We have some new yarns at Wool & Grace that have a bit of sparkle. While we are the first to admit that we’re not a sparkly store, it’s nice to bring in a little sheen, a little bit of metallic and a little sparkle in small, subtle amounts. Plus, when winter sets in a hint of glimmer can do a lot brighten one’s mood. What better way to introduce this in some cozy hand-knit pieces?
Last year Rowan’s Sultano was an indulgent success for our knitters. We couldn’t keep it in stock and our knitters were clicking their needles, making beautiful hats and scarves with this luxurious yarn. This beautiful yarn was a limited edition, and to fill its space we’ve brought in Luminosa. This aran-weight blend of alpaca, merino wool and viscose has the most sheen out of these new yarns. It’s also been all over Vogue Knitting for the past year, featured as a cover sweater worn by celebrity knitter Krysten Ritter, and in a more recent edition as a hand-knit dress. I personally love the idea of knitting up some warm accessories in this yarn.
Since Luminosa has beautiful stitch definition, it would knit beautifully into a Beloved hat (a favorite project here at Wool & Grace), and can you imagine how lovely it would look topped with a black fur pompom? Also consider knitting this into a Half & Half cowl (pattern from Churchmouse) for a stand-out piece that will protect you from cold winds and can stay on comfortably indoors. Last year’s Getting Warmer (a free pattern from Espace Tricot) is a perfect choice for this luscious yarn. And along those lines, consider the Lusciousness Cowl, one more free pattern that uses two colors of Luminosa for some subtle color-work.
Icon is a brand-new arrival at Wool & Grace. This worsted-weight yarn is light and fluffy, soft and warm. You can play with gauge with this yarn – recommended gauge is somewhere around 18 stitches over 4 inches, but given how voluminous and lofty this yarn is, feel free to push it to a looser gauge. Icon is made with a sturdy core of cotton and silk surrounded by a halo of alpaca, with itty-bitty sequins dotted subtly throughout the yarn. I think it would knit up beautifully as a sweater, and I imagine a simple stockinette sweater like Andrea Mowry’s Weekender or Carrie Bostick Hoge’s Liv cardigan as great ways to showcase this yarn’s natural texture.
I also think it would knit beautifully into something like the Trimont Snood (a pattern from Blue Sky Fibers), the Cooler Side of Warm by Espace Tricot or a simple hat like Jared Flood’s Mawson. Given the texture of this yarn, be careful about choosing a pattern with lots of details in the stitch pattern – they won’t be too visible in this yarn. I love the simplicity of a big shawl in stockinette or garter stitch to let this yarn’s texture speak for itself.
Gedifra’s Metal Tweed is the last yarn I’ll mention today. I’m dying to cast on in this yarn. It’s also light and fluffy, with a loosely spun quality that that combines flecks of color and a tiny thread of metallic thread into this yarn. The result is a tweedy yarn that creates a beautiful and rich looking fabric. This yarn is referred to as a fingering-weight yarn on Ravelry, but I think it’s going to be lovely knit at a slightly looser gauge (more like that of a dk-weight yarn). Once again, I think this yarn will be at its best when knit into a simple fabric like stockinette stitch or garter stitch, as the yarn has a lot of texture and character on its own. For sweaters, I love the idea of making it in something an Easy One (a great first-sweater project from Joji Locatelli) or Igawa (a voluminous sweater from Junko Okamoto). I also think it’d be really cool knit up into a Natsu cardigan, an open and cocoon-like cardigan by Ambah O’Brien.
For accessories, make yourself a cozy shaw/scarf using Stephen West’s Dotted Rays pattern. Or check out an easy shape like the Easy Folded Poncho or Two Point Cowl – both are great patterns that always look great – classics from Churchmouse Yarns & Tea. These are all projects that will allow the natural character of these yarns speak for themselves – allowing you to enjoy relaxing knits and beautiful finished products.
In general, I think these yarns are lovely knit into simple shapes and textures. Luminosa has a solid chainette construction that can handle a little more stitch definition and will show off cables and color-work nicely. You can’t go wrong with these fun yarns that will add a bit of shiny happiness to your cold-weather knits!