Earlier this week, I saw a sweater I liked over at WEBS.  (It’s odd how the urge to loiter around on yarn sites never really goes away, you’d think I would have some immunity by now) I’ve been on the prowl for some summer knitted stuff.   I love knitting sweaters and hats and mittens, but they are of limited use in the really hot days of the summer, and I like the idea of being able to wear something knitterly all year round without suffering heatstroke.   So there I was, cruising around, looking at all sorts of stuff- and I saw this. Kiama.  I promptly developed all sorts of visions of myself wearing that, and in these visions I am very, very cool (both literally, and figuratively)  and also sort of tallish.

The only snag was the yarn, which was very pretty, but also unlikely.   It’s a crazy yarn called Origami, and it’s several strands of fibres-I-really-hate™strung together with a binder, which means that I also sort of hate the construction of it.  It’s 58% acrylic, 16% linen, 15% nylon and 11% cotton.  This means, essentially, that if you add the nylon and acrylic together, that it is 74% fibres that I am deeply suspicious of, and only the remaining 26% are natural fibres, and they aren’t even ones I enjoy knitting – usually.  I know that being suspicious of "plastic" yarns is going to make some of you think I’m a yarn snob, but I don’t think I am.  I just like what I like, and if you told me that most of the wool you’d ever knitted bugged the hell out of you, I’d tell you what I tell myself about man-made fibres.  That there’s a whole lot of sorts of them and you shouldn’t give up on it or make a decision about all wool, because it’s all really different.  That there’s a big difference between Shetland and Merino, and that just because you don’t like one doesn’t mean that all wool sucks, just like if I think that Red Heart super saver yarn isn’t okay,  that doesn’t mean that all acrylic yarns are going to be the same way.

This is what I told myself as I looked at that pretty, pretty yarn and tried to imagine knitting with it.  I remembered last summer I knit Flow with Seduce, a yarn I should have hated too, and I remembered that Berroco usually has nice stuff,  and so I dropped Kathy Elkins a line and asked her.  She reminded me that I knit Flow with Seduce and I liked that, and that Berroco usually has nice stuff.  (Kathy knows me pretty well, I think.)  So.. I bit.  I gave her my card number over the phone, asked her what colour she thought was best, and whammo.  Three days later this bad boy was here at Port Ludlow and on my needles and dudes.  It as pretty as it looked online.

I cast on, and I haven’t been able to stop knitting.  I LOVE THIS YARN.  I love it fierce and unreasonable. It is made of things I don’t like, and yet  I love how it’s a little stiff and crisp, I love how it looks in the skein and in the ball, and I love how it feels knit up.  I keep smoothing it out and admiring it, I keep spreading it out and touching it- patting and smooshing. 

It’s a really cool thing- unusual and interesting, firm but soft, sort of like the most upscale string you’ve ever seen, and I think that it was a good lesson in remembering to embrace all yarns without getting all uppity about it. There’s acrylic and then there’s acrylic…and just because a fibre is on my list of suspects is no reason not to give it a fair chance.

Except that Super Saver.  I’m sure about that.

151 thoughts on “Unexpectedly

  1. Looks absolutely fabulous. Wonder what the chances are of getting this in Australia? (Sigh, online ordering time again)

  2. If there is any Origami yarn left for sale in the entire world after this post, I will be mighty surprised, Lovely pattern. You make me want to knit it.

  3. I’m so glad you have an open mind about yarn, well, a mind that can be persuaded. I’d love to hear opinions about non-wool, especially summery yarns and patterns, since that’s what I use for winter, too.
    Tiring of socks for the moment???

  4. I am right there with you one the Super Saver. It’s not a super saver at all if you can’t stand to run it through your fingers and it ends up in the rubbish bin…

  5. Interesting – what does the back of the sweater look like? It would be nice to see both views.

  6. I really like it, too. I saw the yarn online and could nott believe I would like it. It may be something I have to try. Especially if I look taller (thinner and I’d buy out the stock!)

  7. I don’t care what you say. I am a yarn snob. It’d have to be pretty awesome yarn for me to consider it. But I guess that’s what your saying…. it’s at WEBS you say? Hmmmm 🙂

  8. That’s funny. I’ve been swatching Grass from Plymouth — a combo of cotton and hemp. Not nice on the hands, I thought, until I started swatching. Now I know why my friend who runs a LYS is making a summer t-shirt from it.
    Motto: Being a yarn snob is the last refuge of someone trying to stay on a budget.

  9. While I have never bought a pound of Super Saver, I do have several afghans knit by my grandmother from Red Heart. Yep, they pill and they aren’t soft but I wouldn’t trade them for the world.
    Have fun at Sock Camp, part II!

