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Last week I knitted up a swatch in the J&S Shetland Supreme 1-ply, and was so unhappy with the apparent results I didn’t even bother blocking it.  Last night, though, I decided to give it a try.  The swatch was stiff and scratchy and didn’t seem at all willing to stretch enough to let me see the pattern, so I was sure that it would need a bath in hot soapy water to get apparent oil out of it;  all I was doing was running it in cold water and then squeezing it dry in a towel.  “Won’t work,” I said to myself.  Won’t work at all.  Boy, was I wrong!  To say that I was amazed to see the pattern emerge, even just holding it in my hand and not really stretching the swatch out, would not be over-stating the truth.

J&S Shetland Supreme 1-ply, 2.75mm needles

J&S Shetland Supreme 1-ply, 2.75mm needles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This yarn was not nice to knit with.  It’s much grabbier than the Lacis NP28, and much more willing to super-twist like a demented telephone cord.  I don’t wrap yarn around my little finger as some people do, to tension the yarn, and found myself frequently having to drop the yarn, straighten out the twists, and pick it back up;  I have to do much less of that with other yarns.  It’s also a fuzzier yarn, and the swatch felt stiff, solid, and not nice.  I couldn’t see the lace pattern at all.

I used a 2.75mm needle, based on my results with the NP28 earlier in this blog.  The yarn has thick and thin spots, more of the thin ones than the thick ones, and some that were pretty close to scary.  Other people in the HK yahoo group have reported problems tinking this yarn;  I didn’t ever have to tink more than a few stitches, so I can’t really say how it would have behaved, or not behaved, with tinking a large amount.

To block, all I did was hold this swatch in the palm of my hand, run cold water over it, and make sure everything got saturated by pressing it between my two hands while it was wet.  It resisted wetting much more than NP28, but once it was wet it was a completely different animal.  Almost but not quite limp, and much nicer to deal with.  This was the second swatch I pinned out to dry, and it was already almost dry when I started working with it, maybe 20 minutes after I squeeze-dried it in a towel.  So if you block a large piece knitted with this yarn, keep a spray bottle handy to keep it damp.

This morning when I unpinned it, it was nice and drapey, completely didn’t resemble its earlier self.  There is some “scratch”, but putting it against my face didn’t make me feel it was too prickly.  Looking at it with my reading glasses on, it’s definitely hairier than the NP28.

Would I knit with it again?  Well, now that I’ve run it under cold water I can see why people like this yarn.  I have to admit, the idea of not needing to join, of having a whole 1kg cone of this yarn, would make me consider it.  The only problem I have is the supertwist and needing to drop the yarn to straighten that out.  I’m going to wet the rest of this that I have and knit with it after it dries.  I have a feeling that that might make it a bit less obnoxious to deal with.  If that’s the case, I’ll definitely knit with this one again!

In other matters, I’m off to Germany Sunday through Tuesday. Definitely taking my knitting with me.  If you ever see someone knitting determinedly on flights between Nice and Dusseldorf, Cologne, Munich, Frankfurt, or Lyon, say hi!

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