Thursday, August 5, 2010

RIP Panache...but viva la Capra!

Oh, keeping secrets is SO hard, especially when they're SO good: Not too long ago, the fabulous folks at Knit Picks very kindly offered me the chance to test-knit their newest yarn, Capra, which is a merino wool-and-cashmere blend DK. And let me tell y'all, this stuff is primo! It's also finally available, so I can finally talk about it. I've created a new design especially for Capra--two new designs, in fact. The Althea sweater pictured above (in a fab FO photo by Splityarn/Caro Sheridan) is available now, and a matching skirt will be coming as soon as I can make the finishing touches on the pattern. Together, they make a gorgeous and cozy knitted outfit that's perfect for autumn (just check out that delicious Tiger Lily orange--it makes me feel warmer just looking at it! Oh, no, wait--I feel warm because it's still 100 degrees here in Texas. Will autumn ever come??), but they work equally well as separates.

Capra's been a long time coming, as far as I'm concerned, because the yarn that made me a Knit Picks customer in the first place was Panache. Ah, Panache. Now, THERE was a yarn! A decadent blend of wool, silk, and cashmere, it was perfect for hats. I took one tender pat of it at a knitting circle meeting, demanded to know where it came from, and then darted home to Google "Knit Picks," which I seriously had never heard of before that day, and order enough Panache for half a dozen watchcaps. (Now is as good a time as any to thank Staceyjoy Elkin for her Marsan Watchcap pattern. It's the Platonic ideal of knitted hats, and the fact that she's made the pattern available for free is something to be truly grateful for.) And some Alpaca Cloud lace yarn. And, um, I may have gotten some sock yarn with that first order, too; I really cannot recall, your Honor.

But then the dark day came not long after that--or not long enough, as far as I was concerned--when Panache was discontinued. Sniff, sniff. I still have a couple balls of dark gray in the stash that I'm saving for a very, very special project someday. A cabled cozy for a gold brick? Baby sweater for a newborn empress? No, I mean something REALLY the meantime, I'll be using Capra to feed my cashmere-blend jones. And lest you think this post was all one big commercial for Knit Picks, well, coming up with the Althea pattern and the Billington Bag have both reminded me of how great it is to work in something other than fingering and lace weight yarns. Althea works up super-quick--I cranked out the below-the-knee skirt in just over a week--and it's well-suited to any DK weight yarn you like. The Sublime cashmerino-silk DK is a particular pleasure to work with, in my experience. (Just make sure you're not mixing balls of the DK and the aran, like I did on the prototype for my Harriet sweater.) So go to town! I already told you that you can't have the last of my Panache, so you better find something else out there you like to knit with...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh, Snowden. You've done it again! I had to get the Billington Bag and Althea patterns from KP and I haven't even finished any of the others yet. *shame-face here*
Beverly IS making progress, it's just been soooo hot here that 100% wool makes my fingernails sweaty lol
you so rawk!