Knit and Crochet Design Week starts today!

Today, the theme for design week is yarn … which one will I use for my design and why.

Here are some interesting thoughts Stacey mentioned this morning on her post:
Because my stuffed animal will be the sample for a FreshStitches pattern, I need to take a few factors into consideration:

  • Is the yarn widely available? I have customers from all over, so I try to pick a yarn that is accessible.
  • Will the yarn still be on the market next season? I don’t want to release a pattern that recommends a color that has been discontinued!
  • Is the yarn easily substitutable? Even though I recommend a particular yarn/colorway, my customers come from all over the world, and it’s impossible for me to pick a yarn that everyone has access to. So, I try to select types of yarn that are generally available and easy to substitute. So… you won’t see me using any lime-green glitter eyelash yarn!

For my stuffed animals, I prefer to use a worsted weight yarn made of natural fibers. I know it’s an unusual choice… many folks like to crochet amigurumi with acrylic yarn. But, I love the feel of natural fibers and they hold up very well over time.

Now, my situation in some ways is quite similar to Stacey’s — I too want a yarn that is widely available since I’ll be publishing the design (both in my Ravelry and Craftsy stores), a classic colorway and fiber that will stand the test of at least this year’s fashion dictates, and easy substitutablity in case someone can’t get the exact yarn I recommend.

Yarn choice: Tofutsies in yellows, oranges, reds and purples!

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I want my mantillaetta to be similar to my Pervenche poncho — altho I want it a bit shorter. I want it to flow like Pervenche and have great lace-stitch definition. The obvious choice for yarn then is the same — Tofutsies. Tofutsies is made from 50% superwash wool, 25% soysilk, 22.5% cotton and 2.5% chitin (ground up crab/shrimp shells) — a nice mix of fibers that gives great stitch definition, washes and blocks beautifully and drapes perfectly. This yarn is available at LYSs and online. But if a knitter couldn’t find this yarn, a similar blended fingering-weight yarn could be substituted (and with the plethora of hand-dyes and machine-dyes out there that have a similar color mix, this should be relatively easy yarn to substitute). The color-mix is a classic combination, reminiscent of summer sunsets, tropical clothing and warm days — a perfect mix of yellows, oranges, reds and purples to reflect the sun-burst theme of the design.

So I’ve got the design idea, the techniques and now the yarn … tomorrow I’ll talk about the overall process of putting it all together into a gorgeous wearable hand-knit and a publishable pattern! Check out Stacey’s post to find how others choose their yarns and why.

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