  10. I kinda like the bamboo/silk blend and think it would work awesomely in this pattern. And yeah, there are definitely some great acrylicy blends.
    um, I don’t want to bother you, but is there a chance that you’ll post more about the Olympic prizes or something?

  11. So glad you blogged about this! I’ve already had my eye on this sweater, but I was also unsure about the yarn. Guess I’ll have to go ahead and place an order — and hope it’s not all sold out!

  12. before I knew that other fibers existed, super saver was my yarn of choice. have made many an afghan (crochet used to be my thing).
    then a very awesome knitter friend introduced me to the LYS…… i had no idea yarn could be delicious….

  13. We’ve got to encourage the yarn manufacturers to make larger skeins. Origami is 98 yds.–think of all the joins–aaack! I’m boycotting anything under 200 yards.

  14. I have similar suspicions about yarns with high acrylic/nylon/polyamide components. I also have had good luck with Berrocco yarns.
    I bit too. I got Origami in “Whale Watch” (muted sagey greens) for Bellambie at Stitches West. WEBS always brings along a Berrocco rep who is a WONDERFUL stash enabler, and she sells me at least two sweaters’ worth of yarn each year.
    She told me the yarn softens up a bit when washed (just enough to take the edge off the crispness). The sample garments she brought were lovely and drapey.
    I think we’ll both be very happy.

  15. I’m with Abby on the yardage issue. I hate joining new yarn. That’s why I usually knit only wool. With a spit splice you can use every single inch of the skein. I would be glad to pay a little more for “Mega” skeins.
    Awesome pattern. You will look very cool in it. Enjoy.

  16. Huh. Would ya look at that? The colours…
    I’ve got a couple skeins of Seduce around, gifted from a friend. We loved the rustic-y drape-y light scarf she knit from it. I’d forgotten about that tank you did.
    And I agree with Roz up there. Any excuse not to buy yarn – the budget needs them all.

  17. That was a great post! People need to remember that there is a time and a place for everything and that as soon as one is certain about something, life steps in to prove you wrong!
    I would say that that yarn had a red flag…”warning, mostly man-made fibers! Proceed with caution!” You did…you proceeded with caution, and made it though with aplomb!
    I’ve discovered that I often like a bit of a blend…it’s often a compromise, like Encore…I like more wool than that, but it’s not itchy and it’s washable, and it’s nice enough (but not the best) to knit, so it’s my go to yarn for baby gifts to people that might not wash real wool properly. A good compromise. But when I get grandkids? They’ll get 100% alpaca 😉

  18. Ha! I took your advice on this one….it’s really lovely, and the yarn as well. I am a fiber snob. It’s wool for me all the way, but this looks very nice, and since you gave such glowing reports of the feel, I’m going to give it a try.
    I’ve ordered, and I know that lovely stuff in on the way to my humble abode as I write this.
    Thanks so much for this!

  19. Pretty…
    I have an afghan my sister made me for a wedding present. She only crochets with Red Heart Super Saver. I have to say, this thing is 15 years old, it’s been on the bed, on the sofa, on the chairs and sometimes ends up in the dog bed (he loves it, I don’t know why). I throw it in the washer, the dryer, and it looks as good as it did when she gave it to me. I hate to knit with the stuff, but there’s something to be said for yarn that lasts forever.

  20. My 7 year old is very reluctant to try new things. (His autism makes him even pickier than the average boy.) We have ongoing discussions about trying something first before you decide not to like it. Good object lesson, Stephanie!

  21. This is refreshing to hear! I was just talked into (ok, but it’s not hard to talk me into things) buying some acrylic sock yarn and ick! as I was balling it up I knew I would just have to go buy something else for this project. I was going to just relegate it to the Back of the Drawer, but maybe it’ll become a nice, washable kid’s sweater instead. Thanks for the reminder not to cast off (ha!) all that I don’t love a first touch.

  22. This pattern looks like the ideal thing to have for going into stores restraunts etc etc when they have the AC on too high. Love this pattern for that reason and the yarn is in my favourite colours. Can’t wait to see it done. I must try and hunt this down even tho I don’t knit summer things.

  23. I’ve had Kirra Knit (longer version of Kiama) haunting me since the day I saw it online. And I’ve yet to complete any sweater, as smaller projects suit my attention span (or lack thereof) better. So thanks a a lot (seriously, and sarcastically) for encouraging me. 🙂

  24. Gasp-I thought-Stephanie was at Webs this week-why didn’t I go this week! I could have seen you-talked to you-admired your socks….then I realized you were vicariously at Webs -please come back to MA soon! Great beer is to be had at the Northampton brewery! Loved the booties!

  25. That yarn is gorgeous! I love the way the colors dance together. If any’s still in stock, I’ll soon be enjoying some, too.

