I wanted to keep this simple. I have written many times about using luxury yarn in projects in a number of my blogs posts. But this time, I wanted to talk simply about the aesthetic experience.
Yarn itself is a wondrous thing. It comes always from a source of life. Whether it be animal or plant or both, it once was part of a living thing. Sheared, cut and spun, it is transformed into another form of itself. A form that is pliable enough to manipulate into so many different forms that are unique, useful and wonderful. From garments or blankets to soothe and keep you warm, to rugs, bags, and even wall hangings.
When I hold a skein of Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere in my hand, the beauty of it is unmistakable. It is so soft and vibrant. I always think about the animal in Mongolia that was sheared, and what his world looks like. Has he been pampered and fed only the best of food to create his beautiful coat? How far has that coat traveled (and to where?) to be cleaned and spun into a wondrous skein of yarn? What did it look like and feel like before color was added to it?
I am currently making a scarf from Jade Sapphire, and I have enjoyed the project from the minute I casted on my first stitch. Although I use and enjoy circular needles (Addi Turbos being my favorite), there is nothing more satisfying to me than using a pair of gorgeous Lantern Moon Needles to work with wonderful yarn. In my opinion, they were meant for each other. The needle, being handmade out of palm wood, rosewood or ebony (my favorite) feels as luxurious as the yarn with which I am working. They remind me of a violin. The wood polished and smooth, and just slippery enough. Together with my cashmere, they complete the experience.
Cashmere is definitely extravagant, and every knitter should at least one time in their life have the experience of using it. In fact, there are a number of fibers one should try knitting with, to get the pure enjoyment of how they feel and what the finished project looks like.
If you love knitting, using yarns such as Fibre Company’s Road to China or Canopy is a pure delight. Both yarns are combinations of different beautiful fibers that create yarns that are extraordinary to knit with. (Or to crochet with, by the way). They have a similar hand (drape) as cashmere, in that they flow and are wonderfully soft.
Another not-to-be-missed experience is knitting with silk. Madeline Tosh makes a Tussah Silk that is indescribable. It is gorgeous alone, but I have run it with Shibui Silk Cloud, and these two yarns together are magical. Just by touching these two knitted together, people have immediately purchased it. It is dreamy light, and absolutely stunning.
I’m guessing that by this point, you’re getting the idea of where I’m going with all this. If you are the kind of knitter who gets pleasure and a thrill from every aspect of the experience, then you already know what I’m talking about. Knitting has always been a practical activity for many years. Having said that, so is cooking.
But I am not talking about whipping up a meal for the family on the run. I am talking about the joy of using fresh, wonderful ingredients for a special meal. A meal you have taken pleasure in preparing. A meal that tastes like all the special ingredients you put into it … including yourself. One that is savored and enjoyed by you and your guests.
You know who you are: You are a gourmet cook. You are also a gourmet knitter.
And that is what I am describing above: a gourmet knitter. If you have already experienced the pleasure of using a luxury yarn, I am pleased. Nothing compares to it, and you already know it.
If you are a diehard knitter, and haven’t already done so, I invite you to treat yourself to the experience. As in many situations, I personally would rather invest in one amazing project than three ordinary ones. Anyone who truly loves to knit should know what it feels like to work with amazing yarn at least once in their life.
You, as a knitter, have sought out a way to create something. That is a powerful and essential thing for everyone to do. I hope that you will think about extending that creative experience into something that celebrates it even further, by using the type of yarn that optimizes a higher standard of the creation itself.