We are collectors of interesting and fabulous yarns. Let’s
not be shy about it. Let’s be counted among stamp collectors, toy
collectors, any collectors, so we don’t have to hang our heads in
embarrassment as if we were afflicted with some wild and quirky disease.
Stand tall, oh yarn collectors! Your passion are equal in merit to any other
and needs to be celebrated!
For Jane Thornley's The Collector's Wrap any
weight, any kind, of yarn will work. The eBook includes two designs and the first one discussed is pictured above. Noro would be perfect. Show your
collection! I’ve knit mine primarily in dk or sport-weight yarn on US 8/5 mm
needles but the design easily accommodates both smaller or larger needles.
The bigger the needle size, the larger and more loose the wrap, obviously. A
lace-weight version would be lovely, too. I worked in mid-range to
accommodate my particular collection of hand-dyed silks and specialty yarns.
For the stranded checkerboard ‘mosaics’, I used primarily silks, of which I
am enamored. Since, in true collectors spirit, I can never part with the
last ball of anything, I had multiples of tiny amounts of silks in
magnificent hand-dyed colors and most of them ended up in this wrap.
The three-wrap drop stitches showed off my
collection of Blue Heron beaded rayons, silk bouclé’s, and any yarn that
offered some interesting texture. These stitches literally flow and add a
breezy level to the more dense mosaics. Play up all your favorites here.
These drop stitches are separated by two rows of knit stitch (garter) where
I worked bulkier yarns like ribbons and artspun yarns.
The wrap is rectangular, knit end to end in braces of
15-row clusters of checkerboard stranded knitting--a simple Fair Isle
technique which uses no more than 2 different yarns per row--separated by
two sets of three-wrap drop stitch. The stranded checkerboard shows yarns
and colors to perfection, giving an almost mosaic effect, while the drop
stitch lets textures shine, nub, or slub at will. The combination creates a
lovely free-flowing ode to yarn.
The second pattern included, The Button Collector's Wrap
(pictured above) is a rectangular wrap shows off Thornley's mother of pearl
collection. I selected a neutral color palate because a subtle pearly gleam can
be easily overshadowed by brighter hues and heavier textures. Besides, there’s
something about old pearly buttons that conjures lace, doilies, old hankies,
along with granny’s tablecloths. I aspired to capture this feeling while mixing
in an ethnic touch. A neutral blend of undyed silks, cottons, and linens banded
by black and earthy brown fuses two very different inspirations into one
piece--granny gone tribal!
My antique tribal mood is further enhanced by bordering what
is a basic rectangular shape with lace edging--one version for the sides and a
lusher rendition for the two ends which creates a soft collar when draped about
the shoulders and neck. Stitches used throughout feature knit and purl
basketweave with seed stitch bands and drop stitch.
You could use another color or many other colors in this wrap,
depending on your button collection. If you’ve accumulated an array of ceramic
or polymer buttons, a different color scheme may be preferable. Consider
Victorian jet buttons glimmering against black and white or specialty buttons
shaped like flowers blooming amid garden hues. Or, how about paua shell or
abalone buttons agleam on a background of blues and greens? Oh, my imagination
is afire. If you are currently buttonless, cast your eye around the shops as you
go forth on shopping ambles and see how these tiny little items can peel back a
whole new world.
Yarn: Any Weight, Multiple yarns
Yardage: 500-700 yards
Needle Size: US 8 (5.0mm) or any size to get the gauge you want