  26. Yup. It is official. Hell has frozen over. Proof? I am so happy knitting with a cotton-acrylic blend I went back to that den of iniquity known as yarnsale.com and bought enough of another color for another sweater. (Austermann Favola, for those of you who need the deets.) But at least, Stephanie, I have an excuse — I moved south! The power of the sun…

  27. It’s pretty—I’m tempted. Of course, I HAVE to get some stash knitted up/weeded down first.
    Do you think it’d make a good light summer shawl?

  28. Finally! You blog about a sweater I don’t like! I’ve lost track of how many sweater patterns, along with the yarn, how many sock patterns (along with the yarn), how many scarves….I’ve got just because you wrote so eloquently about them!
    It’s getting expensive!
    But yeah, Berroco usually has good stuff, and so does WEBS.

  29. I used to work a lot with acrylic, and I still think it has its place, but I will admit that I’ve become a bit of a yarn snob over the years, and I’m definitely with you on the Super Saver. I will also admit that my reaction to that list of ingredients is the same as yours. I have nothing against cotton, but Sugar and Cream is middling hard to knit with and a pain, literally, to crochet with.
    But you have the nylon to give the cotton a bit of stretch, and anything with that much acrylic won’t trap any heat at all, which makes it… brilliant for a summer wrap.

  30. I can’t wear wool, and neither can most of my family so I tend to knit in cottons, bamboos, and acrylics. I really love Berroco Comfort, which is one of the softest yarns, and not itchy!
    I love knowing that knitting experts aren’t too snobby about yarn. It’s refreshing!

  31. I’m convinced the more you knit, the more you want to look at knitting and yarn sites. I know I do.
    P.S. You’re right about Super Saver.

  32. I’m glad you’re here to try out all the stuff I would never touch. Because I don’t think I’m a yarn snob, but I’m a really, REALLY tactile kind of person, and acrylic, linen and cotton have previously always=unpleasant (at best) for me.
    Can’t wait to see what the cardi looks like finished.

  33. That is lovely! The cotton/linen intrigues me, though normally I hate knitting with cotton. I made a shawl once out of a lovely heavy organic cotton, and it turned out beautiful, but what a pain to knit.
    And yes, Super Saver is BARELY yarn. Barely. Just enough so that I’ll crochet with it. I won’t knit it. I refuse. But I also refuse to pay the price I’d have to to make a crocheted afghan out of wool.

  34. I did find one good use for Red Heart super saver…I used the rainbow variegated for bookmarks in a kids knitting class at the library. It was dirt cheap, so the library could actually afford to buy the yarn for the class (which we were offering for free…). 2 skeins of the yarn made 30 some odd bookmarks.
    The kiddos didn’t know they were knitting with a subpar fiber…

  35. I’m late to the party but I love your blog. I didn’t know you lived in Port Ludlow. My mom lives in Sequim and I have been to Port Ludlow. Next time I’m up there I’m going to visit the yarn store in Bainbridge, looks wonderful. I’m new to knitting and now every place I visit I check out LYS. I just got back from New York and went to Knitty city and got an signed book by Susan Anderson Itty Bitty toys. Love the knitters, their blogs, the whole community! It’s a good life.

  36. Oooh, those are those fancy Signature Needles, aren’t they? I want some of those so. bad.

  37. Way back, 45 years ago or so, I would stand and gaze at the Red Heart in Woolworth’s (no Super Saver then) and drink in the colors, the ombres, and sort of dream teenage dreams. 20 years later, 25 years ago, I quit drinking and smoking and started crocheting to keep my hands busy. Those meetings did go better with something between me and the rest of the world, I was thin-skinned. My yarn of choice for baby afghans was Carom Dazzle Aire. Everyone I knew got one. A few years later I made a double bed sized crocheted afghan of six-sided shapes, big daisies on a green background, using the Carom and Red Heart. What did I know about fibre? It was color I was after and mostly just staying alive at the beginning. Now I can feel besotted with colors, like Happy Go Lucky at the moment and love how soft the pure wool is. Encore makes me crazy, it feels so rubbery but when baby needs a new pair of . . . oops, wrong metaphor. I had a hard time getting my BSJ done in Encore, didn’t want to touch it, until I just gritted my teeth and thought about the baby. Thanks for a wonderful post and for bringing back some amazing memories. Those cheap acrylics that I can’t touch now, that I just give away, helped me stay alive, to stay in the meetings and stay off the cigarettes. I’m grateful to have lived to tell the story (and go from crocheting to knitting), and very very grateful that I can afford nice yarn now.

  38. My go-to basic worsted is Berroco Ultra Alpaca. They do good work over there. I struggle with acrylic, nylon, and cotton, too…although as an American I am doomed to call them “fibers”. I hope you enjoy every metre of fibre all the way to the centre.

