Ah, Winter.
Prehistoric Textiles by E. J. W. Barber

Desert Island Knitting

To alleviate the boredom that is winter, I played a little game in which I said, "If you were stuck on a desert island with unlimited supply of five yarns, what would you choose?"

1. Florica, from Novita. It is a sport weight, machine washable wool yarn that I really loved. It was 2-ply, which made it knit up like Jamieson and Smith, but it was sport weight, not fingering, and machine washable too, which made it really nice for kids. And husbands. I knit a large man-sized sweater with it. It's discontinued here in the States now, bit it's still going strong in Finland, where it is made.

2. Jamieson and Smith's 2-ply fingering weight, wool. The best yarn in the world, bar none. I would choose this yarn if I only had one choice.

3. Jo Sharps original DK weight wool, in her original colors. I knit with this and it held up to wear beautifully. It showed cables and textures wonderfully, and colorwork beautifully too. 

4. Bartlettyarn. It's wonderful. Did you know that the Rangely Sheepswool that Elizabeth Zimmerman was so fond of came from the Bartlett mill, here in Maine? You can still buy it at Schoolhouse Press, in fact, but you'll get more variety and a better price from the Bartlett mill itself. I would have an unlimited supply, of course, in all the weights and in every color on my island, always.

5. I wanted a laceweight yarn, and this has been the toughest choice. I like Jamieson and Smith laceweight, but I want something softer, I think. I like Handmaiden Sea Silk, but maybe it is a bit too fiddly for a lifetime of knitting. I really like Springtide Cashmere, but it's only solid colors. Same with Zephyr and Frogtree and Skacel. If I want multicolor, I know that I want Lorna's Laces colors because they are outstanding, so I want Helen's Lace Multi AND Solid. It's my choice, and you did say I have the full range of colors, right? Well, that's what I want. 

Who am I kidding, I want Done Roving Farm and Good Karma Farm and a billion others, too. Sigh, so much yarn. So much to choose from. 

What are your favorite yarns? You can have anything, even if it's discontinued ... or spin rovings and fleece from 5 different places ... go nuts. It's winter.


Beth Collins

Damn, I forgot sock yarn!!

Sarah Otley

Bartlett would be my number one choice. I just love all the colors and its nice and sturdy. Peace Fleece would be number two. Encore for washability. I think I'd choose Opal for sock yarn, because there are so many patterns, colors, and because when all my other socks wear out they are still in good shape. Finally, I'd choose Brown Sheep Nature Spun (lots of colors and weights) or Lambs Pride for felting.


Beth, great yarn list! Pls add your sock yarn choices to tomorrow's post. I would love to know--as late in life knitter I'm forever trying to learn anything related to knitting. Sarah, good list also! Conny NE

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