It’s time again for our annual Luxury Yarn Sale! Now through the beginning of the New Year (specifically through the end of Wednesday, January 2nd), our most exquisite and opulent yarns are on sale, from silk and alpaca to cashmere and beyond. You’re not likely to find a better opportunity to give into your most indulgent cravings for fabulous fiber. All of the yarns included in the sale are at least 20% off, and you can find select colors at 30% or even 40% off!
If you’re already a silk seeker, alpaca addict or cashmere connoisseur, then you won’t need any more encouragement to dig into these fabulous yarns. But these fibers can be a little intimidating, not just for fear of flubbing a significant fiber investment in one go, but also because it’s not always immediately obvious why these special yarns are worth the extra investment. Let’s dig in a little bit about what makes some of these fibers so special.
Full disclosure: I love all yarn with silk fiber. I still consider myself a lace knitter, and silk has everything you could want for lace: definition, durability, eye-catching luster, rich color, and unparalleled tensile strength. These are obviously best exemplified in our lace weight 100% silk Luminance (recommended colors: the gorgeous solid teal of Benevolence at 30% off or the elevated silver shimmerings of hand painted Hope at 40% off).
In all the shows we’ve gone to, the samples in Luminance get the most attention, and are also the only samples I’ve had people offer to buy outright. It’s particularly good for dramatic openwork lace, like the now-iconic In Perfect Harmony shawl. Luminance is one of the only yarns that I don’t try to break by hand, and that tensile strength is also what allows such delicate work. It blocks beautifully, with the strength to take and keep dramatic shapes like the elaborate points in the Diamas shawl. And unlike alpaca or even softer wools like Merino, silk doesn’t develop a halo, so you never lose stitch definition. And silk also makes for breezy wraps and shawls that you can wear through the warmer months. It even makes for wonderful crochet!
Even if you’re not into lace weight yarn, all of those attributes are also useful in other weights of the Gloss family and heavier silk blend yarns. I’m a fan of Gloss DK (color recommendation: the jewel-toned eggplant purple of Blackberry is 40% off)and sport weight Paragon (try White for a classic lace accessory or Pimento for a wild statement top, both 40% off) for fancy garments. The silk content gives both of these a gorgeous sheen, with fantastic color and nicely defined stitches. And the texture of silk only improves the ultra soft merino and alpaca. You’ll still get some of the normal pilling that Merino tends to, but the silk will give it a little extra durability for a longer lasting garment. It also keeps the halo from the blooming alpaca under control, so you can enjoy alpaca and still have actual stitch definition!
Alpaca Yarns from left: Alpaca Cloud, Andean Treasure, Wonderfluff, Simply Alpaca, The Big Cozy
Alpaca is a bit like fizzy water: some people will find it, realize they’ve found an essential ingredient in their life, and nothing will substitute for it ever again. If you’re an alpaca person, I don’t need to tell you how great it is. If you have yet to truly experience the preternaturally fluffy ur-softness of alpaca, then there’s hardly a better time than now. I humbly suggest you start with Wonderfluff.
Although Wonderfluff (color recommendations: try foresty green Kale Heather and light brown Hare Heather for some earthy Fair Isle, both at 40% off) is one of the newer additions to the Knit Picks yarn clan, it has quickly proven to be one of the most popular. And not just because of Professor Meow. (Although that does help.) It sounds like marketing hyperbole to call it “softer than a kitten, fluffier than a cloud,” but it really is about the softest yarn you’re likely to find this side of qiviut, and not nearly as expensive. The secret to Wonderfluff’s wonderfulness isn’t just the absurdly delicate Baby Alpaca fiber. Instead of a traditional spun construction, this technological marvel is actually a nylon mesh that has loose fibers blown into it, which allows the alpaca to keep more of its natural loft and spring. This is also what allows for the unusual yard to weight ratio for a bulky weight yarn, which keeps garments extra light. Hats and cowls weigh almost nothing; most sizes of the easeful and generous Eldfell Pullover weight less than a pound. Try to find another bulky yarn you can say that about!
If you are already an alpaca aficionado, you can also take advantage of this sale to try out the full range of our alpaca selection. The 100% alpacas cover a huge range of weights, from Alpaca Cloud in Lace (color recommendations: rich true red Elizabeth while it lasts, or classic navy blue Edgar are both 40% off) and Fingering (color recommendation: bright and summery yellow Lucille is 30% off) for shawls and accessories, to sport weight Andean Treasure (color recommendations: make some fabulous grellow Fair Isle with yellow Prairie Heather and grey Mystery Heather, both 40% off) and Aran weight Simply Alpaca (color recommendation: rich cool brown Alton is 40% off).
Andean Treasure is actually my favorite of our alpaca yarns and is surprisingly excellent for stranded colorwork. Simply Alpaca is one of our eco yarns, coming in a lovely range of natural neutrals, and is one of those yarns that always sells well at shows. Once you touch it, you have to have it. The Two Texture Shawl is satisfyingly simple and actually a good-size shawl for only requiring two hanks of Simply Alpaca.
And, of course, we have a number of really interesting yarns with more niche character that benefit primarily from alpaca fiber.
City Tweed is one of Knit Picks’ oldest yarns, having stood the test of time with good reason. It holds a special place in my fiber-loving heart, being the yarn that first got me to order from Knit Picks. I’ve used the DK weight (color recommendation: warm reddish brown Tarantella will make lovely gender-neutral accessories at 40% off) for warm and snuggly vests, and I highly recommend the Aran weight (color recommendation: subtle olive green Toad is a favorite around the office, now 30% off) if you don’t already have a standard evening house cardigan. Really, how could you say ‘no’ to an alpaca tweed?
Quite frankly, Alux (color recommendations: grab some Ruby, Jade, and Mist all at 40% off to make the glitteriest Christmas ornaments for next year) is delightful in a way that mere photography will probably never fully capture. The metallic fibers give a scintillating sparkle to even the simplest of (Free!) patterns, and bring an interesting texture to even Baby Alpaca. We’ve found that it can be somewhat troublesome to knit with, so you’ll want to go with your preferred method of combating splittiness (some people find sharper needles help cope with splitty yarn, others blunter needles; you’ll definitely want to experiment!) and keep your hands plenty moisturized. However, once you’ve blocked your finished project and can appreciate the soft hand of alpaca and the unique gleam of metallic fibers, you’ll know you have a one-of-a-kind garment that you’ll want to wear for years.
There are just so many luxury yarns available in this sale that I can’t possibly cover them all. So, whether you’re looking for brilliant silk, luscious alpaca, or one of the other bonuses this year like new Capretta Superwash (color recommendation: bold red Embers Heather is 40% off, and don’t forget about the limited edition Neons, which are all 30% off), the entire Hawthorne family (color recommendation: dark and mysterious Cosmic Speckle at 40% off), or the entire Chroma family (color recommendation: unabashedly neon Pegasus in Chroma Twist Bulky is 40% off), you’ll want to browse the Luxury Yarn Sale before it ends Wednesday, January 2nd. You’re sure to find just the right special fiber to ring in the New Year and reward yourself for all the gift knitting you’ve been doing!