  39. Pretty colours – but I wonder, how much does the binder thread show when it’s knitted up? Could they not find a colour to better blend in than black?
    Still, I reckon it’s a good job I’ve told myself that I can’t buy any more yarn until I finish a project…

  40. Does having a ‘50% plastic cut off point’ count as yarn snob?
    Must say it looks very pretty though, the colour variations are most seductive….
    I’m hopng you’ll show us a picture of you in the finished cardi in due time.

  41. Yup, super saver (actually many of the old school Red Heart line) is suspicious. I don’t remember why, but when I was first learning to use socks, so I wouldn’t have to be comfortable with skinny yarn I made my first one out of some Red Heart in a worsted weight. I had an amazing sock that could stand up by itself. Huge!

  42. Bother. That was mean. That looks exactly the kind of yarn I have (not) been looking for. I have no money for more yarny purchases and no time to knit sweaters… I hate you! 😉 you are an evil enabler.
    Any chance you know where I could get hold of the yarn in the Uk (or europe) – am a bit opposed to pay the horrid handling charges (I’m ok about the tax) for importing things into the UK.
    And did I mention? That was mean. Really mean. Beans on toast here I come. Thanks.

  43. Looks like it will knit quickly. Maybe I can keep hoping that Wild Apples (which has done nothing wrong) won’t suffer cupboard fate.

  44. Ooh, it’s so pretty! I hope my mother loves it as much as I do. (And, btw, thanks for solving the annual birthday present dilemma)!

  45. Oh, I’m so glad you posted this! I had my eye on another pattern from that collection (Kirra) but had similar questions about the yarn…

  46. Love the cardi pattern, and I couldn’t believe that Origami had such a high man-made content. I touched it before looking at the label. WOW! It’s a great yarn 🙂

  47. I have that same pattern and yarn (mine is Party by the Shore)! I haven’t started Kiama yet, but I’ve done the gauge swatch and my gauge came out perfect. I will decide while I’m knitting the whole thing how well I like the yarn. I think it’s going to be very attractive when I finish it. Great minds run together, don’t they?

  48. So glad you added the closeup of the yarn. It looked gray in the first shot, but -wow- it is wonderfully gorgeous in the close-up. Lots of subtle colors. Yum!

  49. Yum. That Berroco looks wonderful! (But Berroco seems to have a thing about short short skeins!)
    I both knit and crochet (neither is “better” just different!), and I’ll admit, the first half of my fibery existence was filled with RHSS, Caron Simply Soft (which I still love, btw), Peaches and Cream, and crochet thread. Basically what my mom could buy at WalMart! LOL
    These days, I have a few (very few, no more than a dozen) special skeins of nicer yarn (I do rank Encore as a nicer yarn, because it’s more expensive and softer than Wool-Ease!), and I have yet to knit anything with the RHSS. I will knit with the Simply Soft, but not with cotton yarn either; the cotton hurts my hands to knit but not to crochet! And a cone of Peaces and Cream makes a divine baby blanket!
    I use the RHSS for crocheted toys, and they last forever! So, since most of my toys go to babies to chomp on and need to be washable… 😉
    But yeah. RHSS is, hmmm, I’ll be nice, and say it’s not the nicest yarn! 😛

  50. I really love the colours. I must admit, it is probably a yarn that I would have walked away from — based on the label.

  51. “…and I like the idea of being able to wear something knitterly all year round without suffering heatstroke.”
    So how exactly do you expect to wear acrylic in the summer without heatstroke?
    Oh wait. You’re up nawth. It actually cools off at night there, doesn’t it?

  52. I love how you call us “dudes”. It makes me feel hip. =)
    Lovely yarn, can’t wait to seen the finished project.

  53. I’m heading to Toronto for a conference this week and in looking for yarn shops in Toronto I came across Lettuce Knit! (Which I think I recognise from your blog) And then I realised you must live in or near Toronto! (Clearly I’m not big on details!) So somehow that makes Toronto more real to me…the home of the Yarn Harlot… who obviously In know very well from years of reading the blog! 😉
    Anyhow, I’m definitely going to swing by Lettuce Knit so pray for my wallet and my very worn debit card!

