We’re so excited to start talking about our new Fall/Winter 2016 pattern and yarn collections! We’ve got six brand new yarns for you to play with, along with new colors in some old favorites, plus nine pattern books, including the Berroco Portfolio Vol 2. The follow-up to our highly popular Portfolio Vol 1, this new collection brings together a select group of incredible independent designers and two Berroco yarns that are loved by knitters and crocheters everywhere—Berroco Vintage® and Berroco Ultra® Alpaca. Where Portfolio Vol 1 focused exclusively on the four weights of Berroco Ultra Alpaca, for this second edition, we brought in three weights of Berroco Vintage: the original worsted Berroco Vintage, Berroco Vintage DK, and Berroco Vintage Chunky. The Berroco Vintage options are all made up of 52% acrylic, 40% wool, and 8% nylon, and they’re all machine washable yarns. If you’ve never knit with Vintage, it’s a really nice experience. Vintage is what some of us refer to as a “workhorse yarn”—it’s consistent across colors and dye lots, you always know what to expect from the yarn, and it is perfect for garments, accessories, and home decor items alike. Since it’s machine washable, it’s also a great choice for projects for babies and kids. When I knit projects for friends with babies, I almost always have used Vintage.
The official knitting gauge for Vintage is actually a range—20 sts to 4″ on US size 7 (4.5 mm) and 18 sts to 4″ on a US size 8 (5 mm). Because Vintage is one of our oldest yarns that we still carry, the ball band doesn’t list crochet gauge (we didn’t start putting crochet gauges on ball bands until after the Vintage label was widely used). One of the cool things about using both this yarn and Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Portfolio Vol 2 is that the two yarns are pretty much interchangeable—you could use worsted weight Berroco Ultra Alpaca in projects that call for worsted weight Berroco Vintage and vice versa. If you’re looking to crochet with Vintage, look to the Berroco Ultra Alpaca recommended gauge (16 sc to 4” with a 5 mm hook).
As I’ve mentioned here before, my knitting gauge tends to be on the loose side, so for my swatch, I used a size 5 (3.75 mm) needle. The resulting fabric is sturdy and cohesive while still being flexible. For me, I would probably choose to use a size 5 or a size 6 when knitting with Vintage; as always, it’s important for you to do a gauge swatch to make sure you can achieve the recommended gauge for any pattern.
Coming off the needles, my stitches were fairly even, with only a few natural blips that happen no matter how even your tension might be. A quick hit from the steam iron along with some gentle pinning and those little blips are gone. (Trust me… I just can’t get the true color to show in this photo!)
In Portfolio Vol 2, we have three patterns that use Berroco Vintage: the Korina Pullover by designer Cecily Glowik MacDonald, the Arcadia Poncho by Melissa LaBarre, and the Dagny Cowl, also by Cecily Glowik MacDonald.
We’re going to be hosting a knit-along for Portfolio Vol 2, but we need your help to choose a project! We have a poll running on Survey Monkey to determine which project from Portfolio Vol 2 will be our knit-along project. How can you help?
First, head to the Portfolio Vol 2 info page to see all the projects. Click each photo to learn more about the projects you like the best.
Then, click here to go to our Survey Monkey poll and let us know which project you want to knit as part of our knit-along. It’s that easy!
Voting runs through Tuesday, July 19, and we’ll announce the winning project in our July 26 KnitBits issue, as well as on our Facebook page, Instagram account, and right here on the blog. That gives you time to head to your Local Yarn Store and stock up on the yarn you’ll need to knit the project.
Stay tuned for more on the projects in this great collection!