Well, it didn’t take me long to succumb to the temptation of a gradient bundle from John Arbon. I decided on the Grape set, although it was a tough choice between this and the Burgundy, in the end my choice was based on a slight preference for the mid-tones in this set. However, I think there will be something in the deep Burgundy shade at some point in the future, perhaps a vintage sweater.
Before then, though, I will have many pleasurable hours choosing a project for this bundle. I always enjoy looking through pattern books and picturing how a finished project might look in the colours I have. In this case, I’ll also be working out how to include the ‘fade’ progression – how large the colour blocks will be and so on. There is no hurry to decide on a pattern as I intend this project to be my Christmas Eve cast-on. I have plenty to keep me busy until then, and I do like to start a lovely big project once all the flurry of Christmas preparations is done; something that I can work on through the long dark evenings of January.
Arbon’s Knit by Numbers range is 100% Pure Falklands Merino, lovely and soft, and it takes the colour well. The dyeing is just lovely, belonging to a genre which I am choosing to term Artisan-Commercial, falling somewhere between the huge commercial brands at one extreme of the industry and the indepdendent hand-dyers at the other extreme. The large commercial suppliers produce yarns on which the dyeing is very reliable but sometimes rather lifeless; they are easy to use and give good, dependable results. At the other end of the spectrum are the hand-dyers whose offerings are luxurious, inspirational, and visually stimulating, but often require alternating of skeins whilst you knit in order to mitigate differences from one skein to the next. It seems to me that the dyeing on this wool offers the best of both worlds: looking closely you can see that the shade consists of a multitude of colours which provide a pleasing depth, yet the production is more commercial with larger quantities in each dye lot ensuring you can complete a garment with less aggravation.
The shade card included in my pack is for Arbon’s Yarnadelic line. Sport Weight slots in between the traditional UK 4-ply and DK weight yarns and it’s useful because American patterns in particular are often written for these in-between weights (the other main one being Worsted Weight which is between our DK and Aran weights). Shade cards are one of the pleasures of knitting. I think the very best are the ones from the Shetland Wool suppliers like Jamiesons who dye a spectacular range of shades in a narrow range of bases; all those colours together are a true delight. Whilst I often shy away from ordering the shade cards because they can seem expensive, perhaps that is a false economy. With a good selection of shade cards, you can have a virtual yarn shop in your own home, at a fraction of the cost of actually buying balls or skeins of each yarn.
That leads me to thinking that it is high time for me to sort out my yarn storage again. I haven’t paid any attention at all to it since I moved into this flat and now the stationery side of thing is in better order it’s high time to move on to the wools. I think that would be a very pleasant use of time.
With that, I will wish you all well, hope you are keeping safe whether you are still going about your usual daily jobs, or are one of the many around the world who are sheltering in place. Wherever you are, and whatever you are doing, take care of yourselves and those around you.