Monday, December 19, 2011

Bartlett: Pears No Longer

Okay. I am officially OBSESSED with knitting if me Gran, who knows nothing about knitting, gets me an ALICE STARMORE book. Does she have good taste or what? She also gifted me a cedar-lined hope chest for my yarn, after seeing me buy cedar balls for my ziplock bags of yarn. I would also say I am obsessed and slightly INSANE when I bid 150 USD on Ebay for Aran Knitting and am DISAPPOINTED when an obviously weathly Minnesotan outbids me and wins the bloody book for 175 bucks! Did you hear that people? 175 dollars for a KNITTING BOOK. We knitters must be loons.

Currently, I am knitting a drop shoulder sweater for my mother out of Bartlett Yarn's 2-ply worsted. The image on Bartlett Yarn's website does not adequately illustrate the heathered depth of their yarn. The color I'm using, "Dark Lovat," has colors ranging from seafoam green to violet, blended together to create a rich, tweedy, glowing almost-teal blue. So gorgeous. I'm knitting this sweater on US9's as the yarn has a lot of loft and knitting this rustic yarn on 8's brought out it's scratchier qualities.

I purchased the yarn, which comes in generous 100 g. skeins, in August from Bo Peep's Wool Shop online. Unfortunately, I did not receive the yarn until early December, because the shop had to order from the manufacturer. Bartlett Yarn is a tough and rugged yarn, spun on a spinning mule, the last remaining spinning mule in the US. It is a step below Shetland, texture-wise. The first week I knit the sweater, the yarn abraded the skin on my leading finger, leaving a callus. To it's benefit, however, this sweater will not be worn next to the skin, and the yarn's natural lanoin makes the garment mightily insulating. So, I'm pleased. And, as the fabric is created, the yarn has softened. I can only imagine how it will feel after I wash it.

The only problem I found with Bartlett Yarn is that there are a lot of knots. In my first skein, there were ten, in the following skeins, between 2 and 6. The yarn is spun from American fleece, and it's deep crimp allows easy splicing. Still, I was irritated enough by the ten knots that I e-mailed Bartlett. Bartlett responded promptly and offered to replace my yarn. As I was nigh half knitted on the body of the sweater, I declined their offered. However, I remain impressed.

The conclusion to this ramble? If you prefer next-to-the-skin softness, do not look at Bartlett Yarns. If you want a tough yarn adept at outwear that does not pill with luminous, masterly color, you may want to take a peek a Bartlett Yarns.

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