The best way to create extra special projects is to use a yarn that is equally extra special! And knowing the different properties of luxury fibers will help you to make the very most of out of every stitch. No matter if you are looking to make a luxurious sweater for a friend or family member or perhaps you simply want to indulge in a one-skein wonder, you’ll find a variety of luxury fibers that are sure to suit your project.
If you are looking for a dressy yarn with a touch of tradition, look no further than City Tweed. This tempting blend of Merino, alpaca and Donegal tweed is available in City Tweed DK and HW/Aran weight, perfect for dressed up cables and Arans. Did you know that alpaca fibers have a hollow core, allowing them to hold in heat which creates a dense and warm fabric? Pretty neat, right? Add a bit of Merino’s squish-factor to the mix, and you’ve got yourself a lovely combination of drape, sheen, and elacticity. Personally, I think this would work up into a very dapper men’s cabled sweater – or even better, a little boy’s cabled sweater for those who are looking for a quick project.
And now, onto another favorite fiber of mine, silk! The stunning sheen of silk instantly adds a touch of elegance to whatever project you have in mind. I love silk blends for flowing cardigans and drapey shawlettes. And a wonderful advantage to working with silk blends, like the Gloss yarn family, is that silk is actually a very warm fiber! This allows you to work loose-knit patterns and lace stitches into projects such as sweaters and cardigans without any fear of losing warmth. Additionally, silk is similar to alpaca fibers in that is adds both drape and sheen to the yarn. When used on its own, silk is a very strong fiber that actually has no scales or stretch! This complete lack of scales (when compared to other animal fibers) is what gives silk its amazing lustre, allowing the light to reflect off of the fiber brilliantly. The silk blend of Gloss takes all of the advantages of silk and blends it with Merino to help plump up your stitches and add stretch. And what’s better than the amazing blend of silk and Merino? Having the option to choose this lux blend in lace, fingering, DK, and HW/Aran weight yarn, of course! With so many options and rich colors to choose from, you’ll be sure to find a line of Gloss to fit your next project.
Another unique and equally lush fiber that is sure to add elegance and warmth to your next special project is found in angora blends. On its own, angora is a very smooth and incredibally lightweight fiber that feels heavenly to touch. Hannah has an angora rabbit named Linus and has treated us with snippets of his past haircuts – words cannot explain the feeling of running your hands through pure angora! However, because angora fibers are so smooth and have so little elasticity, it is a fiber that shines when blended with other fibers, like Merino. In our special reserve yarn, Sugarbunny, the angora adds a soft halo while the Merino adds strength and elasticity. Angora fibers do add a lovely halo, but can sometimes be a bit fuzzy for some projects. If you are looking to reduce the halo and shedding that can sometimes come with the angora fiber territory, try working Sugarbunny at a tighter gauge or experiment with dense stitch patterns that will hold the silky soft fibers in place. Sugarbunny is a worsted weight yarn that will transform hats, cowls, and shawlettes into elegant accessories. And for a real treat, a Sugarbunny shrug or cardigan would’t be bad either!
And of course there is always cashmere! This plush, super soft fiber comes from cashmere goats that live in extremely cold climates and need downy coats to stay warm. Similar to angora, cashmere is also a very lightweight, delicate fiber where a little goes a long way. Blends like Capra give you the lavishly soft feel of cashmere while the addition of Merino adds strength and weight, allowing cables and textured stitches to pop. And I couldn’t forget to mention Capra’s fingering weight version, Capretta when talking about cashmere! To help this finer yarn stay durable, a touch of nylon is added for strength. And like all cashmere blends, if you think Capra and Capretta are soft while on your needles and hook – just wait until it is time to give your project a nice bath! Blocking is where the magic happens, allowing the cashmere fibers to bloom for an extra plush fabric.
Ever since the arrival of Capretta, I have been daydreaming of a lightweight cardigan for those in between days of spring and summer – all I am saying is we knit and crochet for others so often, we can’t forget to give ourselfs a little fiber treat every once in a while, right?
What are some of your favorite go-to yarns for extra special projects?