Many of you are probably aware that most of the Wool & Grace team took a trip down to Florida a couple weeks ago to celebrate the shop’s 5 year anniversary. It wasn’t all fun, readers! We did some work too! Of course, it didn’t feel like work to any of us, since we all thoroughly enjoy what we do.
We took a field trip to visit Knit One Crochet Two (KOCT), a yarn company that has been producing high quality yarns for knitters and crocheters for over 30 years. Kettle Tweed has been a consistent favorite at Wool & Grace, but other than that we didn’t do much with the company.
Enter Jesse Mozlan, who purchased the company in 2016 and has been breathing new life into KOCT with her boundless enthusiasm. Jesse gave us a tour of her showroom and warehouse, introducing us to all of the yarns in the KOCT line. The Spring 2018 Collection is full of modern, wearable and unfussy silhouettes – the type of pieces that anyone can wear and that any knitter can knit.
I have to be honest and say that when we arrived to KOCT I silently started asking myself “What is that sweater Jesse is wearing? What yarn did she use? What pattern is that?” I was pretty focused on these burning questions as I walked through the warehouse, touching every skein possible and listening to Jesse talk about fiber content etc. I finally blurted out my questions.
The yarn? Cozette – a fingering weight blend of silk, cotton and nylon. The thing is, the fabric didn’t look like a combination of those fibers. It looked cozy and like it must have some wool in it. Also, her sweater was clearly knit at a looser gauge, and I could see that the yarn had been worked on a larger needle and was given the opportunity to bloom and come to life. The pattern? Magnolia, from Issue 4 of Laine Magazine. In the magazine, Magnolia is fuzzy and worn with a good amount of ease. Jesse’s version had been made all her own, a bit cropped with shorter sleeves; lighter and loftier and certainly more suitable to wear in warm weather.
Hearing Jesse talk about her lovely Magnolia sweater in Cozette made everything click into place in my head, and I couldn’t help but think ‘I LOVE THIS PLACE.’ I love that she gave these old yarns a new, modern, and stylish context. I love that she took a super popular pattern from the winter and reimagined it for life in Florida. I also really loved that she has a lot of beautiful yarn that is wool-free.
You know I think wool is magical. Unfortunately not everyone can appreciate this – it totally irritates some people. I understand now that this is not their choice. I also understand that these people need beautiful yarn that is cozy to wear and lovely to work with. As we walked around the KOCT warehouse I thought to myself that not only were these yarns great for a variety of climates (and wearing in warm weather), but these yarns are fantastic for those people with wool sensitivities.
And so we have Cozette: as I mentioned above it’s a beautiful blend. It’s incredibly soft in the skein and seeing Jesse’s sweater, it clearly holds up and wears beautifully. (She attested to the fact that she’d been wearing her Magnolia constantly.) I couldn’t help but think to myself that this is a wonderful wool alternative for projects asking for fingering or sport weight yarn – it’s obvious that there’s a lot of room to play with gauge with this yarn.
Soie et Lin is another yarn we fell for at KOCT. It’s similar to Cozette in its slightly tweedy texture, but it’s a sumptuously soft combination of silk, nylon and linen. It’s incredibly soft and also incredibly light, the latter quality defying my expectations of what silk adds to a fabric. Listed as a worsted weight, you can play with gauge and it can be knit at a tighter gauge like a DK-weight or on a bigger needle for a more lofty and draped fabric. The finished fabric feels light and cozy all at once, giving you a perfectly versatile fabric.
We were able to bring a small load of good stuff home with us and have more to come. Ty Dy Cotton was one of the yarns that made the trip back with us. This worsted weight cotton is rainbow dyed for self striping patterning. The vibrant color combinations are absolute eye candy, and the Liz Cardi, a loose boxy cardigan, gives a space-dyed effect the finished piece. This is an awesome summer layer, and the color combinations all seem to scream “throw me on with a pair of white jeans!”
Jesse also introduced us to Daisy, a new yarn to KOCT and clearly the popular girl, as it’s on backorder until June or July. We’re willing to wait, because we absolutely love the patterns Jesse and her team of designers came up with for Spring 2018. Daisy is a DK weight blend of silk, linen and hemp. It has a decidedly spring and summery look to it, and we are totally cool with that. The Daisy palette has some cool neutrals and summery pops of color. The yarn knits into a fabric that has clear stitch definition and a light drape to it. It was obvious that the yarn wears well, as her samples felt like they’d been lived in (you know how linen gets softer with wear) but still looked amazing. As for the designs, we’re loving the Amelia Tank, Swan’s Twist, the Heldig Tank and the Daisy Stole. These pieces have obviously designed to have style but to be relatively easy to knit. This brings me to one more thing I love about everything at KOCT: the yarns and the designs are meant to be accessible, easy to knit, easy to wear – all the while with a ton of style.
I can’t wait until our goodies from Knit One Crochet Too arrive at Wool & Grace, and we hope you’ll give them a warm welcome with us!