Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Nazareth Yarns // Spicule Hat

 I recently received a skein of a new-to-me yarn: Kraemer Yarns Naturally Nazareth. It's a worsted-weight merino blend, and I'd compare it to a good, solid workhorse yarn like Cascade 220. I got the Breeze colorway, which is entirely un-descriptive of the pretty purple-red heather, but hey, they get to name their yarns whatever they want. I really love the color. It's probably the best heather I've ever seen in person. Terrific color. I do love reddish purples.

The best part of this yarn, in my opinion, is that it's entirely US made. The sheep live in the US, and they spin the yarn in Pennsylvania. As someone who cares about where her clothes come from, this is important. As sewers and knitters, it's easy to feel all high and mighty because we know where these jeans came from (I made them in my sewing room), but it's easy to overlook the materials- I admit that I have no idea where the denim came from. That bothers me a little bit, because who's to say that the denim wasn't made in a sweatshop overseas, which is the exact thing I'm trying to avoid by sewing my own jeans? No one, that's right. If you're also concerned about these things, well then here you go. A wool that's grown and processed in this country, comes in pretty colors and good yardage, and knits up well. Done, and done.

I decided to make this yarn into a hat, for reasons that I'm still not clear on. Possibly I will give this as a Christmas gift. Or I'll add it to my hat collection. Don't know. I just wanted to knit something fairly quick after the dumpster fire of a week it's been for this country and for human rights. And I like twisted stitches.

I picked Hunter Hammerson's Spicule pattern. It's a great pattern because you actually get three different hat patterns in one, PLUS patterns for miniature (Christmas ornament) sized versions of each hat. AND she gives you a chart of three different gauge/cast-on combos for each hat, so there are tons and tons of options for sizing. A bargain for sure.

I made the Frazil version. If you like twisted knit stitches, and luckily I do, this is the hat for you. The cables are twisted as well which is totally neat. If you do want to make a hat from this pattern, I'd highly, highly recommend learning to cable without a cable needle if you don't already know how to do that. I think I would have been terribly annoyed if I had to use a cable needle while knitting.

Anyway. The yarn. The longer I knitted with this yarn, the more I liked it. At first I thought maybe it wouldn't be soft enough for next-to-skin wear, but somehow it seemed to soften up as I was knitting. It's a good solid yarn- like what I would want to knit a sweater for my husband. A perfectly wooly wool. And the color! I can't get over the perfect heather. I do love a good heather.

Full disclosure: I received this yarn for free in exchange for a review. I bought the pattern because it's so important to support indie designers.

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