Okay, so I do have a whole bunch to say, but I think I will write another post on New Year’s Eve with all of that in it.
Right now I would like to share a bit of a yarn love story with you. Yes…you will need a hanky! If you have been here with me for awhile you know I have a thing for longwools. I pretty much love everything about longwool breeds from their cute little faces framed with those long and lovely locks, to the stunning fiber and yarns that we create, and lastly all the knitwear we knitters make with them.
As a spinner and yarn designer I love the silky smoothness as it slips through my fingers and twisted onto the bobbin. As a dyer… oh my, the saturation of hue you get with longwools in just stunning and the luminescence leaves this fiber fanatic weak in the knees. And then there is the knitting, crocheting and weaving of it!
I vividly remember the very first time I ever dyed a longwool fiber. Some lovely soul have gifted me with some Wensleydale top and locks. I think I had only been dyeing about a year or so at that point, so I was still learning a lot about dyeing different fiber types. I washed the locks and prepped my dye pot, and then when all was ready, I dumped them in. I could tell as soon as they hit the pot that they were different than the other fibers I had been dyeing. I stood there pretty much the whole time it took for the locks to absorb the color and exhaust the pot. I used a gold with some green flecks (‘Pond Scum’s great-grand color); I could see depths of shade I was not getting or seeing in some of the merinos I was dyeing. Which (I now know) is due to those larger scales that longwools have and the way those scales can reflect the light!
So… fast forward a few years to when I have brought in Socks that Rock® and am considering another yarn base. Of course, I knew it had to be a longwool or some blend thereof. I was looking at and testing samples, but was not really thrilled with any of them — I was searching for a more rustic-looking yarn. And then I stumbled upon BFL SPORT and quite honestly it was love at first stitch.
One of my most prized sweaters is knit our of BFL Sport by my friend Anna Zilboorg. I cherish it for many reasons ( Anna knit it!!) but most definitely because of the yarn! Also a story for another time that I think I have not shared with you that I need to.
So much loft our BFL SPORT has all the while also feeling seriously smooth and silky. I love the fabric it creates and was all set to have all the things knitted in it. BFL SPORT has been part of the Blue Moon garment yarn line-up for longer than I can remember — at least 14 years. Which, in the life of a yarn base is quite a while. (You can feel where this is going now, can’t you?)
Yes, our lovely BFL SPORT is being discontinued. And yes it is very sad. It is being discontinued because it is not pulling its weight, meaning it does not sell as well as it used to or as we need it to. Making a yarn base from the sheep on up is timely and expensive (even more so these days). Which means if a yarn is not pulling its weight, then it needs to make way for one that will, to support the whole yarn-making and -selling chain.
Also one has to keep current with what the end user (knitter, crocheter, weaver) wants to use; and right now, that is pretty much only anything Merino and superwashed. I know there are those of us who love using other breeds and yarns that are not superwash-treated; but we are not in the majority right now. Trends are one of the reasons a yarn is discontinued, but also it can be as simple as us not buying it up in the quantities it needs for the mill to keep spinning it.
In order to have a yarn base stick around it needs to be supported! Which means it needs designers to use it and knitters, crocheters and weavers to buy it and use and and talk about it and spread the word! So when you see one of us yarnies say a yarn is being shelved it is mostly because of usage. And you know, in the grand scheme of a growing and changing wool/yarn/knit industry there are changes that need to happen. Yarn-evolution! I just think that I see a trend toward yarns that are easy care and homogenous — and that’s a trend I find concerning.
We are offering our wonderful BFL SPORT at a ‘goodbye and thank you for being wonderful’ discount while the supply lasts. So if you love this yarn, now is your chance to stock up! Maybe we should have a “Tina’s Sweater” KAL to say goodbye to our BFL yarn friend.
I have changed the price of BFL SPORT from 38.00 to $29.64
Seduction is also changed from 27.00 to $20.25
That means both are over 20% off!
We are also offering the same discount on our Seduction yarn for the same reason. I will be writing another blog post a little later in the week.
