KnitBits #176 from Berroco

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Berroco Peruvia® wool from the Andes

Today we are introducing an exquisite new wool roving that is grown, spun and dyed in the mountains of Peru. Peruvia™ is available in a knitterly palette of 22 earthy heathers and 3 solid shades. When knit to a loosened gauge, it felts easily into a full and light fabric that's great for bags. Peruvia has a superior stitch definition when knit to 4.25 Sheeps of Perusts per inch on a size 10 needle. Due to the fine quality of this highland wool and to the subtlety of twist in this single ply, a finished garment in Peruvia has a unique lightness. Norah and I are delighted with the newest member of our Natural Classic range of yarns.

As soon as the samples arrived in color #7114 Chipotle, we dove into our first projects. Today we are posting free instructions for our first designs in this fabulous new yarn. Norah designed Pike, a vest that has the modern look of the pieces featured in our very popular Booklet #262 Yin & Yang. She chose to include some easy moss stitch and a braided cable with a rolled reverse stockinette edge. There is a stockinette gusset in back to allow the ease and a slight flutter that looks so great layered over a longer piece. We've pinned it at the center neck with a decorative safety pin, but there are many other ways to style this stunner.

I wanted to test the felting potential of our new Peruvia, so I knit a corrugated swatch alternating stockinette and reverse stockinette stitch. Then I threw it in my front loading washing machine and it was transformed into a neat corrugated piece of felt. I was inspired to design a big shoulder bag, Pignoli, because I really wanted one for my own wardrobe. I was delighted to find that it only took 6 hanks of Peruvia. I had some waxed cord that I purchased at a crafts store and some sweater fasteners from JHB Buttons, so I poked holes with a metal knitting needle through the corrugated ribs and made a drawstring tie with dangling adornments.

These 2 free patterns are only the tip of the iceberg. Norah and I have loads of ideas for felted and non-felted garments and accessories in Peruvia as we prepare our collection for Fall '07. By the way, we are presenting our shade cards for Peruvia and other new yarns in a revised format. It allows you to get up close and see all the lovely color blends that are achieved by spinning pre-dyed tops. Viewing our color range on screen in this way is the closest thing to actually burying your face in a hank of Peruvia for that multi-sensual experience that yarn connoisseurs appreciate.


Shannon from cyberspace writes, "I am very interested in knitting socks but I find that manipulating 4 double pointed needles in my hands makes me feel freakishly awkward, like 'Edward Scissorhands.' Any tips?"

Yes, Shannon, I can empathize. Your analogy is well stated. I began knitting on DPNs very early in life, so, like eating with chopsticks, I have now mastered the technique. Many knitters, however, have opted to knit in the round using 2 pair of circular needles. I was so intrigued by this "work around" that I googled to find more information. It is a very clever concept. Perhaps this alternative is right for you.

All the best.


Margery Winter
Creative Director

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