But where can I buy all the pretty???

Visit Vagabond Romantics shop now to browse and buy altered art, wearable collage, and lovingly curated craft materials unearthed from the farthest reaches of granny's attic.

Monday 5 October 2015

In Praise of Yarn

The "Wall of Wool" at Vagabond Romantics HQ
I have a lot of yarn.

I mean, seriously.

Some of my stash (but by no means all) can be seen in the photo to the left. 

I collect yarn from charity shops, independent wool shops, mill shops, trade fairs and of course online. Sometimes I want unusual textures, other times I lust after the unmistakeable palette and understated luxury of Noro, other times all I care about is how soft the fibres are.

Colinette's Tao silk yarn, with it's rich painterly hand-dyed colours, soft-as-air fibres and enviable drape, has almost everything I want from a yarn - if only I could afford it! I once found a tangled 500g hank of seconds in a nearby market for a knockdown price, and the silk feels so gorgeous in the hand that even the hours it took to unsnarl it and roll it into a ball felt decadent (but not as decadent as the oversized boxy garter stitch jumper I eventually knitted with it)

Drops do a gorgeous cotton viscose that has a convincingly silky lustre, a nice drape, an extremely reasonable price, and a delicious range of colours that run the gamut from subtle vintage shades to the rich jewel tones of a spice market. It's become my go-to yarn for most projects thanks to all of the above. It was also the yarn I used as the base for my "Lucy" knitted cuffs that were recently voted "Make of the Week" on the Wool Warehouse Facebook page. We intend to be listing a few of these lush little gems as autumn progresses, so do keep an eye on the shop if you fancy one (or a pair)!

And of course there's recycled sari silk yarn, which is becoming more and more widely available. Often there's an added bonus that it is spun by women's cooperatives from the silk threads that collect on the floors of fabric mills, or indeed scrap strips of sari fabric itself make an unusual ribbon-style yarn which may even include the odd sequinned motif or bit of beadwork. I have a terrible time resisting this and came away from Wonderwool 2015 with bags of it, but can rarely bring myself to knit with it because it is simply too beautiful as it is. I have, however, worn an untwisted skein as a rather dramatic necklace, and many compliments I received on it, too.

You may be wondering what the point of all these ramblings are and the answer is, I don't think there is one. I just felt like sharing my enthusiasm for yarns and fibres, and to encourage you to pick up a ball to play with next time you're in a wool shop and something catches your eye. You don't have to be able to knit or crochet, there are so many ways of playing and experimenting with it, and nothing quite like the tactile quality of working with fibres.

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