Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Swatching Laceweight

Yarn Place produces beautiful yarns. Coming in a wide range of colors, lace-weight yarns Touch and Graceful are very different from each other but share one thing in common: they are both extremely affordable. I know Yarn Place will be getting an order from me in the future!

Touch is an interesting yarn made from 85% merino, 10% man-made fiber, 5% cashmere. Each 62.5 skein has 800 yards and retails for $11.99.

Using the pattern for the Adamas shawl, I knit up a swatch on size 3 needles. Although it takes a minute to adjust to knitting with a yarn as stretchy as this one, it quickly becomes natural. The yarn is very soft running through your fingers and is therefore a joy to knit.

I blocked the swatch severely, as I do with all the lace I've knitted:

Although I did not know it was possible, I think my blocking this time was a bit too severe. The stretchiness of the yarn is so intense that it opens up tremendously--and as I was blocking, I was guessing that the elasticity would cause the yarn to snap back a bit after unpinning. It did not at all, holding the blocking exceptionally well. Next time I won't pull it out as far.

* * *

The other yarn I swatched was Graceful, a 100% wool yarn with 2400 yards (enough for at least two large shawls) in the 100 gram ball retailing $22.99. The yarn is lightly variegated with luscious and extremely slow color changes--so slow that you might not see much color transition at all if you're knitting a small shawl.

Using Barbara Walker's stitch treasuries, I decided to try out a bunch of different lace patterns for these swatches.

Graceful yarn is extremely fine. I am a tight knitter and usually have to go up a size or two to get gauge. Having very successfully knit Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb on size 3 needles, I tried that first:

I felt like I was knitting thread with piano legs as needles.

I gradually worked my way down and was happy with the result when I was knitting on size 000 needles. The result was fantastic.

After knitting this tiny swatch on triple zeros, I knew this yarn might be destined to sit in the stash box for quite a while....

* * *

If anyone is a braver knitter than I am and would like to have the rest of the ball of Graceful, please leave me a comment saying so. If there are several of you, I'll draw a name and send it out to you!

* * *

Thanks, Amy, for giving me the chance to swatch and review the yarns!


Anonymous said...

I'm always up for a challenge, and having gotten Victorian Lace Today for a present, that Graceful yarn is beautiful. I'd love to be lucky enough to get it!

tiennie said...

That yarn is so pretty but alas, I am not (yet) a lace knitter. Hope your hand feels better soon! Gotta knit, ya know?

Eva said...

That's some lovely yarn! Where can I buy some? I took a lace knitting class two years ago where we used size 0-000 needles exclusively and haven't found a thin enough yarn to make the rest of the projects. I only had the sample yarn our instructor gave us.


Anonymous said...

Oh, my hand (my thumb in particular) hurt just thinking about those tiny needles! I'm not a lace knitter but, as always, soooo admire your work.

Anonymous said...

Knitting up 2 large shawls with 000's?! Gah! I can imagine the end result would be stunning, though.

NeedleTart said...

I always knit at least 2 sizes smaller than called for, do you think I would have to find 000000s? If not I would love to be put in the drawing.

Carrie K said...

Oh, congratulations on hosting Yarnival!

That Graceful yarn looks glorious, but I think I'd rather watch inky knit it up.

Miranda said...

Hmmm... always up for a challenge! Please add me to the drawing. The yarn is gorgeous!

Birdsong said...

I have avoided the tiniest needles for the same reason.. ones and twos are about my limit. Nice to hear about these lovely laceweights.

Anonymous said...

THe customer service at Yarn Place is horrible. There was something wrong with their web site--it said it couldn't ship to my address. After six emails, someone snippily replied that the site worked fine for her. Two more emails and I was told to call them if I wanted to order something. I gave up, at that point.


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