  54. The way I look at it, not every yarn is suited to every project, but there is often a project for which any given yarn will be suited, if you look for it. I’m congenitally incapable of turning down free yarn, so I wind up with a lot of oddball stuff, often acrylic. And when knitting random outerwear for people who are likely to lose/trash/outgrow the item in a matter of weeks (read, small children)… well, a tough indestructible acrylic is pretty darned practical.
    That doesn’t mean that every knitter would want to knit that project, of course. But I like living in a world where we all have different tastes- and can be surprised and delighted by finding something we didn’t know we would like! 🙂

  55. Saw this yarn in my LYS 2 weeks ago and bought it (different colorway, tho – Sunset Breeze I think it’s called) for a scarf. Decided to make rhenana from Norah Gaughan’s Vol 6 (calls for Seduce). So, different gauge but I think it’ll make a cute summery drapey scarf that I can wear during my debut as garden tour host in July. This is Minnesota, so a scarf could very well be necessary. It’s a good diversion, too, as even though we’re having an amazing spring it is still too early to plant anything in the ground and I’m really itching to do so. Re: choices in yarn – I try to be open-minded and have also used Seduce. It’s just another option, for another look. Really love anything shetland for winter, etc. So there. I’m a Renaissance Soul.

  56. I’m almost done with a different sweater from the Berroco Origami book that I’m making in the “Whale Watch” colorway. I wasn’t sure about the yarn either but I love it too. Can’t wait to put it all together and wear it!

  57. I love the look of the yarn. Can I ask what needles you are using? They are beautiful too!

  58. I have to admit having a bit of a soft spot for the Super Saver. My grandmother used to knit me the most beautiful sweaters out of it every year when I was a kid and those things wore like iron. I don’t like knitting with it (it squeaks) but I look at it fondly and remember my Grandma knitting all those sweaters for each of us kids. *happy sigh*
    I’m enthralled with the colorway of your project. Very pretty. I’m starting the feel the itch for cooler weather knitting too. This is where I get to break out the ribbon. I love love love knitting with the ribbon yarns. They just entertain me to no end.

  59. I think when you wear that sweater, they (‘They’) automatically give you a microphone and you can sing like Tracy Chapman. *Or performer of
    I like that sweater a lot, too. Hmm. It looks like my favorite jacket, except sweater-ish.
    Good for you for trusting Kathy and knitting outside the natural fibre box, even though I agree that that was a scary thing to do and I’m not sure I could have done it!

  60. I see you have Travelling Light by Deborah DeWit. I discovered her art years ago AND she lives in the town I grew up in – Tigard, Oregon. I’m wondering if you know her? I do, and she is a treasure.

  61. It’s not the suspicion, it’s the label “plastic” that makes me think you are a yarn snob.
    I’m glad you were able to get past it and appreciate a new yarn. I hope you will let us know how it holds up through wearing and washing.

  62. It’s interesting to hear that you love this yarn. I recently knitted a swatch of it (my LYS had a “swatch night”, loads of fun!), and hated everything about it (except the colors, which were gorgeous). It felt harsh in my hands. It had no bounce. The knitted fabric felt floppy and limp. I felt that the only thing I could possibly make with it would be an extremely expensive mesh shopping bag. Glad to hear another point of view.
    Does it feel better after washing?

  63. I fell in love with Kirra from the same book. Bought the book and a couple of skeins to play with; couldn’t afford a sweater’s worth at the time. I’ll be interested to see how Kiama looks on you, and how it feels after being washed.

  64. Oh Oh. you’re going to start a rush on the yarn! I am like you in that I am suspicious of person-made fibers (especially those from petrochemicals). But, I have been eyeing that yarn in my hardcopy of the Webs catalog. So now that you say you like the yarn…..well, I certainly liked the colors…. hmmm.

  65. Interesting, because looking at the yarn here: http://berroco.com/shade_cards/origami_sh.html
    it doesn’t float my boat AT ALL. But I trust your judgment, and your knitting does look lovely. Further evidence that yarn as seen in the skein is not a very good indication of the knitted fabric it will create. Variegated yarn, for instance. This time, it’s kind of the opposite–looks questionable in the skein but more attractive when knit up. Good to know!

  66. Beautiful yarn! Pretty sweater, too. I just knit another afghan out of that Red Heart Super Saver, and, yes, it is , horrid yarn out of the skien. But, I let my son do laundry, to earn a merit badge, and he “killed” his afghan. Lots of fabric softener, dryer sheets, and half an hour on high heat in the dryer, after a hot wash, turned that , harsh junk into a nicer fabric. Now, I skein this crud, tie it securely, and kill it before I knit with it. It is still crud, but, I spend $20 American for a huge afghan.(The thrill of a cheap, large project!) Knitting two afghans a month is an expensive habit, so unless I am being paid for my work, my family is getting knitted crud (which fact they refuse to understand). Now, you say this mostly man made yarn isn’t crud? I’m gonna try it!

  67. Some knitters have asked about washing Origami. I washed my Kiama in Eucalan, soak and spin in the washer since I didn’t have a full load to run. Laid flat to dry. Origami softened up a bit, my stitches straightened out and the drape got better. View my Kiama on Ravelry. Roentgen is my Rav ID.

