Sunday, March 27, 2016

A Little Bit More on Lett-Lopi Yarn - What Does it Feel Like When It's Knitted and Blocked?

There aren't a lot of posts or resources that will tell you what Lett-Lopi (Icelandic yarn) actually feels like when you wear it. And when you feel it on the skein you might be afraid to give it a try because it's very scratchy. It's not a plush ball of softness of the sort we next-generation knitters trend towards. But man, this stuff is never going to pill.

Having worn my new vest yesterday (admittedly only once so far) I can tell you this:
  • It was incredibly warm but not in the way that some knits tend to overheat one. There was a lot of openness in the fabric so that it trapped warmth but also allowed for circulation. A+ on this account.
  • Scratchy does NOT equal itchy. Scratchy is a quality of long and short fibers cohering in an unrefined yarn. Itchy is what happens when you wear mohair or alpaca or acrylic (or something else which your personal ecosystem may not appreciate). So, unless you're sensitive to wool, I don't think you need to worry.
  • Scratchy does NOT equal harsh. This yarn - which touched my neck all over, for hours, was actually beautifully soft. Sure, soaking it in hair conditioner didn't hurt - not that it softened the hand more than slightly. I had no reaction. I can imagine that if you wore this and overheated (started sweating) you could get uncomfortable because then the wool halo and the sweat would start to interact. But I had no issues with it and I'm the one who loves cashmere. No, I wouldn't make a fitted sweater out of it - or something which would directly touch a large portion of my skin - because I prefer thinner knits in that context and this might produce a weird sensation against one's entire torso. Mind you, I would make gloves or a scarf out of it without concern. Note: The peeps who wear Icelandic sweaters, made with this yarn, are likely wearing a layer between the non-fitted sweater and their bodies.
Inasmuch as every use of different styles of yarn advances one's understanding of this craft, of textile production, of fiber - I totally recommend that you give it a try. I don't think there's huge application for this yarn, for most people, but those who love it are really hooked. FWIW, if you're not in a northern climate, I think it would be too warm a material to utilize more than exceedingly occasionally.

I would use it again, though I won't rush out to buy it. What can I say? You can take the girl out of the worsted-spun but you can't take the worsted-spun out of the girl... (Does that sound weird?)

But enough of my views - what do you think of Lett-Lopi?

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