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Knitting with Art Yarns

Jan 18, 2011

In the upcoming Winter/Spring issue of Knitscene, I wrote a bit of an introduction to the fabulous world of handspun art yarn.  Now, I consider myself to be a very novice spinner. I can make yarn on my drop spindle. One day I might even knit the yarn I've spun—one skein of Imperial Stock Ranch Pencil Roving. I'm too busy knitting to bother with spinning more yarn.

However, I was intrigued by the challenge of knitting with art yarns. Sure, they look so pretty in the skein, but what do they look like when they're actually knitted? And is there a difference in the way a knitter has to manipulate the yarn when using art yarn?

As Geraldine Santos of Dreamfiber told me when I asked her, "A simple stitch creates an outstanding creation with art yarn! It does all the work for you." I don't know about you, but I'm a fan of things that do my work for me.

So I grabbed a random skein of art yarn I had lying in my stash (this was gifted to me by a friend, and she told me it came from While Tangerine Dreams on Etsy) and one of my favorite Knitscene patterns—Katie Himmelberg's Phiaro Scarf from our Knitscene Winter 07/Spring 08 issue—and set to work. I wasn't sure how much yardage I had, and the yarn was much thicker than the DK weight used in the original, so I cast on about 130 stitches onto size 13 needles and then worked the pattern as instructed. I only knit for about 5", rather than the 20" the pattern calls for.

 

 

I made sure to pull the little flowers through the stitches, which wasn't always the easiest. I probably didn't have to do that, since this is a scarf and the flowers likely would have shown on either side of the work, but I was a little fixated on that for some reason. Other than that, knitting this scarf was incredibly quick and easy. I worked on it over the holiday break, while my family and I were watching movies, and I spent about 4 hours knitting in total.

 


I totally wore the wrong color shirt for this photo, oops!

 


I'm really happy to have a new knitted scarf that was finished in a jiff! It's really warm and squishy, perfect for the random winter days we're having here in Colorado.

Have you knit with art yarn before? Share your stories and any tips you have, and look for my article in the Winter/Spring Knitscene, available next week!

Happy knitting,
Amy


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Comments

on Mar 1, 2011 1:18 PM

As much fun as it is to ooh and aah over all the projects that come across my desk—and believe

on Feb 8, 2011 9:59 AM

Last Friday, I got together with Michele Riggs of DownTown Knits in Apex, North Carolina, to host a release

LMizrahi wrote
on Feb 7, 2011 6:20 AM

how can i get the pattern above? the article says just follow the pattern. Help!

AmyPalmer wrote
on Jan 24, 2011 9:20 AM

@mousecat, wonderful! I would love it if you could share some photos of your art yarns. Thanks for the tips on knitting with art yarn!

@crankykitty, art yarn is a kind of yarn that is spun in a unique way to include unexpected bobbles and other kinds of fiber. As you can see in the photos of my scarf, there are little felted flowers added to the yarn. That's just one example. My article in the Winter/Spring issue of Knitscene goes a little more in-depth into what art yarn is and how different spinners create art yarns.

crankykitty wrote
on Jan 22, 2011 7:49 PM

What is Art yarn?  Is it the design or a particular type of yarn? Nancy

mousecoat wrote
on Jan 19, 2011 7:04 PM

I have fallen in love with making art yarn, I find that simple stitches work best. If I have beads in the yarn I just pull them to the front of the work .If I am making a hat I spin up part of the yarn whithout anything in it ,and use that for the first 4 to 6 inches.