Is there anything better

By Megan Goodacre

Is there anything better

than the rustle of tissue paper when you open a package? Not one, but two, boxes full of Americo Original yarn.

It's been a strange year, this 2013, starting off with chaos and deadlines. Although it was stressful and a lot of work, it was also very productive. But of course, it has been followed by the anticlimax of unpacking, cleaning, and recovery. Recovery of a sort, but not thorough enough to feel refreshed. Being a fairly compulsive personality, but also a whinging one, I tend to work late into the night and then complain that I'm tired all the time.

So, for the past 2 or 3 weeks, I've been doing a little soul searching. How to stay interested in what I'm doing? How to keep up with a constantly changing industry that I don't know very much about? Knitting design, and maybe just design in general, is developing at such a heated pace that it's really hard to see where it's going. You find yourself taking on too many projects and making too many plans and then feeling stale. And stale is no good.

To ward off the staleness, I've decided to work away, slowly and carefully, at two small collections of patterns. Collections that I would both want to knit and wear. No gimmicks, no unnecessary details.

This first batch of yarn is for one of those collections. It's surprising (well, it surprises me) how long it can take to select a palette. I wanted to choose 8 colours that were fairly neutral as a group, but without being drab or dark. Versatile, but without being conservative. I toyed with using only one colour, but for a hand-knitter, that's too boring. If I were sewing, and could make multiple samples more quickly, it might be different. But with knitting, picking the right skein is very important.

Here are a few glimpses of some of the gorgeous skeins I received today. (The yellow is really hard to capture; it's looking a little green because I used a silver reflector, but it's a warm ochre colour, more towards the orange side of neutral than olive.) The gold and coral are pretty eye-catching, but they will be used in smaller projects as highlight colours. Most of the skeins are neutral: a pale grey heather, a pretty pearl, a couple of rich browns, and a dusty plum. Too bad I can't convey the tactile quality through photos, but there is a range of cashmere, baby suri, silk, pima cotton, merino, linen, and royal alpaca. And looking at this palette together, I'm pleased that I was able to resist the allure of the teals and greens (colours that appeal to me personally) and embrace a couple of different browns. "Brown" doesn't necessarily sound exciting, but it's actually a sophisticated colour. Warm, flattering and versatile.

Can't wait to get started.

Americo Yarn

Americo Yarn