blend 1, batch 1

March 20, 2016

Ysolda has introduced a yarn, Blend #1 under her own label.  As soon as I heard it was for sale, I plunged in.  Often enough, breed specific, small batch designer yarns are only available for a short time. When I've given myself time to think about whether or not I actually need it (as if) and then go back later to buy it, poof, it's gone, sold out.  I've missed out on every one of Clara Parke's offerings by dilly-dallying.  I was determined not to miss out on this so I'm glad I splurged without thinking!

The squishy soft skein holds the promise of being sublimely silky against the skin.  Knitting my swatch was bliss--this is a yarn that glides over the needles with ease; very lady-like and well-behaved.  The stitches laid flat even before blocking. From Ysolda:  An undyed blend of Merino (50%), Polwarth(40%) & Zwartbles (10%). Worsted spun with 3 plies, Blend no.1 has a smooth, rounded structure that creates squishy, 3-dimensional cables and textured stitches. The subtle tonal variation and halo make minimalist garments equally beautiful.  After knitting and fondling my lovely swatch, I decided to take Ysolda's latter advice and knit something minimalist to showcase the simple beauty of the fabric of this absolutely gorgeous yarn.  However, then I started thinking cables: tiny, dainty cables.  I'm toying with making Amalia by Pam Allen below, (I'll be adding sleeves), or Friday Anew (the long-sleeved pullover below) by Ankestrick.  I'll make either one of them no matter, just deciding what yarn to use.  Both would be pretty in Kidsilk Haze too. I will pattern shop a bit longer and hope to find a pullover with some smallish cables.  Oh, the possibilities!  The color is a pale silver gray.  You can see in the pictures below that the subtle color variations gives a hint of color movement to each stitch.

With US 4 needles my gauge was 25 sts. to 4 in.  With US 5 my gauge was 22 st. to 4 in.

I've met Ysolda a few times at knitting shows.  She is completely and utterly adorable.
More from Ysolda:  White Merino and Polwarth are organically farmed in the Falkland Islands where mulesing is not an issue. Zwartbles is a Dutch breed with unusually dark fibre, long legs and a distinctive white blaze, ours is grown close to the John Arbon mill in Exmoor.  Blend no.1 blooms when wet into a cohesive fabric with a slight halo. The white and dark fibres blend into a subtly uneven grey with an appearance that's closer to a marled sweatshirt fabric than a traditional heathered yarn.

Purchase Blend No. 1 here.  (Edited 3/21: Sorry, sold out already!)

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  1. What a beautiful yarn! Lucky you to have got some--
    Polwarth, Zwartbles, what quirky-sounding names. So, I had to find out more and it was most interesting.

    1. I just Wiki'ed them too! There is so much that goes on behind the little hobby we love so much!

  2. That yarn looks amazing! It would be lovely in either of the patterns, but I especially like the Friday Anew.

  3. Beautiful yarn, I just looked it up and it was unavailable:( On another note, while I was on Spring break last week, I bought 4 skeins of Classic Elite Silky lace to start a Pi shawl. I've never tried this yarn before and was having so much trouble with the beginning, (CO 9 stitches divide on DPNs, knit then YO, etc.) yarn slipped off aluminum DPNs then switched to bamboo and I couldn't tell what stick was next without twisting, so I decided to do the first 5 rows on straights then switch to DPNs, any tips in case I decide to frog and start over?

    1. I think the yarn sold out the first day so I did amend my post to note that. I'm sure with her success Ysolda will have another Batch or two!

      As far as my advice for the beginning of the Pi Shawl??? Ummm, stick with it! The first inch is just a mess to deal with, but once it's over, hey, it's over and then the fun begins!

  4. What a great find, Kristen! The subtle, natural color really suits the modern-cut tops you have chosen. I can't wait to see what you decide to knit with this yarn!

  5. How did the Blend No. 1 swatch change when you blocked it? Did it grow or shrink in size? I am thinking of knitting a sweater using Blend No. 1 but so need to estimate yardage. Thanks, Christine


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