Below you will find all kinds of BFL SPORT love from Karen.
Have you knitted with a luster longwool lately? There’s something truly special about the breeds of sheep that grow these long-staple fibers: Wensleydales, Cheviots, and Cotswolds can all trace their sheepy lineage back to the Leicesters. The Bluefaced Leicester grows the finest fleece of all the Leicesters, which means its fiber has a lustrous quality to it that almost makes it look like it’s been blended with silk. So you get all the benefit of woolly bounce with a sheen and shimmer that really sings!
BFL Sport hits that sweet spot between fingering- and DK-weights, and its lustrous loft means that you can knit all sorts of great patterns that would call for a fingering-weight knitted ‘open’ on larger needles – and that’s a huge range of great patterns these days!
Also, since Tina’s generous skeins clock in at a whopping 660+ yards each, you’ll only need one for a whole set of accessories, or two or three for a sweater. Throw in the discount, and you’ve got a 100% wool, breed-specific, hand-dyed unique garment for under or around $100! Win-win.
I did a few swatches just to see where this yummy yarn likes to live, gauge-wise. My little swatch friends were bouncy before blocking, and fluffy and well-behaved afterwards. My stitch gauge opened up just a bit, but my row gauge remained stable – all indications of a bouncy, reliable wool yarn. The washed swatches have a lovely fluffy halo to them – like a kitten, fresh out of the bath (minus the claw marks and drawn blood! swatching is SO much easier than bathing a cat!!).
My fluffy little swatches were knitted in the colorway “Spruced”: bottom right was knitted on 3.5mm/US4 needles, and top left was knitted on 4mm/US6. Between these needle sizes, I’m getting fabric gauges from 23 to 21 stitches = 4″/10cm; perfect territory for all sorts of great garment patterns.
The fabric here has beautiful loft without being heavy, so we’ll be looking at patterns that don’t require a ton of drape. Instead, we’ll be looking for lightweight, wearable wonders to take advantage of BFL Sport’s next-to-skin-softness and slight silky sheen.
The lightweight fluffiness of the swatch on the US6 had me thinking about Joji Locatelli’s “The Easy One” (right), originally written for Brooklyn Tweed Loft. For those of you who the lofty texture but would rather work with a worsted-spun yarn, BFL Sport would be a great candidate in this super-simple, sweatshirt-wearable design. And perhaps best of all, 2-4 skeins will cover sizes XS to 4XL!
At that same gauge (and similar simplicity), the “No Frills Cardigan” by PetiteKnit (left) would be a lightweight, three-season wonder! Knit from the top down with easy raglan shaping, you could be wearing this way before winter rolls over into spring. (Plus, who doesn’t love pockets? These set-in pockets look particularly enchanting.)
Or, if a pert little cardigan is more what you’re after, “Waits” by Bristol Ivy (right) would take advantage of the firmer end of BFLS’ gauge range. Bouncy little garter-stitch edges would stay tidy wear after wear – this sweater would really hold its shape, and be super-packable because it would be so lightweight! Bust sizes from 37″ to 57″+ can be knitted from just 2–4 skeins of BFLS.
Want just a taste of BFL? Order up a single skein in that colorway that’s been driving you to distraction and whip up a “Boneyard Shawl” — STAT! (Awww — lookit that: Stephen West as a little lad, before his artsy Amsterdam reinvention!)
Gosh — now I’m even sorrier to see this lovely lustrous yarn friend go. Think I’ll order up a few skeins to make myself my own “Tina’s Sweater” — but in the meantime, I’ll be winding up my two skeins of “Spruced” to make my Waits cardigan … it’s been in the queue too long!
Okay I think that is good for now. I would like to say thank you and farewell to these two lovely yarns in a proper way with a KAL. So pick your pattern and stock up and we will set a date where we will all cast on and do a whole lotta sharing. Stay tuned for more details and Seduction pattern ideas. Karen is all escited about being the lead on this one!
Have a good weekend!