Mountain Meadow Wool Cody
100% American merino wool
Sportweight: US Needle 3-4
I've featured Mountain Meadow Wool company and its American yarns on the blog before. Today's Pick of the Week is their sportweight merino wool: Cody.
Cody is a soft, springy 2-ply yarn that comes in undyed natural colors and in eco-friendly natural dyes as well. The Geranium color is a warm, friendly red that immediately attracted me and I started a ruffled edge shawl that was inspired by a shawl worn by Kate Middleton, recent bride to Prince William.
I am using US 5 needles from my set of Addi Click Turbos, with a 24 inch cable to hold all of the stitches. I am in love with this yarn. It has a faint scent of lanolin that gives the yarn a rustic appeal and its incredible softness. There are tiny amounts of VM (vegetable matter) still in the yarn, because MMW uses a gentler cleaning process to preserve its softness. They are easy to remove and haven't bothered me.
The shawl is approximately half-way finished and it is light, warm, drapey and soft. Knit at a tighter gauge, Cody would make excellent textured socks or garments. Right now I am enjoying making a warm cozy wrap in time for the cool weather of fall.
Noro Taiyo Sock
459 yards (420 meters)
50% cotton, 17% wool, 17% nylon & 16% silk
Recommended Needle Size: US 2-3
I will confess. I love Noro yarns. I am addicted to watching their fabulous colors change as I work on my project. I made a shawl that combined Kureyon Sock yarn and Silk Garden Sock yarn in subtle stripes and when it was finished, it was the perfect combination of lightness and warmth.
Naturally I was very excited when Noro announced they were making a new sock yarn: Taiyo Sock Yarn. This sock yarn is a great addition to their yarn line because the 50% cotton content makes the yarn very soft and more cool than the wooly yarns. I wavered between two different colorways before I saw a customer who was working on a beautiful lacey summer top in one of them and I just had to have that colorway.
I used US 2 needles and cast on a pair of simple toe-up socks.I love the incredibly soft feel of the knitted fabric. My only caution is that you can't pull on this yarn as tightly because otherwise it will break. I had to relax my grip because I have a habit of tugging on my yarn when I start on a new round. Now that I have gotten used to it, it's been smooth sailing.
I can't wait to wear my socks! That's why Noro Taiyo Sock is my Pick of the Week!
One challenge that crafters always face is finding the perfect yarn for summer garments. It is important for the fiber to feel cool in the warm weather, but plant fibers often have a tendency to stretch out of shape. It is also important for the garment to be easy to care for, because no one wants to take a tank-top to the dry-cleaners every time it needs to be cleaned!
Cascade Ultra Pima may just be that perfect summer yarn. It comes in generous 220 yard hanks of 100% pima cotton. Pima Cotton is a high-quality cotton yarn that was developed in the United State when farmers cross-bred Egyptian cotton with local American cottons. Ultra Pima is a mercerised cotton, which means that it has been treated to increase the yarn's luster and softness. It is definitely one of the softest cotton yarns I have ever felt; this yarn looks and feels like silk because of its sheen and drapiness.
Here's the best part: Ultra Pima is machine-washable AND machine-dryable! Last time a representative from Cascade Yarns visited us, she showed us a sample garment knit from Ultra Pima. Pat and I both admired the lacy summer top and I loved the soft, silky feel of the garment. But I was most surprised when the representative told us that this very garment had been washed and dried by machine. I am sure I am not the only knitter who has had cotton projects that got 'crunchy' or stiff-feeling after they were accidentally washed or dried in the machine. Not only did it feel great, it also retained its shape and size.
Finally, the price-point of Ultra Pima is a big selling point for me. For 220 yards, this yarn only costs $9.50. Many summer tops take less yardage than winter garments, so if I bought 5 hanks, it could only cost $47.50. Being able to knit or crochet a garment for under $50 in natural fibers is a win in my book! I could also see this being an ideal yarn for baby or child garments because of its durable nature and soft feel.
We currenty have 9 colors of Ultra Pima in stock (the 3 pictured colors are brandnew!) and we can always special-order additional colors from Cascade Yarns. So stop by and check out my 'Pick of the Week'-Cascade Ultra Pima!