croquet. There is plenty of yarn in a single skein to swatch and to make the hat!

Note on Tussah silk.  This term generally describes non-cultivated silk. It isn’t a particular type of silk or silkworm, just that it is wild, not cultivated.  There is surprisingly little good information on silk online, so I can’t give you good links to more information.

Keep up on all things Jill Wolcott:
Twitter: @jillwolcottknit
Instagram: @jillwolcottknits
Pinterest: Jill Wolcott Knits

If Billy the Kid can play Croquet...

It's not often enough that Fresno, CA- the home of Anzula, gets into the Trending Sidebar on Facebook. However, over the last few days, sandwiched between the usual Politics + Gossip there has been a story about a photograph of Billy the Kid playing croquet that was found in a Fresno antique shop and is now valued to at around $5 million. 

Now, I'm a fan of the smooth segue, so watch me turn this around to be about yarn.

Wait, those croquet balls look peculiar...

Billy the Kid, an outlaw with well over 15 men who found themselves at the wrong end of his gun, played Croquet. It kind of shakes everything up that you ever thought about Billy the Kid (while simultaneously giving a little more credibility to the goofy Billy the Kid from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure).

If he played croquet, then why not picture him knitting. Can't you see it? After a long, hard day of fighting the sheriff's posse and running from the law, Mr. The Kid kicking back with his boots up and knitting a pair of socks by campfire light. Totally plausible, right? Or do they only do the campfire thing in the movies?

Anyway, Anzula has a line of yarn named Croquet that is simply killer. (see what I did there?) This DK weight made of 50% Superwash Merino and 50% Tussah Silk basically is the sharpshooter of luxury yarns. And just like Billy the Kid, it has a softer side. Okay, so maybe all of the sides are soft. It's yarn. 

From the second your hands touch the skein it feels like heaven. This yarn produces garments with amazing drape and is perfect for sweaters. The silk gives it a gorgeous sheen that rivals the sun at high noon.

While they might be gorgeous, croquet balls made of Croquet by Anzula may not travel very far when hit with a croquet mallet. 

While they might be gorgeous, croquet balls made of Croquet by Anzula may not travel very far when hit with a croquet mallet. 

Unlike a cold-hearted outlaw, Anzula's yarns use only wool from a source that does not participate in mulesing, making our Superwash Merino a kinder choice. 

So what would I recommend to Billy the Kid if he were looking for a pattern to knit in Croquet? 

I would definitely have to be a cowlette like this Camille Cowlette from Taiga Hillard Designs- it looks like a handkerchief, without the potential disaster of coming undone at that moment of really needing it to cover the face whilst train robbing or shooting, or doing any of those other old-timey-wild-west things.

Channel your inner "Billy the Kid, who BTW totally plays croquet" and knit one for yourself!

New Colorways and... Yarns!

Yesterday at TNNA we divulged what we've been waiting for ages to share - five new colors! Please allow us, without further adieu, to introduce them to you now... 

From left: Rust, Saffron, Peacock, Hippo, and Orchid.

All of the colors above are shown on Silken, a brand new yarn that is composed of 50% Superwash Merino and 50% Tussah Silk. It's a fingering/sock weight yarn, a skein of which measures +/- 375 yards or 343 meters. 

But Silken isn't the only new yarn line we are releasing at TNNA this weekend! Three other lines are also being released, all composed of the same 50/50 blend as Silken. Luster is also a fingering/sock weight yarn that measures +/- 385 yards or 352 meters. Croquet is a DK weight yarn that measures +/- 250 yards or 228 meters. And It Could Be Worsted is a worsted weight yarn that measures +/- 200 yards or 182 meters. 

I know what you're thinking... let's see the pictures!











These new yarns and colorways should be arriving at your LYS soon! If you don't see them, be sure to ask for them - any of our yarns or fibers can be special ordered by your LYS for one skein or one hundred.