Meet the Yarn: Dottie

Are you looking to knit with a new and different yarn? Anzula's newest, Dottie is for you!

It is 420 yards of a fingering/sock weight that is a blend of 80% Superwash Merino, 17% Acrylic, and 3% Polyester.

Dottie in Gravity

Dottie in Gravity

What?! Acrylic? Polyester?

Dottie is special, there is a tweedy effect created by the neps of black Acrylic. It creates a very unique fabric, as you'll see in the swatches below.

Dottie swatches

Dottie swatches

I personally find tweedy yarns very difficult to work with as I want to re-spin it into a smooth yarn. As they aren't a yarn I tend to choose on my own, I don't have much experience with them. That made this post much more educational for me than I expected when the yarn first arrived on my doorstep.

Tweed yarns sing best with simple stitches. We'll change things up in this post and I'll begin with crochet before I share the knitting.

My first swatch was a large one worked in single crochet. The structure of crochet traps the tweed neps into each stitch.

Dottie swatch, single crochet swatch

Dottie swatch, single crochet swatch

The effect changes slightly half-double and double crochet. While there is some stitch definition, it's subtle.

Dottie, crochet swatches

Dottie, crochet swatches

So what if you were to work different stitches? What happens with lack of sharp stitch definition?

I personally don't find the effect of combining this tweed yarn with a motif stitch exciting. That could change with a different hook or blocking. I sprayed this lightly with water and finger pulled it to its roughly square shape. This is why swatching is important!

Dottie, granny square swatch

Dottie, granny square swatch

Does it work in a texture stitch? This is the same stitch I've worked for all my other texture swatches. It's ok, however I feel the essence of the texture is lost in the tweed. Does that matter? Maybe, maybe not. If you enjoy this stitch why not work it?

Dottie, texture crochet swatch

Dottie, texture crochet swatch

Ok, lace. I think in a certain design, and at a different gauge and with attention blocking, it could work as an accent (or edging) to a piece worked in a more basic stitch.

Dottie, lace crochet swatch

Dottie, lace crochet swatch

What have I learned from these few humble swatches? That it's very important to swatch. Maybe you’ll love the look in a very different stitch, such as crocheted (post-stitch) cable. Maybe you'll decide that single-crochet is the way to go. This is a very different yarn in Anzula's current line-up and I think you'll be able to have lots of fun with this yarn.

Next up: knitting!

It looks different than when crocheted. There is still stitch definition in the stockinette section and the garter stitch looks very different.

Dottie, knit swatches

Dottie, knit swatches

I'm surprised by how much I want to squish this garter stitch swatch. I find the tweed neps fun in this swatch in a way they weren't in any of my crochet swatches.

Dottie, knit garter stitch swatch

Dottie, knit garter stitch swatch

The same is also true in this stockinette. It's a more subtle effect than in crochet in a way I'm not yet able to articulate.

Dottie, knit stockinette swatch

Dottie, knit stockinette swatch

Dottie is a unique yarn that I think will entice you to swatch (in either knit or crochet -- or both) to find the combination of stitch and gauge that speaks to you.

If you'd like to try Dottie, head to your favorite local yarn store on April 27th for Local Yarn Store Day and pick up a kit for a gorgeous knit shawl by Jen Lucas! It features stockinette and some slipped stitches in a contrast color for a unique look. Crocheters, as each kit includes 420 yards of Dottie and 3 mini skeins of Squishy, why not combine a simple crochet stitch with your favourite scarf or shawl recipe and have some creative fun?

Click this photo to find a list of shops!

Click this photo to find a list of shops!

All swatches are in the Teal colourway with 3.75mm needles and hooks, any perceived differences in shade are due to the photographer.

Dottie, yarn ends

Dottie, yarn ends

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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 cat. www.pennyshima.com

Meet the Yarn: It Could Be Worsted, part 2

In the Northeast, as summer draws to a close, the heat and humidity fades and the foliage begins to hint at its beautiful autumnal colors. That's a verbose way to say that the desire to knit and crochet is returning. I want to finish projects fast, so I often turn to heavier yarns. As a crocheter, I don't often think of worsted weight yarns but as I discovered when reviewing For Better or Worsted I shouldn't discount them.

It Could Be Worsted is a worsted-weight blend of 50% superwash merino and 50% tussah silk. Don't fret that there's no cashmere, the silk is luxurious and as this is a rounded 4-ply, you get a yarn that is very squishy and soft. I was eager to swatch with my 190 yards (173 meters) and love how it works up in crochet -- even at this bulky-for-crochet weight. When paired with the shape of crochet stitches, the squishy round yarn begs to be worked. I found it hard to stop swatching!

Let's first look at the knitting. I apologize that tactile touch screens aren't a technical reality - you can see the depth of stitches! I had difficulty finishing the garter stitch swatch as I kept pausing to pet it.
 

It Could Be Worsted swatches, knit

It Could Be Worsted swatches, knit

In basic crochet stitches, by contrast, this yarn highlights the need to find the gauge (stitch tension) that creates a fabric you love. I'm not enamored by what my 4.5mm hook achieved but I know I want to explore this yarn further.
 

It Could Be Worsted swatches, crochet

It Could Be Worsted swatches, crochet

The same is true for my net lace swatch. It's nice, but I'm not sure it's right. I think in this sort of stitch, it's best as an edging. While it would reduce the weight of an accessory, I'm not confident it would maintain its shape if it were the all-over stitch for a design.

It Could Be Worsted swatch, lace

It Could Be Worsted swatch, lace

The texture swatch shows promise, though I do think a hook adjustment is in order. I often stopped to squish this swatch. Can you feel the texture? 

It Could Be Worsted swatch, texture

It Could Be Worsted swatch, texture

What made my heart sing? This simple humble granny square motif! What does this mean to me? I don't see a 70's granny square vest in my future for this yarn, but it shows me in a way the previous swatch didn't that it's important to explore textures. I also think short rows and exploring the direction the fabric is worked is what makes this swatch work so well for me. Do you agree? 

It Could Be Worsted swatch, motif

It Could Be Worsted swatch, motif

Is this yarn better suited to some projects over others? I think accessories for a special event which highlight the silky shine are best. A garment at this weight would be very warm and, depending on the stitch pattern, dense and heavy.

How does it compare to For Better or Worsted? You can't swap yarn for yarn without adjustment. They're not quite the same grist and that slight difference could add up if you're making a large project. For a small accessory I'd make sure to purchase extra yarn, swatch, and know that the fabric will be different as silk isn't the same as a cashmere/nylon blend.

My swatch photos comparing For Better or Worsted and It Couldn't Be Worsted aren't quite a fair comparison. As I promised in that first post, I tossed the For Better or Worsted in the washing machine (with my weekly load of laundry) and laid them flat to dry. The result is that the stitches are no longer as round as they were after a gentle hand wash.

It Could Be Worsted swatches

It Could Be Worsted swatches

_All swatches of It Could Be Worsted are in the Nimbus colourway with 4.5mm needles and hooks, any perceived differences in shade are due to the photographer._

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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 cat. www.pennyshima.com

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 @ Kitterly.com

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

Meet the Yarn: It Could be Worsted

Jill Wolcott
passion.fashion.knits

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.

standard-swatch-and-teaser-yarn.jpg

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).  

ICBW-WPI-card-.jpg

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 @ Kitterly.com

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

Keep up on all things Jill Wolcott:
Contact: jill@jillwolcottknits.com
Blog:  http://www.jillwolcottknits.com/category/blog/
Twitter: @jillwolcottknit
Instagram: @jillwolcottknits
Pinterest: Jill Wolcott Knits
www.JillWolcottKnits.com