What makes good yarn? What makes yarn worth spending your hard earned money on? How do you choose when a wall of colors towers over you and beckons you to buy one skein or an armload? What influences you to buy? What project are you about to spend time on and how do you envision your project to make you feel?
Seems complicated, you are just shopping for yarn right? ... but I'll bet you have had many of those thoughts run through your head.
Yarn is a medium. It is an investment. Much like painting or sewing, knitting it's a emotional and monetary investment. Do you smell it, and pet it, and squeeze it when you pick it up? Do you rub on your neck or wrists to see how it feels on your skin? Do you hold the colors up to your face or place them on the counter in particular order to see what looks good together? Did you spend hours looking for just the right pattern or do you let it tell you what it wants to be when you get it home? Do you choose a skein to try a new technique? Whatever way you do it, whatever way you choose your choice it is dictated by your emotions.
I like to call myself a "yarn engineer." I learned years ago through shepherds, wool grading classes, volunteering at agricultural events, serving on boards, by asking questions, visiting mills and talking to the creators themselves -the knitters, crocheters, weavers and felters, what purpose each yarn serves. I have sorted though thousands of pounds and many, many different breeds of wool and learned it's secrets. And from that learning and I have created my Farm Blend and Downeast yarns, yarns that come from my farm and the farms and people I know and love. It's what I like to call "yarn with a purpose" and it is the core of my business.
Romney is at the heart of my Farm Blend. It is the breed I chose to raise years ago when I first built my hand-spinners flock. I fell in love with the sheep, and the people I met that were raising them, and the fiber was so beautiful and strong. I started as a hand-spinner, and I couldn't get enough. My emotions chose the sheep and built my passion for the yarn. I learned what beautiful yarns their beautiful fleeces could become and what it was best suited for. Romney is strong, lustrous and resilient, perfect for pieces that will last a lifetime, though it may not be for some who are super sensitive to wool. And that's where emotions dictate choice ... and knowledge dictates appropriate use.
Hats, mittens, sweaters, pieces that get hard wear and heavy use are perfect choices for Farm Blend. My Joe sweater, knit for me by knitwear designer Bristol Ivy several years ago is still as beautiful as the day she knit it. It is 100% Romney from my beloved boy Joe who was my first Romney. I can wear just a t-shirt under it and be cozy on a chilly day, it has a collar that lays down and does not touch my neck much so I do not feel the wooliness as I am a little sensitive around my neck area. It wears like iron, and I know it will be a staple of my winter sweaters for years and years. And because it is Joe, it is all the more special to me.
Next up.... NIMBUS and my new Unicorn sock yarns!