Uncategorized · yarn

Feel it out…

In the last post,  Norah described Pure Merino Heathers as having a “slightly dry hand,” and blog reader Marty asked us to elaborate on this. 


“Hand” is an elusive, idiosyncratic when it comes to yarn. I like to borrow a few terms from the culinary world to explain what hand means–it is similar to the multi-sensory descriptors of “mouthfeel” and Japanese concept “umami”. The only way to develop your conception of hand is to head to your local yarn shop and revert to a childlike state!

A yarn might feel squeaky, crunchy, fluffy or slick. Knitting with it might be a pleasure or a trial–it all has to do with the combination of fibers, the twist and the amount of processing it has gone through from sheep to shelf. I’ve noticed that the combination of a high twist, super-smooth alpaca and bouncy wool in Cuzco make my knitting go REALLY quickly. For me it has a sponge-like hand.

When Norah says ‘dry’ I immediately think of an unmercerized cotton or a starchy linen, maybe something like Love It or Linen Jeans. Words used to describe these yarns are ‘cool, matte, well-worn tee, stonewashed jeans’. A yarn with a dry hand is great to knit with in the summer and will create crisp, comfortable garments that aren’t overly soft or fuzzy–like Norah said, perfect for menswear and really anyone who wants a no-fuss casual garment. 

Thinking about Pure Merino Heather has just made me SUPER WISTFUL for my dream wardrobe that I’ll never have time to knit, Urban Layers from NG v1 …SIGH…one day I will knit a Kaari and never take it off! 





5 thoughts on “Feel it out…

  1. I love the Kaari and the Kukka! I’ve often wondered who designed the skirt paired with the Kaari and the dress under the Kukka. Can you find that out?

  2. The skirt under the Kaari is from J.Jill. I’ve lived in it for several winters! (We pinned it to fit Ashley). The dress under the Kukka is and Eileen Fisher dress from a few seasons back.

  3. Yes, I know what you mean about feel. I just described some alpaca fiber to someone this weekend as feeling soapy. She was puzzled because, of course, it had no soap in it, but that’s how the fiber feels when I squish it between my fingers, like I’m handwashing a garment and it needs another rinse.

  4. I thought maybe Eileen Fisher, but hadn’t thought about J.Jill. Thanks for answering! I’m a relatively new knitter, but I’m thinking about trying Kukka, I just couldn’t think what I’d wear it with. Now I know!

  5. I live in Mexico City and cannot find a store where Berroco is carried…so now a couple of person have a yarn chain…whoever gets to the states brings yarn or special quantities for a specific proyect…so we enjoy your yarn…it´s terrific and ofcourse all your designs

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