News from the Mill: April 2013
Old Patterns Made New!
Ever since we introduced our popular Perfection line of yarns we’ve been asked to make a variegated version. We are so happy to finally be able to do so!
Perfection Tapas will be available as a worsted weight. It is a four ply yarn with one variegated ply twisted with various base colors. This creates the depth of color that is unique to the Kraemer Yarns brand. We have designed it to work well with the existing colors of Perfection, as seen in the double knit scarf, or used alone as in the hat in the photograph.
We are excited for you to sample Perfection Tapas and hear what you think about the newest member of the Kraemer family!
Spring is here!
There was ice on the puddles this morning and snow is still in the forecast but at least it is time to think about spring and summer knitting. Our favorite yarns for lightweight garments are Tatamy, Tatamy Tweed, and Belfast. These cotton blend yarns are cool, comfortable, and have a variety of great colors to choose from.
Expect to see more colors in our Tatamy family of yarns in the coming months! We have some lovely spring and summer patterns written especially for these yarns. The Surprise Shrug and Tabitha are must have accessories for cool spring days and summer evenings. Crocheters will be challenged by the Irish Waves Sweater, crocheted from the center out!
Since we’ve discontinued Summit Hill, we’ve been working hard to rewrite our popular free Summit Hill patterns for new yarns.
Some patterns will feature updated design elements, others will find new life in fresh colors.
Our first reformat is the Sidewinder Sweater. We love how the two shades of orange work together in
Behind the Scenes
In previous newsletters we discussed blending, carding, and drawing.
Drawing produces a sliver in which the bundle of fibers is continuous, uniform and ready to be “spun” into yarn.
In this newsletter we will talk about spinning. There are three major spinning processes: cotton, woolen, and long staple. Long staple includes both worsted and semi worsted systems.
Kraemer Textiles is a long staple mill, producing yarn from fibers which are 3” to 6” in length. In spinning, the sliver is fed from large cans from the back of the machine to the front, where it is then fed through a series of rollers and aprons. These rollers and aprons elongate, or draft, the sliver reducing its diameter to the desired yarn size.
The sliver continues below and receives twist from a spindle which is turning at a high rate of speed inside a ring. The sliver, which has now become yarn, passes through a traveler which is freely moving around the ring. The turning of the bobbin and the movement of the traveler around the ring inserts twist into the yarn. This entire process is referred to as spinning.
A: You could, but you probably won’t like the finished garment. We always advocate checking your gauge, especially before casting on for a sweater, but there’s more to gauge than just getting the right number of stitches per inch! You also need to consider the fabric that is created.
Q: I have a beautiful pattern that calls for Perfection Worsted but I happen to have Perfection Chunky in my stash. I can get gauge with Perfection Chunky but it’s pretty dense. Can I use it anyway?
When you look at a pattern, it often specifies the weight of yarn used by the designer to get gauge. If you use a yarn thicker or thinner than the recommended yarn, you could end up with a garment that is too stiff and dense or too airy and open. Some designs work well with a tight structure. Socks, for example should be knit tightly for good wear. On the other hand, scarves, shawls, and most lace designs benefit from a loose fabric.
Most other garments fall somewhere between these two extremes. If you’d like to experiment, find a ball of yarn with a recommended needle size on the label. Cast on 20 sts or so with a needle two sizes smaller than recommended. Knit in stockinette stitch for three inches then change to the recommended needle size. Work for another three inches and then change to a needle two sizes larger than recommended and work for three inches. Bind off. You’ll see and feel a difference between the three needles you used.
Another thing to consider is that gauge affects the way yarn feels. Even the softest merino will feel stiff and hard if you knit it to a very tight gauge. So while you may be tempted by the thriftiness of using yarn from your stash, knitting Perfection Chunky at a worsted gauge would not show off the lovely properties of the yarn and would actually be more wasteful than thrifty. We have many free patterns for Perfection Chunky on our website or, if you are in love with the pattern you have, try the Perfection Worsted. When you put that much time into making a garment by hand, it is worth it to buy the right materials.
Not only will you love the finished project, but the process of knitting or crocheting will be so much more enjoyable. And isn’t that what knitting is all about? Enjoying the process!
Kraemer Yarn • PO Box 72, Nazareth , PA
18064-0072 • 800-759-5601 • FAX 610-759-4157