This is the last day of X-posting (no, not cross-posting): we are to the challenging letter X in the ABC-Along.
Who is Xavier?
Well, other than being the surname of a Jesuit priest and Catholic saint (if you ever meet anyone with the initials F.X., it’s a pretty good bet the initials stand for Francis Xavier and he was baptized a good Catholic boy):
THIS is Xavier.
See, here’s his nametag, below.
Xavier is representing a certain portion of my yarn stash, and an addiction of mine. To Twisted Fiber Art, being the creation of Meg, a dyer with mad math and dyeing skills as well as an eye for color, which allow her to hand-craft some of the most gorgeous self-striping yarn anywhere.
Although you can see the beautiful saturated colors above and below, and how they pick up the blues of the sky (and the house across the street) and the golden browns of the fall vegetation (right before the snow started the next day):
you have to see it knit up to really appreciate it. I have not used my Xavier yet, but you can see a preview on the store site here.
Why do I love Twisted yarn so much? The wonderful yarn bases are important, in fact, essential; but it’s the amazing gradations and blends and combinations of colors that have me hooked.
Here’s a mini-gallery of Twisted projects I’ve put on the blog in the past:
(Click on any you’d like to see bigger.)
And that’s just since May!
The amazing color changes are simultaneously limiting and inspiring in designing, or in incorporating the self-striping yarn into existing patterns. Any significant lacework or pattern stitches will tend to be lost in the colors. (Which is a lot of wasted effort and shows off neither the pattern nor the yarn to best advantage.) The color-change yarn absolutely sings in stockinette, just a little less so in garter stitch, and can be shown to advantage with simple or slip stitch patterns. Also, the number of stitches it’s made on makes a huge difference to the final look of the stripes. (See the difference between the Scorched booties above, and the baby hat in exactly the same yarn, the orange/brown/green/yellow colorway.) So, it’s rather like writing a poem in a very constricted style. (Think haiku; or a long poem with multiple verses in the haiku form.) The constriction of technique can be very inspiring.
Plus, it’s always nice to have a simple stockinette sock (for example) on the needles, for travel, walking, meetings, etc.; the color changes make it more interesting. (I seem to have trouble keeping it simple stockinette, see the last two socks above, but that’s another issue.)
Fortunately, however, I’m delighted to report that for those times when one wants to do more complicated patterns (much of the time, apparently, for me, despite my Twisted addiction), Meg has (by popular request) started dyeing semi-solids. They started out as coordinating heel and toe skeins (see the earth-tone sock above, which is knit in Netherfield Kabam; the cuff is in a coordinating yarn). Now they’re available as whole skeins. (I used this on my Minstrel Moebius I-cord bind-off.) And in the most recent update, Meg dyed “Subtles” that were ‘stand-alones’ — not necessarily coordinating with another of her yarns. Wow! See this page for a sample (scroll down to the bottom); I just received my order, and among the loveliness was two skeins of Inevitable in Arial, a fine merino light fingering weight yarn which I am going to use, in this case, essentially as a heavy laceweight.
So many ideas! So much beautiful yarn! So little time!
No wonder I haven’t knit my Xavier yet!