It was a real treat to work with Colourscapes for my Valour Vest. Each skein is a very generous 170+ yards of beautifully soft wool, and in the three skeins I used, there was not a single knot. Paula and Amy who have each been through three skeins on their projects, also reported not a single knot in any skein. Now, a know in a skein of yarn is not a crisis, unless it happens to be a long-color-shift yarn with the kind of careful and well executed color gradation that you find in Colourscapes. Each skein of this yarn plays an integral part of the whole story. Even in joining one skein to the next is a bit tricky because you want to continue the movement of colors in the right direction. You’re not going to just randomly pick up and join anywhere. I think that’s why the pattern indicates that you need 4 skeins of the yarn for Valour, even though there’s enough yardage on just three skeins for the first two sizes – it’s like buying extra fabric or wall paper to ensure you can match the repeats as you join one part to the next.
Last week Lynne Warren and I were having just this kind of discussion. We talked about how impressed we both were with the effort that goes into Colourscapes production. Before the spinning process ever begins, the roving is dyed and then carefully blended in precisely weighed quantities. This means that someone has to make sure that the right amount of each color roving is added and that it’s adequately blended. All this work is done by real live humans to ensure that the specific arrangement of colors envisioned by Kaffe Fassett is realized in the yarn. As you might imagine, the process is very labor intensive. Each of the spinning machines which were specially constructed to create this yarn, can produce only about 3000 skeins each week. In retailers terms, that’s 300 bags of yarn. When you consider that here at Crazy for Ewe alone, I have ordered 30+ bags—just for my little shops–that kinda puts things in perspective, doesn’t it.