Monday, June 15, 2015

May Classic Musings: Ancient Arts 3-Ply Fingering Sock

This year one of our main goals for Yarnbox was improving the subscriber experience. While we know that deep down, most of our subscribers are in it for the yarn more than patterns, we had be inundated with requests since day one about featuring patterns designed in the yarn, specifically for the weight included.

One of the main challenges this presented surfaced when we decided to do double-weight boxes -- specifically, when a box featured more than one weight and was sorted by member preferences. For these boxes, a little extra planning is required on my end to make everything run smoothly. We need four patterns: two for knitting, and two for crochet. Luckily, sometimes the yarn company steps up and lends a hand, as was the case for the 2015 May Classic shipment, featuring Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts.
This box was photographed with two different colorways, but members received matching skeins in their boxes this month.
Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts is run by Caroline and Dan Sommerfeld, who absolutely share our passion for this industry and beautifully executed yarns. By using small mills and unusual fiber blends, they've created yarns that feature both beautiful dyeing and wonderful textures.

Ancient Arts believes in a no-nonsense, easy-access approach to naming their fibers, so the yarns we featured were named simply Merino Nylon Bamboo Fingering and Merino Nylon Bamboo DK, respectively. As you can probably guess, these yarns featured a unique blend of Merino wool, Bamboo for shine, and Nylon for some added stretch and durability. This particular blend makes the fingering weight exceptional for lighter-weather socks, or either base ideal for warmer-climate accessories.
The full suite of patterns offered gave Yarnbox Classic members lots of projects to choose from. For the DK weight yarn, a pattern from Caroline herself was featured for our knitters.

The Honeycomb Mobius Cowl, a cozy ring of fabric, challenged our knitting members to try a new technique and purposefully twist their cast-on rows to achieve the mobius effect.

Members who preferred to crochet with their shipment of DK weight Merino Nylon Bamboo could access the sexy, bohemian Miranda Vest from designer Carolyn Carleton at Living Skies Crochet.

For the photoshoot, I paired the vest with a simple black jersey dress and a belt, but I've seen people around Nashville area wearing similar pieces with cutoff jeans and casual tank tops for a more 'festival' look I love equally as much! Some members working on this vest found that it was necessary to block carefully to get the best shape.

Those who got the Merino Nylon Bamboo Fingering weight had equally beautiful options to choose from! Designer April Garwood created the beautiful Tide Wrap, shown in name-appropriate colorway Under the Sea, a bright blue that made every crochet stitch glow. Button choice was a popular Yarnbox group discussion, with many members sharing their selections on the board and asking for feedback. 

The knit piece was a lovely shawl designed by Linda Browning. Linda's Yarnbox design coincided with her daughter Stephanie's departure from home to go to ballet school, and she wanted to celebrate that relationship through the Pas de Chale wrap, a piece designed to simulate the beauty of the ballet movement of the same name. One of the most special aspects about Linda's design is that she put together a Youtube video featuring her daughter dancing, with the wrap! Check it out here:

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