  68. I am knitting Kirra after seeing the finished garment at a Berroco truck show. I would never have knit with Origami if seen only in the skein. Knit up it is way cool and unlike cotton and linen it is not giving my hands a headach to knit. Can’t wait to finish my Kirra

  69. It looks lovely. I know what you mean about synthetics. And I’m not too fond of linen either. I know it must be just me, but I’ve always find it kind of stiff knitting, even if it does (as I have heard) soften up with washing. Anyway, you’ll have something knitterly and summerish to wear that you have enjoyed making.

  70. i’m currently working with it and have to say, pleased with the results! a very unique yarn and it really turns out nicely!

  71. I just purchased some Berrocco Comfort Chunky, at the rec of my LYS, even though I keep swearing my next knit will be all natural fiber.
    I only swatched it after swatching Valley Yarns Colrain (merino/lyocell) and confirming that it is nowhere near an Aran or heavy worsted (grrrrr…)
    Now I know why she recommended the Comfort Chunky. I keep rubbing the swatch against my face and thinking, “I can’t believe this isn’t cotton!” (and with none of the joint-inflaming tendencies of knitting cotton, either)

  72. I <3 Berrocco yarn. All of it. Even the synthetic blends.
    And I acknowledge that Super Saver is far from high quality, but as a college student on a budget and a mother who likes the yarn, it means I can crochet a huge afghan for my mother’s birthday and not go broke 🙂
    But I refuse to knit with it.

  73. Great yarn! Good choice. That crunchy-ness will feel good when it gets hot outside; it won’t cling to you and make you hotter.

  74. I am so happy you gave it a try. My rule of thumb(and isn’t than an interesting expression) is to feel first and look at the label second. I like all natural, but blends or what I call ‘mutt’ yarns are pretty cool. Just as all man made has drawbacks, so too does all wool.

  75. For me, in my climate, wool is usually too warm. And ease of washability is primo for most of my giftees, so I got over the feel of knitting with RH pretty quickly. It goes in the washer AND the dryer (on warm or cool, NOT hot) washes up nice and soft and holds its shape for EVER. . . so while it’s not my favorite acrylic, I do knit with it. Kitchen cottons, eh not so much.
    That said, the first thing I see that rings my chimes about a given yarn is the COLORS! YUM, I love colors and will try anything for a color combo I love . . . sooo…… try it, you may be surprized.

  76. oh stephanie you make me laugh. i hate to compare your situation but it reminded me of one i recently went threw with a book. i swore that i would not jump on the vampire bandwagon and i was sticking to it pretty good…. until i read a little of a book online. and before i knew it i was on amazon ordering the whole bloody (he he he double meaning)series and re reading it over and over. but i still wont read vampire diaries.
    and i totally agree super saver is evil even when washed!

  77. It seems many people think the same as you of Origami. 5 of the 8 colors Webs carries are on back order and there are a total of 7 skeins in the remaining 3. I saw the sample knit at Webs-very nice.

  78. I was just looking at that yarn today and thinking how nice the colors were and that it’s on sale and wouldn’t it be nic–
    And then I reminded myself I already have four (4!) sweaters planned for this year’s knitting and Origami yarn is not involved in any of them. Period.

  79. Wool is so utterly not well suited for about 70% of our year down here in California…but does that stop me from being a wool snob? No. I don’t even like cotton much. It’s just…not-wool. And I’m not too fond of ribbons, or eyelash yarns, and do not even say the words “super saver” in my presence (unless you’re referring to grocery circulars…that’s perfectly all right and even encouraged…)
    I have barely come to terms with there being a hint of nylon in most sock yarn.
    Only you could tempt me with an acrylic-linen-nylon-cotton blend. Especially one that looks like it might be thinking of growing up to be a ribbon yarn.

  80. That will be pretty when it’s done! We have (or had) a skein of Red Heart Super Saver, because the kids used it for crafts and other assorted thing. 3 years ago, my 18yo taught herself to knit and someone started actually knitting with the Super Saver and I don’t think they ever finished the project. It’s rough and scratchy and none of us like to touch it, for knitting. We might have thrown it away.

  81. Your writing cracks me up and makes me smile every time. Your like my two favorite things in one person…knitting obsession and sense of humor. Rock on.

  82. Does anyone else remember when Red Heart was 100% wool and came with a little gold heart tag on each skein? This had to be in the 50’s when I was just starting to knit. Was it a harsh yarn then or was it fairly nice?
    I find Vanna’s choice acrylic isn’t too plastic-y and knits up nicely for items that won’t be hand-washed.
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the Berocco. Great post, as usual.

