Last year I put some test knitting in motion, to see how different base yarns and colorways worked across a variety of patterns. Since I started the project, over sixty items have been knit using different Elliebelly yarns. And I've met some really wonderful knitters in the process! I'm using the project to compile the information necessary to create advice for knitters on patterns that deliver and the right yarns to knit them with. Although I'm saving the real photos for a big unveiling in the future, I couldn't resist sharing just a couple of projects with you today, to celebrate the arrival of my new mannequin.
The project on the left is The Elder Tree Shawl, knit in Elliebelly's worsted weight Naiad Organic Merino. I had no idea a worsted weight shawl could be so handy and have been in love with this project from the minute it showed up. On the right is Isabell Kraemer's Lemmy K. Shawl, knit in Elliebelly's Cloud Soft DK MCN (Merino/Cashmere/Nylon). DK is a lighter weight yarn than the worsted and makes for a nice shawl as well. Cloud Soft is a new yarn that I've been dyeing in both an Aran and a DK, and the combination of cashmere and merino into an airy yarn is really delightful. Neither of these shawls are the ethereal, spider web-like lace that knitters often associate with shawls. They are substantial and warm, whether wrapped over your shoulders for an early morning cup of coffee outdoors or for an evening out. Having them on hand has made me wonder why I haven't always kept a basket with neatly folded, brightly colored shawls in this weight range on hand for guests, for children who like to wrap themselves in comfort while reading, and for chilly afternoons. I'm a convert!
I'm looking forward to sharing all of the details with you when the project is ready. It's obviously a considerable amount of work, but when I think back to the days when I first picked up my needles as an adult after a long time away from knitting, I remember how difficult it was to figure out weights of yarn and whether I could make substitutions. Hopefully, all of this work will turn into a great body of information and advice for people trying to get the most out of their knitting.