For me, the best part of being a knitwear designer is getting yarn in the mail. Who doesn't like getting yarn in the mail? Even though I still buy about half of what I use in my books or on my site, once in awhile a yarn company sends you something willy-nilly and when that box arrives you pretty much swoon.
You pretty much swoon because there isn't any work involved. Of course, they send you goodies so you can try it out and talk about it with your friends and readers, but that part is easy. There aren't any patterns to design, or pressure to finish a whopping poncho out of fingering weight by last Tuesday. Instead, you get a sneak peek of a new yarn or a new line and usually the way it is presented is fun and unexpected.
The other day, I got such a box of goodies from the folks behind Debbie Stoller's yarn line. This time, it's Washable Ewe. I'm pretty picky when it comes to yarns and can luckily afford to buy "the good stuff," but this Washable Ewe seems to be "the good stuff," too, in spite of the lower price point.
There is a lot of talk on the internet about "big box" yarn versus boutique type yarns and some people try really hard to prove that they aren't yarn snobs and others argue that being a yarn snob is a good thing. I'm sort of on the side of being a slight yarn snob, but only because I am able to obtain some pretty hard-to-find/to-get yarns, and for the most part these type yarns are lovely. But there are exceptions to the rule. I've worked with some of the worst yarns, to me, that happen to be relatively highly priced. I mean, there are some yarns you couldn't even pay me to knit with for all manner of reasons, and they usually involve reasons like the yarn just doesn't perform, it is hard to knit with, or the colors do not appeal or the drape is wonky no matter what you do.
This Washable Ewe has a really nice hand-feel for a superwash wool. I've used a couple others that are almost twice the price that don't feel half as nice. I can't describe what I mean by "feel" but I guess I have noticed that superwash wools sometimes seem like they have a chemical residue on them. Does that make sense? This stuff doesn't feel that way at all. The color range isn't super huge right now, and they are colors that you'd see for more youthful garments or items that I wouldn't consider super "serious," meaning, the palette is definitely one that is youthful and happy and perfect for garments that you'd make that absolutely have to be machine washable. I will say that my very favorite color in their palette is called "Kitten," a beautiful grey, and it reminds me of my now-gone cat Lois' fur.
I'm going to be quiet for a few days as the shoot for my third (!) book starts tomorrow. And unless we spot some folks on the beach behind us with their clothes off like we did that one time with the first shoot, I'll probably be quiet. Big news though: We won't be shooting on the beach this time. We now have bigger fish to fry...a HUGE sailboat in Marina Del Rey! I can't wait until I can show you.