  83. I guess yarn is like people; you might be totally surprised by what you learn if you give it a chance.
    Except for Super Saver, which is the noisy neighbor who borrows your tools for a year and then sells them at his yard sale.

  84. I’m usually in the yarn snob/anti-plastic yarn camp myself, but I applaud your open mind. As other commenters have shared, I too have an acrylic blankie made by my grandmother in the 70’s, and pilly and hideous as it is, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
    Two points though, one funny, one not. I generally avoid wearing acrylic blends (handmade or otherwise) because they react with my skin and make me smell really gross (that’s the funny one, depending on how near me you are). The not funny one is I would personally never recommend anything with a significant amount of acrylic in it for a child’s garment because in the unlikely instance of fire or exposure to high heat, it doesn’t catch fire, it melts, and melted plastic on a child’s skin is something no knitter wants to play a role in. I know it’s very common to make young people’s clothes out of washable stuff but for me, that’s where I dig in my heels and refuse to budge.

  85. Wow, that ball of yarn looks so strange – but wonderful and beautiful knitted up. Cracks my mind open a bit there…

  86. I agree with you Lorraine (4/17/10 5:45P), when it comes to babies of all ages, acrylic for afghans and toys, no wearable items please! I think the label should have a warning on it.
    Take care.

  87. Lorraine, I’m glad you mentioned that. I would have never thought of it! Thank you!

  88. I think I used some Supersaver to start a black- and-beige area rug. Looked pretty good. Probably will wear like iron. Which is what you want in a rug. Once I finish it.

  89. Heh…did you know that Kiama is a coastal town in NSW? The kind of place where the whole family would go with a caravan, Dad would get around in embarrassing swimming trunks and an elderly fabric hat, and the big night out would be fish and chips. It’s famous for the Kiama blowhole. Lots of ordinary Australians have very fond holiday memories of Kiama – and I reckon that plenty of acrylic would have been knit into pastel baby sets and knee rugs over the years there too…

  90. Like Mary, I spotted Deborah DeWit Marchant’s Traveling Light there in your photo right away. I have been very fond of her calendars for a number of years–her senses of composition and color are delightful. I have her book, Painting Cats, too, a gift from my daughter. The book you have with you would be a fine one to take on a trip.

  91. I started and finished this wrap in 2 weeks which is very quick for me. I absolutely love it. I wore it to a charity function and got lots of compliments. I loved knitting with this yarn and may make something else from the book I bought using this yarn.

  92. Hey! Just a week ago I bought a similarly shaped cardi/shrug for cool autumn evenings.
    It’s a light denim blue & I love it!
    (& I like the idea that it may make me a little taller or thinner. Thank-you for that!)
    On the subject of yarn composition:
    This type of garment is very DrApEy, particularly the fronts.
    I think it needs some man-made fibre to stay in shape.
    How many washes would it take for a drapey 100% cotton garment (for example) to become so out of shape as to be unwearable?
    I wonder how it would look with front points down to the knees & a wavey back hem line?
    Do you need to wear warm wool all summer?
    Enjoy the beautiful new cardi & think only of the yarn’s prettiness.
    And how it makes you look taller.
    Cheers! from Melbourne, Australia

  93. Lovely, a yarn that I can use (vegan) and that gets a perfect review from you! And I can probably get it at one of my LYS. I will have to go in and check it out. The colours are beautiful.

  94. When you’re wearing your beautiful new sweater and looking all cool and tall, will you also be singing into a microphone (like the lady in the pattern picture)? Maybe at one of your future book signings : )

  95. i was looking at the pattern names, thinking that they sound kinda familiar, and realised that Kiama, Kirra, Tilba and Bondi are all places in Australia (Marengo, Allambie and Albingo probably are too, i just haven’t been to them). There you go – would have been very impressed if there was a design called Coonabarabran, but realise that this is sadly unlikely.

  96. Just like people..great metaphor on life…who knew people and yarn were so similar

  97. Just like people..great metaphor on life…who knew people and yarn were so similar

  98. Just like people..great metaphor on life…who knew people and yarn were so similar

  99. I’ve seen this yarn and, frankly, would have dismissed it as “eww, pretty-looking-synthetic stuff-that-feels-awful-on”. Thanks for reminding me to be more open minded and thanks so much for the great blog – it has brought me more laughs than I care to admit!

  100. OK, I’m admitting my yarn snobbery, too! Made the mistake of going to JoAnn’s Fabrics over the weekend, thinking maybe they’d started stocking stuff other than Red Heart and tacky acrylic yarn in colors not known to nature. Surprise…they had a few “real fiber” skeins (cotton, some acrylic-feeling wool) and lots of glittery acrylic stuff. Sigh…came home and ordered the Origami in Party by the Shore (great watery blues with some tropical highlights) to make this sweater. After reading the other comments on the pattern, I’m sitting here with needles ready, waiting for the yarn to arrive!!!

