Snowy hat pattern. One of my Knit Night friends was making one for herself and she brought the yarn she had ordered to Knit Night. She had two gorgeous skeins of 100% merino in a tonal gray and a tonal red. I picked up a skein, looked at the beautiful depth of color and felt how soft it was and said, "Oh! You picked up some madelinetosh dk?"
I was very surprised when she told me that nope, it was from an Etsy shop called "January Yarns". Honestly, even after she told me it wasn't madelinetosh yarn, if you put a skein of that next to a skein of the merino dk yarn from this Etsy shop, I am not confident at all that I would be able to tell them apart. The shop quickly went to the top of my "New Yarns I Need to Try" list.
Well, she didn't have to ask me twice! I thought I was going to be busy with projects through the summer, but as it turned out, one of the designs I thought I was going to pair with a yarn from my LYS didn't work out because of timing, but I knew it would be a good match to January Yarn's sock yarn. I sent her a proposal and she responded quickly, then dyed 3 beautiful skeins that came out exactly as I would hoping they would.
Side note: See the yarn all stretched out on the yarn swift above? I was SO happy that when I untied this hank of yarn, the strands were all untangled and very easy to wind into a cake. Tangly yarn can be the bane of your existence, especially when you favor yarns on the thinner side that often come in skeins with 400+ yards in them. There are definitely yarn companies out there that send out skeins that appear to have been thrown in the back of a pick-up truck, undone, and driven over hundreds of miles of roads that are full of potholes. I've had moments with a few sock yarns where I think, "Ok, the time it's going to take me to untangle this is not worth the $20 I spent on this yarn." But then I sit there and do it any way...I'm no stranger to spending an hour or two untangling yarn, rolling it into a ball so I can thread it in and out of the tangled strands, then finally winding it into a cake so I can knit from it. What I'm trying to say here is THANK YOU, January Yarns, for sending us yarn that is actually a pleasure to work with from start to finish!
The Staple Sock yarn base that I'm using is a merino / nylon blend. It is plump and soft and just a pleasure to knit with. It is among the more "springy" sock yarns I've worked with - there is definitely a bit of bounce here. The fabric this yarn creates isn't exactly elastic, but it does easily spring back into shape, and when I blocked my swatch the gauge only changed by 1 stitch over 4" before and after washing.
So I'm happily in the middle of knitting my sample for a new summer top. Between this one and the one I just finished using a new linen yarn from my LYS (more on this one soon!) I'll have a couple fun new women's releases this summer!