Meet the Yarn: Luster

Jill Wolcott

Miles Davis said he had to quit playing ballads because he loved them so much.  Not sure what a ballad is?  Check this list, you have probably heard many of them. I had to step away from Luster in the same way!  Luster is a fingering version of It Could Be Worsted. As much as I enjoyed It Could Be Worsted, fingering is more my gauge.  I almost lost myself on the swatches of twisted stitch rib with cables and lace from the Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible.

I have done my usual exploration swatch of garter, stockinette, seed, and 1x1 rib. The yummy blend of 50% super wash merino and 50% tussah silk means it looks good in all types of stitches. Tussah silk is not as refined as some silk filaments, so you get little bits of variation in the fiber.

The yardage for Luster is 405 yards or 370 meters to 114g or 4 ounces.  I used a US size 3(3.25mm) needle.  The exploration swatch used 40g, I have approximately 36g remaining unknit, and so my other swatches used about 38g.  I know what I’m going to do with the unknit Luster—because I have an other skein which I’m going to knit up — it will become accents.

So let’s get to the details so you can start having Luster-ous dreams:  

Do note that there isn’t a lot of change in gauge from unblocked to blocked, but that the stitch pattern gauges vary quite a bit.  I used the same needles throughout my swatches.  Every stitch looks great in this yarn.  Knit it tight enough to counteract the in-elasticity of the silk, and to insure even stitches.  I love it in the twisted stitches, but I need a different skein for that because the other one I picked up is multi-colored.  This is a yarn worth waiting for!

8 rows of stitch pattern 162 from the Japanese Knitting Bible.

8 rows of stitch pattern 162 from the Japanese Knitting Bible.

I love looking at the projects and stashes on Ravelry.  Prices online vary from $33 per skein to close to $37 per skein.  A shawl or project taking two skeins will cost about $70-75 and to my thinking, that is a nice price for the hours of knitting pleasure you will get.  Then, of course you get to wear it!

I do a cost analysis for my yarn based on knitting time.  I recently worked up a project in 1 skein of Sport with similar yardage and spent about 12 hours knitting.  Double that if you use 2 skeins.  That means it costs $3.125 an hour.  About the same as the cost of my Saturday double espresso.  That does not take into account the future wearing.  

Seeing photos of a yarn worked up is always a good way to take its measure.  Here are some Luster projects I selected from the 158 listed on Ravelry.  I added the number of skeins used — so you can do the cost math.  There are 203 stash entries on Ravelry, and of the six listed for sale or trade, two are just the remainder from projects knitted. 1 skein plus a second yarn 6 skeins (5 colors) 2 colors 1 skein 3 skeins, size small 4 skeins unknown, but sweater appears to be an XS.

Looks like there is plenty of user satisfaction!  Take a look, then purchase a skein or two and set sail on your next beautiful knitted thing!

You’ll find more great pattern ideas for Luster on our Pinterest page!

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

Meet the Yarn: It Could be Worsted

Jill Wolcott

Hi there!  I’m back after a hiatus, and there are still fabulous Anzula yarns to be reviewed, so let's leaping back in.  Next in the lineup is It Could be Worsted.  

“It could be worse” than this soft, yet strong worsted blend of 50% silk and 50% merino.  I have to admit that I love this yarn and wasn’t at all upset when I realized I had to reknit my Tangiers sample because I had failed to return to seed stitch after completing the moss stitch neckband.  Yup, I ripped it back to the end of third Arabesque, then decided to just go all the way back and reknit the whole thing.   

I also did my standard gauge swatch, beginning with garter, moving to stockinette, on to seed stitch, then rib, and on to moss stitch.  Unblocked, there was some biasing in this yarn.  I used US size 6[4mm] needles, but liked the fabric I got, so don’t think that was a problem. Although there was some biasing, I was able to block it flat so it wasn’t a long-term problem.  It did unsettle me though!  Biasing is leaning in one direction and is usually the result of the way the yarn was spun.  If it blocks out, it is usually not a problem.  I just caution you to do a swatch and to block.  Having noticed these things swatching, I might not knit a large piece in the round.


I’ve looked through the projects on Ravelry, and don’t see anyone with problems, although there are not many comments.  I was amused to see my notes were equally incomplete!  There are 58 stashes, and 53 projects.  Such a great yarn needs more love!  Looking online, it sells for about $38/skein, so a single skein project might fit into a lot of budgets.  My new Tangiers pattern is made with two colors in It Could be Worsted (shown in Gumball and Aqua), and a version in a single color (sample uses For Better or Worsted).  


The yardage is 190 yards or 174 meters to 114g or 4 ounces.  There were several games of yarn chicken, probably owing to the 10 yard difference between It Could be Worsted and For Better or Worsted!  Judging by what I have remaining one could knit opposites of Tangiers.  If needed, some fudging could be done to make it work.

So let’s get to the details:  

Do be sure to take extra time on the blocking.  Pinning it to shape should do the trick.  I also steam blocked mine.  The Tangiers 2-color Scarf just needed a little patting into shape when I steam blocked it after wet blocking it.  Due to the small number of stitches, no biasing occurred.

