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Twist Collective Blog

Devonshire: Amazing Fiber

Pamela Powers

Pamela Powers debuted her first design last year, with her retro inspired Sunny Day. She's back with another beautiful layering piece, Devonshire, and in today's blog post, she talks about the yarn she used to knit it. This is a cross post from Pam's own blog, which you can find here




hank

I had the privilege of working with Catherine Lowe’s Couture Yarns for my design Devonshire in the Twist Collective Spring/Summer 2011 issue.  When Kate Gilbert contacted me to discuss yarn options, I must admit I was a little intimidated but very intrigued by the concept of Catherine’s yarn.  When ordering yarn, you can custom blend the fiber content and gauge.  I chose a DK weight blend of Royal Baby Alpaca and Silk.

I ordered 1400 yards of yarn which arrived in a box slightly smaller than a shoe box, containing two balls of the custom blend  yarn and one small ball of the silk / mohair for the optional ruffle around the collar.  As if that wasn’t startling enough, the appearance of the yarn was unlike any yarn I had ever seen.   As you can see in the above photo, the ply of the yarn is very distinctive--the plies run parallel to each other rather than twisted together.  The reason behind this is brilliant, but I’ll let you read up on it in Catherine’s words to truly give it justice.

After knitting a swatch, the real fun began.  The yarn is treated with sizing that is removed with washing and blocking.  The finished result is a beautifully soft, lightweight fabric that had both sheen and a slight loft to it as seen in the “before” and “after” swatch photos below.

unblocked swatch blocked swatch

In January, I attended Catherine Lowe’s class,  “Basic Techniques of Couture Knitting” in New York.  Catherine not only has incredible technical and design skills, she also is a very lovely, articulate and patient teacher.

Devonshire