unlike hearts, a good yarn these days is not hard to find.* in fact we are spoiled for choice, especially with that interwebs thing. having said that, i am not a huge fan of most locally made product, BWM and ACS leave me cold these days with their poor colour choices and reliance on harsh fibres or novelty acrylic based products (and it makes me cross to say this, because we produce the best merino in the world and we get sold shit from local mills and have to buy the good stuff back from overseas). and it is sometimes frustrating that there arent more local stores stocking the top shelf international stuff – it is sometimes nicer to be able to smoosh in person – but ive never felt deprived in that way. like i said, there’s the internet. but that has changed since i went to america.
oh my god. the yarn stores. even the not so great ones (yarn company, downtown yarns, im looking at you), were still better than most of what we have here. and cheap! lordy. it’s made me a bit cross really, given we have complete dollar parity, to see koigu priced in the $20 range ($12 at purl) and mad tosh sock in the $30s ($24 at knitty city). but what i really loved was discovering WALLS of yarn that we just dont see here. the best place for this was a little store above a greek restaurant just up from dupont circle in washington DC called looped yarn works.
it was there that i encountered my current favourite yarn, berroco ultra alpaca light.
i’ve seen the ads for berroco in the magazines, and they always seem to have nice patterns, but ive just never thought of ordering any. most of the other big names someone’s bought back from somewhere, and we’ve fondled, so its safe to order online, but i didnt know anything about berroco until i saw it. at looped, there was a whole wall of it, all sorts of different kinds of fibre blends, in the most amazing spectrum of good vibrant solid colours. i zoomed straight in on the alpaca light. its perfect for our conditions, not quite a DK but light and lofty.
smooth with a slight halo, warm without weighing a tonne. its knitting up so beautifully, i divided greenfields for the arm holes on tuesday night and got to try it on. perfect (unlike this photo).
and did i mention the price?
yes that does say $5.80 a skein. they’re not long skeins, but i bought 10 on the spot and have since ordered 4 more, which is way more than i will need for greenfield (better to be safe than sorry right?), but im still looking at a $70 cardigan. For. The. Win. so far i have used less than 3 balls, and i wound up some more last night.
see that swift? that is my current knitting pride and joy. its from Sweden, is so easy to put up and down, is beautifully made and an absolute joy to use. it was an amazingly generous christmas gift from knitabulous (well, she says she broke my blue plastic one i lent her, but she still didnt need to replace it with this beauty. of course, im glad she did!).
its so nice to have nice knitterly things. im a bit of a top shelf girl like that. maybe for americans berroco isnt all that top shelf, but i cant recommend this particular yarn highly enough. its almost enough to make you want to go live there. almost 🙂
*feargal sharkey ear worm anyone?