Saturday, 14 September 2013

My favourite (Mzansi) yarns

When I took up crocheting a little more than 2 years ago, I knew very little of yarn. Didn't really notice the difference between DK and 4ply, acrylic crap and nice acrylic, not even talking about natural yarns!

The learning curve was quick, helped along by jealously looking at the beautiful yarns on overseas blogs.

But we actually don't have reason to pity ourselves any more, 'cause there's been an explosion on the South African wool* front.  So many beautiful yarns have become available, and they truly compare fantastically well with the beautiful yarns I've seen abroad.  

*Wool.  In South Africa, we call yarn "wool".  That's in Afrikaans now, because "gare" just doesn't  work, that's something you sew with, "draad" is something you mend a fence with.  So wool = yarn and it might be...real wool.  

I read and read about Stylecraft Special DK, and lusted after it, the pictures looked so beautiful, and I w├ínted to work with it.  Then my sisi sent me a whole pack from Ireland for my birthday, and while nice, I realised it had nothing on our own Elle Pure Gold.  

Behold - the queen of acrylics:

Elle Pure Gold, colour Mist

I encountered Gold when hooking my second ever big project, my Rainbow Ripple, and fell forever in love.  It came in a lovely range  of retro, muted colours, now supplemented by bright tropicals, and is the only acrylic I'll touch.

Then I found Vinnis. Oh, of our favourites.

There are three, the cotton:

Vinnis Colours Nikkim (Cotton), colour  Khaki

a cotton/bamboo blend:

Vinnis Colours Bambi (Cotton/Bamboo blend), colour Midnight

...and the bamboo (Serina), but the above two are my faves.  I've previously only used it for smaller projects; beanies and scarves, a stool cover, but just started with a summer throw for our bed in Bambi.

Through Ons Hekel, I met Marlene of One of a Kind yarns. 
She colours.  She lives for colour.
She also spins and knit and crochet, but. She. Colours.


One of a Kind 4ply bamboo.

This gold/bronze can't be captured on photo.  
It will become a shawl, maybe Morpho, or South Bay, or..?

One of a Kind Cotton

Another shawl?  I can't wait to see how this colourway will work up. 

One of a Kind Wool

There was only one skein of this wool.  The colours look so absolutely random and happy, I took it.  It might only be enough for one or two baby beanies, so it will go into the beanie project.

See?  No reason to complain any more.  'Specially since the OoaK wool is of the same source as Rowan...

And I haven't even mentioned the African Expressions, a whole lot of them, and the workhorse Rustica blend, also from the Elle stable...nope, our Mzansi yarns are A-okay!


Alessandra said...

I've just had a look at Elle Pure Gold!!!!! You are so right and : 42 colours!!!! not bad my dear!!!!
have a lovely weekend, xxxxx ale

Kay G. said...

Oh my. Do you know I actually had an intake of breath when I saw that first photo. PURE GOLD INDEED! You are so lucky. The USA needs to get on board with better yarn! Maybe one day, I live in hope that will happen and that the yarn won't be so darn expensive for poor folks like me!

Reinier + Jo-Ellen said...

I will seriously be having yarn/wool withdrawel symptoms when I leave SA next year. Maybe I'll have to become an importer of African yarns...Vinnis, Elle Gold, and One of a Kind?! :-). Its nice to dream...oh, but they'll need a little coffee shop to go in...

Stel said...

Load the container, Jo-Ellen, LOAD it!

Cornel Strydom said...

Oulike post... x

Anonymous said...

Hell Stel, I am glad I found your blog again, after I took a break. Your posts are inspirational and informative, a lovely blog to read. Not to mention, your crochet is so beautiful!

Erica said...

I have been investigating Stylecraft Special DK for an afghan and was wondering which South African "wool" ;-) would be quite the same... I love working with Elle Gold, it's my favourite acrylic, love the feel to it.
I also love Vinnis, totally hooked on it. Works wonderful with beanies, shawls & so much more.
So glad I found your blog, thank you for a great post! :-)

Liezel said...

2 things... 1) I have been looking for gold wool EVERYWHERE and to no avail. It seems like South Africa is a bit slow on the uptake with that. Working on a project for a friend's nursery (Pink and Gold). 2) i love your blog's name. I have a Facebook page on which I post pictures of things I have crocheted and my page's name is Haak en Steek haha. So brilliant choice of name there. Anyway, I love your blog.