Worsted is a great weight for knitting gifts—the knitting goes pretty fast and in this yarn, it looks super impressive—everything we want in our gift knits.  The colors are sharp and clear in this yarn,  I thoroughly enjoyed Gumball and Aqua both.

Tell me why—in the comments—you think there are 10 fewer yards in a skein of It Could Be Worsted than in a skein of For Better or Worsted.  I’ll do a drawing and give away one Tangier’s pattern for every 50 comments.  Deadline for comments is October 9, 2018.


You can find It Could be Worsted at these shops:

Admit Ewe Knit - Raleigh, NC
Amazing Threads - Maple Grove, MN
Baskets of Yarn - Charlotte, NC
Do Ewe Knit - Westfield, NJ
Fiber Artwork - Huntsville, AL
Harps & Thistles - Cuyahoga Falls, OH
KnitKnit - Couer d’Alene, ID
Knitorious - St Louis, MO
Knitting Garden - Coral Gables, FL
Sated Sheep - Dripping Springs, TX
Swift Stitch - Santa Cruz, CA
Online @

You’ll find more great pattern ideas for It Could be Worsted on our Pinterest page here!

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

Meet the Yarn: Squishy

Jill Wolcott

Squishy in 1 Red Shoe

Squishy in 1 Red Shoe

I left TNNA in late January with a lot of skeins of Anzula Luxury Yarns.  I had a list of what I needed for my 2018 yarn reviews, so I chose colors and checked things off my list.  Somehow I also convinced myself that I needed an extra Squishy.  I loved it so much in Endora (for the review) and 1 Red Shoe, that I took both, knowing I would make something for myself from the 1 Red Shoe.

If you haven’t tried Squishy, I would move this one to the top of your list.  It is the yarn featured in the Anzula kits to be offered to local yarn stores for Local Yarn Store day.  This is clearly a Ravelry favorite with over 3300 projects and yarn in over 3200 stashes.  I got curious about that stash number, so I looked more closely (my numbers are approximate).

  • 6 pages of Traded/sold/gifted
  • 12 pages of All used up
  • 107 pages of In stash (not for sale)
  • 3 pages Will trade or sell

Exploration - Blocked, Jill Wolcott

I began my Squishy research without my usual exploration swatch because I was creating a project for an Anzula kit and time was short. I dove right into the swatch for that project, which was based on a shawlette I’d done for myself in a plant-fiber yarn. I did a swatch, the knitter did a swatch, and that project got going.  The shawlette project is done on US size 3 (3.25mm) for the 2x2 Rib Collar and the Drape (body) is done using a US size 8 (4.5mm).  

Blocked Savoie Swatch, Jill Wolcott

Then I went back to my exploration swatching.  For that I used US size 3 (3.25mm) needles.  After washing, drying, and steam blocking my exploration swatch, I decided to weight the garter section for 24 hours because the garter was quite stretched out after washing and drying.  I was able to use the steam blocking to get it back into shape, but then I worried about whether it would stretch out again.  So let's look at the numbers.

Squishy Stitch Pattern Table, Jill Wolcott

Complete Exploration, Jill Wolcott

By the time I got to my exploration swatch the yarn I used had been wet blocked, steamed, then frogged. Then the yarn was wet blocked and steamed.  I knit, and frogged again, and did my swatch without more blocking.  The blocked swatch from the yarn that took all that use is just as lovely as the one knitted from the fresh skein.  The photo of the unblocked swatch shows it was not in perfect shape when I knitted it.  Frogging has so many learning opportunities and I love knowing that a yarn stands up well to a little exploration.  I do not hesitate to reuse yarn!

Seeded Chevron, Jill Wolcott

Squishy is an affordable luxury yarn.  It will stand up to use, and makes yummy projects.  It is a joy to knit and works in seemingly anything.

Ravelry Projects

There are so many!  I got through about one third of the pages.  This is a nice representation of what you can do with Squishy—which is almost anything.

  1. Wonder Woman Wrap (3 colors)
  2. Verdon (color block shawl/4 skeins)
  3. Celtic Climbers (sock/1 skein)
  4. Ravello (pullover/4 skeins)
  5. Twisted Tracks (pullover/4 skeins)
  6. Breathing Space (pullover/1 skein/also uses Cloud)
  7. Close to You (1 skein)
  8. Vintage Prim hat
  9. Misty Lily (baby set/1 skein)
  10. Loasa Latieritia (sock/1 skein)
  11. Shetland Shorty (cropped /1.25 skeins)
  12. Netty Cowl (3 skeins)
  13. Banyan Tree Scarf (1 skein)
  14. Copilot Cowl (the kitty!/1 skein)

Shops where Savoie will be available for Local Yarn Store Day:

Savoie Shawl by Jill Wolcott

Ewe Knit It
South Dakota

Hook a Frog


Personal Threads

Tinsmith's Wife