Saturday, February 9, 2008

Crochet Love: Catskill Merino

Sometimes you really need yarn. No, I mean it. Like today- I have to make a square for a project on Ravelry, and I needed blue yarn. Now, I thought of going to my local yarn shop, but quite frankly, I find them a bit annoying. It was rainy, so I didn't want to run all over town. Thank goodness it was Saturday, because I was able to combine my food and yarn shopping at the Saturday Greenmarket.

My local Greenmarket has wonderful raw and cooked ingredients. I bought bacon today from the incomparable Violet Hill Farm- I think they have some of the best bacon in North America. I also bought some apples from Terhune Orchards, and some potatoes from yet another stand. Tonight's dinner is bacon cooked with potatoes, onions, and apples. In winter I like making as many one-dish meals as possible. It seems more homey that way, and I can do it fairly on the cheap.

Still, I needed yarn, and for this project it had to be blue. Therefore, there was only one business with whom I could shop: Catskill Merino, a farm located in Swan Lake, New York which is owned by the Wyatt family.

Catskill Merino makes yarn the old-fashioned way- they grow it on their sheep. Then they send it out to be spun, and do the dying themselves. Their yarn isn't cheap- it's $13-$16 a 125 yard skein. However, is soft, pliable, and dyed with natural dyes such as fustic, cochineal, madder, and indigo and set so they won't run. If you are looking for yarn to go into your historical project and you actually want to feel the yarn you buy, this is the way to go, since these are the very types of dyes that were used from ancient times through the early nineteenth century. The yarn takes J, K, and L size hooks, as it's thick like some of the well-known Noro yarns (needle sizes are 10, 11, or 12).

How do I know which hook sizes? Because the information sheet given to you when you buy a skein says so. Which means Catskill Merino is crochet-friendly and therefore (say it with me) deserves your business.

No comments: