Thursday, August 19, 2010

ECO is here, ECOis here

Cascade's Ecological Wool--"Eco"-- is (FINALLY) stuffing the shelves at Knitting Etc. And we should all go empty those shelves as fast as Hickory stuffs them. This yarn does anything you want it to and does it fast. And inexpensively. You won't believe how much yarn you get for how little money. 478 yards: when you wind it into balls, you need to make at least three balls. It goes on and on and on, this yarn does. (This may well be why Hickory was reluctant to stock it: she can't earn much. But our gratitude must count for a lot.)

I fell under Eco's spell when I was away on leave last year, away at WEBS in Massachusetts, where Eco went on sale (!). A knitting friend and I emptied a few shelves, and Eco has been my buddy ever since. It's my default yarn: whenever I ponder what to do next and no baby present or intricate new pattern needs to be done, I fall back on my big ole stash of ECO.

You can knit it at suggested gauge--fourteen to sixteen stitches per 4 inches, on #9 or #10 needles--that will go fast and glorious. Or you can as comfortably knit at a smaller gauge for a denser fabric. This latter is what I so often find myself choosing. Since now I know that I get five stitches to the inch with a number six needle, I don't even need to do a swatch; just start knitting and thinking of what I'll do next.

Yup, knit then think is not the obvious order for doing a project, but with ECO I'm so eager to get going, that I think of the person I'm knitting for, his or her circumference, and off I go, planning on the way.

I just finished the owl jacket at the top of the page, for one of my twin grand daughters (for both of them, one at a time, that is), transposing the "mooody owls" from a mitten pattern, choosing Alice Starmore fair isle patterns, and coming up with a few of my own. As you can see from the photos below, I have favored the un-dyed tones (with a pinch of red someone gave me). Hickory is now selling both the un-dyed and the intriguing dyed or "colored" yarns (nicknamed "Eco + ").

Here are pictures of most of what I've done with ECO this year, with dear departed Yogi sleeping in the sun for scale in this first picture:

This is a pattern called "Pakuna," and I nicknamed it "Zebra Pakuna," to send to my daughter in South Africa. A friend modelled it; afterwards I added a Latvian braid to cover a few of the rough edges:"Pillow" and "Back Of"--for a friend who'd once made a pillow for me.

And, below, experiments with Barbara Walker "mosaic" stitches:

1 comment:

Kiko said...

Beautiful! Thanks Lynda, I ll have to try Eco asap. Noticed it in shop and was curious, amazed at reasonable price. Good to know it's as nice as it seems.