Knitting yarn. What floats your boat when it comes to selecting yarn?

Touch, absolutely! It matters a lot to me. If I am going to invest time in knitting I want the feel to be so luscious I can’t put it down! So alpaca is the top with me. Soooo soft, so cozy, so wonderful. But, sometimes the touch is not the most important, durability can come into play. Sure, a pair of alpaca slippers would be dreamy, but would they really last with wear? Not so much. In a yarn shop, touch is my first consideration. Color may draw me to a yarn, but the touch will determine if I pick it up.

Online I am drawn to color, duh, since they haven’t developed fellernet. Luscious, bright, deep, and full bodied. Solids, semi solids, stripes, variegated, no matter, love them all. Some pastels, but not much. The richer the tone, the more I like it. Not at all drawn to black or gray, and cream and white are only for contrast knitting. Of course, monitors vary, so, sometimes your visual doesn’t really reveal the color true. I try to look at several sources of a certain color before assuming I am seeing the true color. Sometimes it is possible, sometimes not. The only time it truly matters is when I am doing color work and have no way of comparing the shades I am selecting.

So, what to do. I have plans to make this hat. A good price on sport yarn at WEBS had me ordering that in place of Cascade 220 Sport, lots cheaper. But, which colors would give me a similar effect? I ordered these shades.

1st choice
1st colors ordered
2nd choice
Dark green replaced
Choice 3
Medium purple replaced with bright purple, position of purples moved.
Choice 4
Medium purple replaces other purple

I think the 2nd to last arrangement is what I will go with. But just to be sure, I will use a tip I learned from the wise and talented Nancy Marchant. She’s a local wiz who returns every year to our humble city. She graciously taught some classes at the shop I used to work at.

For choosing colors for colorwork: Using a piece of cardboard cut about 2″x enough length for the colors you are using. Wrap at least 1″ width of yarn around the cardboard, in the sequence you plan to use the colors. Step away from the piece. What do you see. Do you see separation in the values you are using? Do colors sitting next to each other run into the other? Do they pop? If your intent is for the colors to shade, is there a progression between the shades? Do they blend?

I replaced the 1st green because it was so bright compared to the olive. The second green is more in the family of the light shade. Now, after all this comparing, will I end up using the colors I chose? We will see. Sometimes it takes actually plugging in those colors to reveal how they work. Lesson: Online color shopping can be difficult.

And then there is this. A yarn full of color. I can’t even tell you how many colors are in this yarn. Red and gray are the dominate forces, but flecks of other colors show up here and there.


This is a mystery yarn. I know where I got it, just don’t know for sure what yarn it is. It was marked as Newton’s Yarn Country St Andre. I got it at a Stitches Midwest in Minneapolis in 2001. But, when I look online, I can’t find anything at their sight labeled that. And on Rav I do not see anything that matches my yarn under the St Andre listing. So, who to believe. I think it is Frenchy, from looking at their sample cards. Who knows. Beyond that, it is FREAKING SOFT!!!! The color was not the sole purpose in purchasing this yarn, the softness factor fueled this purchase. This will be a Speckled Shrug from Lion Brand. Crossing fingers I have enough to make the full length. Since I am not sure just which yarn it is, I cannot gauge the yardage I have. The labels only give you weight, price, and yarn name. I am thinking about 1000 yards, pattern calls for 900 yards. But after 120 grs I have 12″. With calculations I am coming up with about 40″ in length once done. The pattern calls for 44″. Will I get 4″ increase with blocking?  I am knitting this on a US9 after starting with a US8 and being a smidge under gauge. But I may be too loose now. Oh well, we will see. May not be blocked since I have no room to do something 80+ long. Hopefully I will have it done soon.


One thought on “

  1. I am all about the feel. Most yarn I buy in person because I have to feel it. The only thing I’ve bought online untouched is sock yarn. I know I like a bit of nylon in my sock yarn so pretty much I’m happy with anything for socks that is about 25% nylon with lots of beautiful color.
    Good luck with the mystery yarn. I hope you get exactly what you want:)

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