After I received a new yarn called Reinvent in the mail from the lovely folks at Ancient Arts Yarns and Stitch Craft Marketing, I literally stood paralysed. Due to the blend of this new yarn, socks were calling out to me. I could hear, Knit socks with me … socks … over and over.
While I may still knit socks with this yarn from another skein of yarn that I purchase from Ancient Arts Yarn in the near future, I couldn’t shake an idea to knit a shawl. The primary reason had nothing to do with the yarn itself, which was the reason I had chosen to review it in the first place – I was curious about the blend and how it would feel on the needles. Instead, I wanted to knit a shawl because I could not fathom knitting socks out of one of my absolute most favourite colours and then sticking said socks into my boots.
The colourway that was sent to me is Lapis lazuli and for those who know this stone, you will know that it is a beautiful rich blue with depth and texture. I have a pair of Lapis lazuli earrings from our trip to South America* a few years ago and they continue to be one of my most favourite pairs of earrings I have ever bought. Ever.
* I bought them in the Andes mountains in Chile, where they continue to mine Lapis lazuli to this day.
So while I was way-laid from my original plans to knit socks with this interesting blend, I still had an opportunity to knit something. I chose a shawl with an interesting name: Bark.
It doesn’t really inspire confidence in a pattern when it has a name like Bark, but looking at the texture of the stitch pattern, I was brought immediately back to the textures and details in my own stomping ground.
Most days, we head to the park or go exploring in our neighbourhood ‘forest’ which is a glorified path through overgrown shrubs and deciduous trees. Due to the area of the world we live in, however, it is usually green and lush. Bark, plain and brown as it is, usually has ivy and birds playing around it, housed within the tree the bark protects. Texture. Life. So I cast on!
The green textures that surround me on our morning walks are endless. Bark, moss, ivy.
The textures of the shawl reminded me so closely of these every day moments.
And the shawl itself? After what felt like miles and miles of knitting on a shawl that would never end, I cast it off on our way home from a family snowshoeing trip in February. The long repeats at the end of the shawl were what made it a long knit. The effect, however? Worth every stitch.
Pattern :: Bark by Sue Lazenby
Yarn :: Ancient Arts Yarn Reinvent in colourway Lapis lazuli
Needles :: 5.00mm, 32” circulars
What makes this yarn interesting is the blend of fibres. It is 49% wool, 34% Mohair, 11% nylon, 4% acrylic and 2% silk. To say it’s a bit of everything is an understatement. The man-made fibres in the yarn include nylon and acrylic. Many will argue that these fibres add strength and durability to a pair of socks. I’m on the fence about these man-made fibres. They may indeed add strength but natural wool and mohair do as well, which is where my interest lies.
Mohair has recently been enjoying a bit of a renaissance, which is wonderful. Namely, it is strong, lustrous and warm. It adds a lovely halo and sheen to knitted and woven pieces.
As a knitter walking through a yarn shop, one will notice that Mohair is often blended with wool or alpaca. Usually wool, the scales of the wool helps Mohair keep its shape once washed and blocked due to the lack of scales on the Mohair fibres. Interestingly, the lack of scales is part of the reason for the sheen and lustre. The small silk content of this yarn further adds to the sheen and ‘luxury’ feeling of this yarn.
Would I buy this yarn again? Yes. Probably for socks. Did I enjoy working with it? Very much. The testimony is in the finished piece – it is lustrous, soft and lovely to wear.
Thank you to Ancient Arts Yarns and Stitch Craft Marketing for the opportunity to knit with this yarn!
Until next time, Happy Knitting,