Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Magallanes Has Spoken

Thank you all for your generous comments about Hayley and her new sweater. The sweater went to school today, and when Hayley came home, I asked if she had received compliments. "Tons!" She exclaimed, "They loved the buttons!"

As I was finishing up the last details on said Buttony-Sweater, a skein of Araucania Magallanes politely inquired if I might be inclined to roll it into a ball and maybe think about swatching, if I didn't have anything better to do. Once I had it in a ball, it waited until after dinner and then mentioned that what it had always wanted to be, even whilst on the back of a sheep, was a Wool Peddlar's Shawl. You know the one from the Cheryl Oberle book?

That's not a bad idea, I thought, especially since I've been wanting to make a Wool Peddlar's Shawl for several months. I told the Magallanes that we would see how it performed in a simple garter stitch pattern, and that if all went well, we could just keep on going.

As it turns out, the yarn seemed to know exactly what it was meant to be because we are both enjoying the experience tremendously. Now don't get too excited about this triangle. It is really quite a small triange with delusions of grandeur. But it's going places. Oh yes it is.

The first three photos show the colour reasonably accurately. This is colour 303, a mix of greens that ranges from deep, almost black, bluey-green, down to pale buff/grey tones with shades of sage and dried grass in between. Magallanes is spun thick 'n thin, and the thick and thin sections repeat regularly, about every eight to ten inches. At its thinnest, it's sport weight, at its thickest heavy worsted. I'm working with a 5mm needle, and I like the fabric I'm getting. I've included this last photo, taken in sunlight because I think it gives the best picture of the texture. Don't forget you can click on all photos to enlarge them.

The yarn is a pleasure to knit, even in a repetitive stitch like garter because the colour and thickness is always changing. The fabric is visually and texturally interesting to watch, even while knitting. It puts me in mind of marsh grasses.

And how does it feel? Well it's not decadently soft like merino. It reminds me of Noro Kureyon, but it's much nicer on the hands than Kureyon. I wound a 100g/240yd skein into a ball and found no twigs (ok, one twig) and no knots. The yarn feels wooly and hairy but does not scratch my hands like Kureyon does. It's rustic without being annoying. I have a feeling I'm going to miss knitting it when it is all gone. I've heard this stuff felts well, and I can believe it. Spit-splicing will be a breeze. I suspect it will soften a bit in the wash, but I don't expect to wear this one against bare skin.


CatBookMom said...

You've been reading The Panopticon! Franklin has a resident population of skeins of sock yarns, with a particularly sociable one named Harry, who often interacts in the same way, though he hasn't asked to be knitted.

I have some of the non-merino yarn from Handpainted Yarn, and I'm wondering if the Magallanes (SP?) feels similar?

jayne said...

Oooh...high praise indeed! I haven't been reading Franklin as regularly as I used to, but I catch up on Harry and his doings every now and then. He had some very funny cartoons a while back about Harry "playing" with Mrs. Teitelbaum's cat.

I would say that yes, the Magallanes feels quite similar to Handpainted's non-merino. I had considered saying that in the post actually. Magallanes is lighter in gauge/weight than the bulky wool Handpainted. Good call, CBM.

Having a Knit Fitt said...

Love the way it is knitting up into the shawl. Excellent choice.

Kim said...

Your yarn talks to you too? I wish mine would speak up a little more loudly sometimes so that I wouldn't end up frogging so much.

Madge said...

It's great that your yarn is so self-aware, because your shawl is working up very nicely indeed!

Lisa W. said...

Oh that looks so exactly like what I'm hoping for! Hooray! mine should be here today and I can finish Lady E and start playing with this this weekend. I don't have a specific pattern in mind yet. Great review! And that will be a spectacular nice and comforting in those healing tones. Loved the Buttons Sweater on H. Great modification on the sleeves...I hate ribbing around my wrists too most of the time so will be incorporating that "jaynetip" into the bank.

Karin said...

I wish I had that yarn, the helpful tips on what to knit with it would be great. Even better to find a self-knitting skein or two, just for those times when you really HAVE to give in and sleep :)!

Anonymous said...

The Wool Peddlar's Shawl is the perfect pattern for this yarn, is seems. The pics really show off the character of the yarn.