Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Yarn for Warm Woolies Arrives

I signed up to be part of the Land's End Feel Good campaign through Warm Woolies.
Land's End generously sent pounds and pounds of cotton-wool blend yarn to knitters, paying for the shipping. I estimate my yarn weighs between 6 and 7 pounds.
Warm Woolies has as a prerequisite that the items they send be made of 100% animal fiber, for warmth, but this much free yarn was also something they felt they should use, perhaps for baby garments and blankets

My box of yarn arrived yesterday. It is lovely and soft, but no matter what needle size I used, or number of strands I knit together, I was not satisfied that the garment I made would keep a child warm, even as a baby blanket.
As other knitters in the campaign stated, it would be better than not having a sweater at all, but something in me rebels at the thought of me sending anything to a child in a cold northern winter without it being warm enough to make a real difference.
I have this image of a child standing waiting for a bus, in a red acrylic sweater too small to cover her wrists or close all the way down the front.
I can't go back in time and make that little girl warm, but I can decide what I send to Warm Woolies this year, as my contribution.
The Land's End yarn is buttery soft, but like most cotton yarns it has very little loft. This means if I knit it loosely enough to make a soft fabric, there are spaces through which the wind can blow. When I tried to knit it tightly, my hands couldn't even finish the swatch without pain.
I happen to have a big bag of yarn called Quarry, from knit picks. It is a soft, fuzzy woolen yarn with loads of loft but not much strength. Knit Picks no longer carries the yarn, so it will have little use to me for my design business, but I think when carried along with the Land's End yarn, it will fill in the spaces beautifully, making a warm garment or blanket that will last longer than if I used the Quarry yarn alone. And I have other yarns I can use if and when the quarry runs out.

As you can see above, the yarn I got in the mail is deep black and bright purple...
the quarry yarn I have is in denim blue, soft green, and fuschia.

What I make to send may not be beautiful and for sure it won't be high fashion, but I know it can be warm, which makes me happy.

The above has been lined through because notification has been received from Warm Woolies that they prefer that no other yarn be combined with the Land's End yarn.

All is not lost, however.

Barbara Walker has a technique she calls mosaic knitting. It is a combination of garter stitch, stranded work, sip stitch and double knitting, resulting in a fabric which is thick, but not too heavy, with plenty of captured air to provide insulating warmth.

I think that the black and purple yarn will make some lovely baby blankets using different mosaic patterns (like those below), and the leftovers will make warm mosaic scarves, as well.


AlisonH said...

Part of me wants to take them and go, what were you thinking? Wool, they need wool! Part of me wants to say thank you to the nice company (while saying, okay, now, next time you might want to...)

børnetøj said...
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