  101. I like your blog very much, I read it almost every post.
    My first thought when I read this post was “How much did WEB’s pay you for this one”. WEB’s most have a boat load of this yarn and they needed to get rid of it, and with your help I bet they did. Just an observation……

  102. Amazing! I, too, wanted a spring sweater. I’m knitting from Berroco as well, but it’s Rill from Norah Gaughan, vol. 6. I did switch off from Seduce after looking at it. I don’t need the striping it creates and I just didn’t like it, so I’m using 100% bamboo Madil Eden from Cascade Yarns in print #039. I knitted the sleeves first as my swatches and am trudging along on the body.

  103. Red Heart’s been given a bad wrap, check out my shawl that my mom crochet for me. It’s on Ravelry, Nutmeg Knitter’s, Saturday Morning, S&B. It’s beautiful and feels blah, and I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I agree with all of the above, except Red Heart.

  104. You give me hope. Please let us know how it feels to wear. Most things non-natural makes my hair stand on an end, but they knit up so beautifully and come in gorgeous colours.

  105. I’m glad you’re loving the new yarn, and I’m totally with you on the Super Saver thing.

  106. Just went out and bought that Pattern Book Originally rejected it because Kirra seemed too long for me. Thanks to you, I found out about Kiama which looks PERFECT. It will be next in my queue for sure.
    P.S Boy, Deborah Robson comments on your blog. She started me on the whole craft thing when she wrote an article in Threads about bead amulets. At least I think it was her!

  107. I also love Berroco Ultra Alpaca. I particularly love the complex colors of that yarn. They make yarns that are an interesting solid color from a distance, but have little slubs of color up close, and the palette is sophisticated. Since I live in a moderate temperature area, man made fibers are okay. I don’t need aran weight wool, which would be too hot. In fact, the temperature is usually over 100 for 20 to 60 days in the summer, and only goes below freezing a few nights a year (just enough to kill tropical plants).
    However, I too, have given up the Super Saver yarns. They are too scratchy for babies, and the colors are pretty basic.
    We have all evolved.

  108. Hi, my eyes just glazed over looking at the sexy straight knitting needles in the photo. I generally knit on circular needles but those sleek lines and sophisticated styling…WOW! Does anyone know what kind of needles those are? They remind me me of an Italian sports car – perhaps a Porsche.
    Caio Bella!

  109. Hey! I pawed that yarn at WEBS, read the label and said to self, “pft! made of icky stuff” Goes to show, don’t judge a fiber by its ingredients. I’m out of roving and need to stop in to WEBS so just maybe I’ll wander over to that bin and give it a second look. Thanks for the review.

  110. It totally looks interesting. Looking at the ball of yarn, I’m thinking that it’s something that I wouldn’t have chosen either. I tend to like more “traditional” yarns. I’m glad you like it, though. What a pleasant surprise.

  111. I am in love with this sweater and it makes me want to try it, too, even though I too prefer yarn made (to quote EZ) “from the simple silly sheep”…
    PS, have you ever dared to try Red Heart Heart & Sole sock yarn? I’m on a budget and it is right down the street at my craft store…plus it is 70% wool and treated with aloe to be extra soft…it knits up some reliable and comfy socks for me and some non- knitter friends who can be trusted to keep them out of the dryer!

  112. The Origami arrived today and WOW it IS not what I’d expected from your pictures (or the WEBS pix), but I love it!
    The feel is a little strange (I’ve been working with soft Chilean wool this week, so my fingers will need to adjust), but I can totally see how cool the sweater will look when I’m done.
    Thanks for the posting, I bet this will be my summertime favorite this year!

  113. I’m knitting with a yarn I was suspicious of and am actually rather not-hating it. Origami reminds me of a yarn Noro had (has?); like all Noro, it was interesting to use.

  114. Wow… yup… I can see how that yarn is WAY different than Red Heart Super Saver. (And Red Heart has sock yarn now… it’s not bad…)

  115. OMG!! You had precisely the same emotional response as I did on seeing Origami. I, too, have an unusual, if not maddening, compulsion to lurk on yarn sites, although your site choice is different from mine. In any event, I hate the look of the construction of the yarn; however, your post has led me to give Origami a go. Thanks.

  116. This yarn feel into my hands at Stitches South, about 9 skeins along with a pattern book. I am knitting Bellambie, which the WEBS person told me was on too large of a model in the pattern book. I hadn’t checked the YH blog before the event, but the minute she told my YH was knitting with the yarn I knew if she could love it, then I could love it too. We’ll see … it is different than the natural fibers I am used to. I got the jewel tones.

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