Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hello, Swans Island.

I could not possibly be more excited to introduce you all to this thrilling new yarn, an organic, hand-dyed merino from the Maine-based company Swans Island.

If you've been in the shop in the past two days, then you know that our excitement for this yarn has been obvious, reflected not only in our squeals of delight and our ear-to-ear grins, but also in its placement: front and center on the teacart.

Swans Island Organic Merino is spun and dyed in Maine, and comes in two weights, a worsted and a fingering. The worsted is put up in 100 gram skeins with 250 yards each, while the fingering boasts 525 yards to the skein. These details blur into the background, however, when you touch this yarn. Immediately, the yarn's main feature is obvious: it is incredibly, amazingly soft. The secret to this softness is in the gentle, minimal processing that comes with ecologically-friendly natural dyes, which you can read more about on the Swans Island website. My new hero, Clara Parkes, author of the Knitter's Book of Wool, wrote a characteristically in-depth review of the Swans Island Worsted on her blog, Knitter's Review--a great resource if you're thinking of giving this yarn a try. And if you're thinking of giving it a try but don't know what to knit, check out the first wave of Swans Island patterns, which can be found in a binder between the two Swans Island baskets.

Myself, I'm the lucky girl who gets to knit up a shop sample with this wondrous stuff, a hat, which I've just cast on for. Only four rows in, I can already tell you that this yarn is a dream. I have several Swans Island sweater daydreams floating around in my head, competing with one another. I'm so excited, I have no idea which to cast on for!

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