I've joined another online Knit Along, this time to make Jade Starmore's "Beadwork". The KAL is at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BeadworkKAL/ We're all in the middle of chosing fiber for this beautiful cardigan which is one color and uses purl stitches to make the sweater appear to be beaded.
I'm very lucky and live about a half hour from Halcyon Yarns in Bath, Maine. This is a huge yarn shop originally set up for weavers but knitters now have as much space. Always fun to drive up and visit the shop plus see all the yarns in person. I took all the Beadwork swatches and talked with staff and other knitters. We all agreed the only one that really worked was the Harrisville Shetland. Sat in the store and knitted a small swatch with their in house Jagger 2/8 yarn and fell in love. Home now with two cones of color #9, pewter, and now will knit and post a larger swatch. This is right on gauge and also has a nice sheen to it. Ruth, the store knitting guru and teacher, told me she knits it right off the cone as it is already washed unlike the Harrisville Shetland. I'm going to knit a swatch off the cone and also knit a swatch with some pre washed to see the difference.
Photo is of all the swatches done to date plus the cone of pewter Jagger. Amazing how many yarns just did not work for a small gauge that needs to be firm and show stitches well.
Would useJagger Spun Maine Line Wool 2/8's
Fiber Content: wool fingering weight 2 plyGauge (stitches/in...needle size): 6.5 to 7 on size 2 to 3 Good color range
Price in Size: 1 lb cone, approx 2240 yds Price: $31.95
Price in Size: 275 yd mini-cone Price: $7.50
Nice tight twist and has a sheen to it
Stitches popped very well, fabric is firm but still soft (if that makes any sense)
Halycon Web site says "These versatile, high quality worsted spun yarns have become staples of commercial and recreational knitters, weavers, and others. Made in Maine of soft, medium grade wool, these yarns will easily make a way into clothing and other products. As a worsted spun yarn, it is smoother and shinier than woolen spun yarns, such as Harrisville. They also won't full as much when washed/finished, so plan on a closer set or tighter gauge (finish your swatch to determine if you like the finished piece). JaggerSpun is dyed with the finest dyes possible and mothproofed for a long life. Excess dyes may be present in some colors so sample first. If excess dye is present, skein the yarn and rinse until the water runs clear. Deep purples may not be colorfast when exposed to sun, so avoid prolonged exposure to bright light."