Wrappin’ It Up

Day #7

What a Yarn

There’s one love that we all share: yarn. Blog about a particular yarn you have used in the past or own in your stash, or perhaps one that you covet from afar. If it is a yarn you have used you could show the project that you used it for, perhaps writing a mini ‘review’. Perhaps, instead, you pine for the feel of the almost mythical qiviut? You could explore and research the raw material and manufacturing process if you were feeling investigative.

I can’t pick just one.  I’m knitting with cashmere right now, and I love the softness, but I also love the smooth, slick strength of alpaca and the sproing of a nice merino.   I just love fiber.  Each fiber has its own charcteristics that make it ideal for some projects and out of the question for others. 

Photo from SpringValley Yarns

So, it shouldn’t surprise you that my favorite yarns are blends.  Silk Merino, cashmere merino… They marry the best of two yarns together.

That’s Jessi‘s Cloud Nine in Sissy’s custom colorway.  That could be another definition of my most beloved yarns… the ones my talented friends create.  Kathy‘s creations, in yarn or fiber are pure joy going through my fingers.  Dianne’s cashmere blend was the first fiber love of wee Gretchen’s life.  Amanda’s Franconia is another cashmere blend that makes my heart sing.  Knowing that these gifted, gracious women are also my friends only makes the yarn that much more of a treasure. 

Yeah… that’s where my yarn treasures are… in the friendships I’ve made.  Knitting with the yarns my girlfriends have “colored” adds another layer to the communion that is knitting.  So, the yarns they’ve created are the ones I prize above all others, regardless of whether they are custom colorways that honor my dogs or whether it is a staple in their shop that caught my eye.  I promise you won’t be disappointed with any yarns from any of these gals. 

Now I also owe you a secret.  It’s not a secret anymore though.  The Majacraft Aura made its debut at Maryland Sheep & Wool yesterday, so I can tell you all about it now.  (Photos from Majacraft.) 

They were setting up their display model for MDSW when we arrived at Misty Mountain last weekend, so we promised to keep the secret and got to be some of the first to try the new wheel.  It treadles like a dream, as all the Majacraft wheels do.  It’s stunningly beautiful with its curved Rimu wood, but you can see all of that for yourself.  I’ll also leave you to read the specs yourself, because even if I had spent more time with it, I wouldn’t know how to explain the two drive bands and how they work.

What I can comment on is the unique dual function orifice, which I refer to as the delta with the curly cue in front.   You have to kinda’ wrangle the yarn through the almost standard delta orifice part  (the left most bend of metal on the right side of the photo), and then through the loopteedoo at the front (the right most part) to spin.  For chunky or art yarns, skip the delta and let the loopteedoo guide your just-spun single onto the bobbin.

And what a bobbin it is.  It looks huge, which isn’t a size I generally ascribe to bobbins.  I’m rather spoiled by my own Heavenly Handspinning bobbins which I have yet to max out, so I really can’t tell you just how much they’ll hold.  Frankly, bobbin size is something that gives me pause when I consider potential new wheels.  I can’t recall another bobbin that’s made me think I won’t miss the Bellus’s capacity quite so much.  Besides, I plan to keep it for plying and just because it’s my first wheel.

The Aura isn’t on my short list though, but spinning on it made me realize the Rose does need to be.  Those treadles are smooth, perhaps the smoothest in my opinion.  I’m looking forward to catching up with the Rose and its traditional flyer soon.

Now that I’ve tied up some loose ends, you can skip over to Nichole‘s and check some reviews.  Don’t miss the chance to win a Vogue stitch dictionary not available in stores, and don’t forget to say you heard about it from me.

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13 comments on “Wrappin’ It Up

  1. Sue says:

    That looks like a piece of art. It’s beautiful.

    Favorite yarn, hmmm. I guess it really depends on the project. It’s so wonderful when you find the perfect yarn for whatever the project is. When weight, fiber content, hand and color all come together, it’s perfection.

  2. Ruth says:

    LOL…I love merino blends, too! You wheel pic appeals to me strictly based on how lovely the wood looks…here’s hoping your weekend has been all that you wished it would be.

  3. Nichole says:

    Friends truly do color and “hug” our fiber world, don’t they?

    Great post!

  4. Bubblesknits says:

    Aw…thanks! 🙂

    That wheel is so different looking! It would definitely be one I had to try before I bought. (Still looking at it with my head tilted to one side. lol)

  5. gMarie says:

    man – if I have to type my information in one more time . . . I also realize my email and blog are both huge liars! gMarie – does NOT sew. Sad 😦 Anyway – that’s not why I’m here, Love that wheel – it’s a beaut.

    And you are so very, very right about the yarn. My favorites are gifted yarns, yarn that has a bit of history and is special.

    Already commented over at Nic’s – before I saw it here – sorry. g

  6. Anita says:

    Ok, I give up! I just can’t seem to keep up with everyone’s blogs here lately. 😦 I can’t seem to keep up with most everything here lately. Poo

    That sure is a pretty wheel, I can’t wait to see what you think of the Rose.

  7. Dianne says:

    Those Majacraft people know how to make beautiful and functional wheels! I hope you like the Rose.

  8. Darcie says:

    My favourite yarn tends to be the one I am currently working with. I’m fickle, I know.

    Although, the fibres that I most love the feel and look us knit up tends not to be the ones that I like working with the best. I love, love, love silk and silk blends, but I have a lot of trouble spinning and knitting them.

  9. AlisonH says:

    To quote CSNY: Love the one you’re with.

  10. Amanda says:

    Hello, sweet friend. Yes, it’s 3:30 in the morning and I’m catching up on blogs… that wheel is gorgeous, and unlike any I’ve ever seen. Saw LOTS of gorgeous wheels this weekend at MDSW, too bad I don’t spin (yet)…

    Such a bummer to not meet up, but looking forward to our next meet-up.

  11. Walden says:

    So, we get to see some lovely handspun from your new friend?

  12. Kathy says:

    aaww….shucks….thanks :).

    Oh that wheel is enchanting. The orifice hook is fascinating and the bobbin is huge. Beautiful wheel.

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