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 

Book Review: 100 Knits: Interweave's Ultimate Pattern Collection

I was so excited when I got the email from Jodi at Interweave asking if we wanted to review their new 100 Knits book. As I read the message I realized this book was going to be huge; both in popularity and in size! So, I opted for a digital version, because I live in a tiny apartment and have way too many things. I’ve since seen a physical copy and I might be a little jealous, and seriously considering buying one, because it’s just that pretty.

If you’re interested in winning a print copy of this book, read on! Interweave has generously offered a copy as a giveaway to one of our lucky readers.

This book is filled with a huge variety of patterns: hats, cowls, socks, scarves, sweaters, cardigans, pullovers, shawl, wraps, tees, I could go on. There are patterns for all kinds of knitters, texture fabrics, colorwork, elegantly simple, and stunningly complex.

Here are a few of my favorite patterns from the book and which yarns I would use:

Lucy Hat by Carina Spencer

I’ve actually had this hat on my to-do list for a long time. I’ve just been waiting for my niece to get big enough to actually wear it. I plan to use For Better or Worsted in Black and Peacock because I think that combo will look amazing with her red hair.

Cuff-to-Cuff Socks by Courtney Spainhower

There are several beautiful and clever sock patterns in this book, however these are the ones that are probably perfect for me. I’m a not much of a sock knitter, and when I do knit socks, 2-at-a-time is the only way to ensure I actually finish a pair. So, while this isn’t quite 2-at-a-time, it’s an ingenious way to get 2 socks instead of one. Bonus, you get to skip a bunch of the fiddly-ness that comes with knitting 2-at-a-time and can use DPNs if that’s your thing. My favorite sock yarn lately is Gerty, so I will probably use that for this pattern. You could also use Squishy, Haiku, Nebula, or Lunaris, all are great for socks.

Atol Cowl by Jenn Emerson

This is just so simple, and so lovely at the same time. I think it’s one of those knits I would wear all the time. I actually have some of Jade Sapphire’s Khata in my stash, but it’s earmarked for a shawl. Being in the Central Valley of California, I think I would opt for a cool blend like Breeze. The silk and linen will be comfortable and soft, and much cooler than the yak/silk blend of Khata.

Confession time! I love knitting cowls and would literally knit every cowl in this book if I had the time. They are all so different, and so wearable.

Potter’s Shawl by Jen Lucas

It’s simple, and elegant, with that garter squish to make it cozy too. What more do you need in a shawl? (Lot’s of lace? Beads? Keep scrolling, they’ve got you covered). Both Dreamy and Squishy would work perfectly for this pattern. If you wanted a little sparkle you could also try Nebula or Lunaris.

Waxwing Shawl by Susanna IC

For those of you more interested in delicate lace and shimmering beads, this is definitely for you. I see this with wedding dresses, evening gowns, romantic walks, date night, dressing up because you feel like it… Seriously, it’s gorgeous and you can wear it anywhere. Wash My Lace or Meridian would be perfect for this.

Dahlia Cardigan by Heather Zoppetti

This cardigan has been on my favorites list for. ev. er. I really should just cast on and get it done. It’s so pretty and would definitely stay with me through quite a few size changes (I tend to fluctuate in weight). Vera is one of my favorites for cardigans and I think that’s what I’ll use to make this.

Chamei Pullover by Bristol Ivy

This sweater is both fashionable and flattering for a lot of shapes. I love the diagonal texture and cowl neck. I would probably do For Better or Worsted for this. Depending on gauge swatches, I might also give Katara a try, because I think it would be seriously amazing in that yarn. I think it’s always worth a swatch or two if you’re really in love with an idea. Plus, if it doesn’t work, I’ll still know my gauge for Katara.

Mount Robson Pullover by Jessie McKitrick

This sweater is so classic. I think to get a nice fit you will want something bouncy and woolly so I would use Gerty or Squishy for this. Dreamy would have the bounce too, however it has a little silky shine, so that would work too depending on how you like the look of the fabric.

Biscotti Sweater by Kiyomi Burgin

This looks so cozy and cute! I think Burly would work for this, however a swatch is definitely in order to make sure. It’s a casual enough fit that a little difference would be okay, so long as it’s only a little.

Venice Top by Amy Gunderson

This tank is gorgeous! I love tanks and love this flow-y a-line shaping. I really like the close fit for the arm holes. I’m a little self conscious of that area and the way this fits the model is really nice, in my opinion. This is another one I will make in Vera. It would be the perfect summer top.

Whew, that’s a lot to love and I barely scratched the surface. I’m pretty sure I didn’t show you any of the gorgeous colorwork items, oops!

What this book doesn’t have is a section on technique. I think that’s totally reasonable. First, it’s already 512 pages. Second, you either already know how to do things, have a yarn shop or friend who will help you, or you know how to use YouTube. I think it was a great cost savings to the purchaser not to use materials to make this book any larger. There would have been so many techniques to cover it would have been three times the size! I appreciate that they take a couple pages at the end of the book to introduce the designers who’s works are included, and to give a brief, and effective, stitch abbreviation key.

Literally every page is filled with gorgeous photos, patterns, and charts. Interweave really has put together a truly lovely collection for knitters.

So, you’re probably wondering where you can get it! Pre-orders are open now at the Interweave online store.

And what I know you’re really wondering, is how to enter in our giveaway! Leave a comment below and tell us the pattern you want to make from the book and which yarn you would use.

We’ll choose a random commenter on October 5, 2018 and Interweave will send you a copy of the book.

Update - Congratulations to Cristina Pederson!