A Tale of Two Yarns: Giant & Vintage Bouclé

In the foreground a beautiful vintage yarn next to the pochette knit with The Giant.

Here’s our contribution to Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Day 1 [tag: 2KCBWDAY1] – the “assignment” is to write about two yarns, one we love and one we just don’t. We have a lot of yarn in the office but it wasn’t too hard to pick The Giant as the favourite as it’s really special; as for a negative experience yarn, we dug out a really beautiful yarn that we decided wasn’t appropriate for our products.

The Giant

The Giant is not really a yarn. It’s a step between raw fibre and a processed yarn. It’s composed of 50/50 acrylic and wool and it is the softest, poufiest (for lack of a better word) thing you’ll ever sink your hands (and needles) into. We have huge bags of it in five different colours and as I lined them up to photograph them for this post, I got up on the table and I seriously wanted to jump in.

We resisted jumping in. Just barely.

To knit this fibre we are using number 10 needles which are probably just a little bit too small, but that produce a nice tight knit and are the largest size we can easily procure on a commercial basis. As a result we’ve found that it requires a bit of a twist of the wrist at each stitch. It’s highly rewarding to use as it grows really quickly.

Giant Knitted on 10mm needles

Closeup

The end result is compact and firm. We have used it to make a pochette type purse, a knit iPad case, and doubling the yarn it makes a really beautiful carpet. It comes in 5 colourways, some of which are perfectly spring-like and others more appropriate for a fall-winter collection.

The Vintage Bouclé

To understand where this yarn comes from, we need to take a step back into BettaKnit history. This company was born just over a year ago but it’s part of the Pafasystem family that has been around for much, much longer – since the early 1970s. Pafasystem develops and manufactures the machines that make yarn, which means that the innovations that are possible in yarn-making are born right here. We have a “test room” (sala prove) with a few machines in which experiments are conducted, and in this room there are cupboards full of samples. Here’s what that looks like:

The Test Room!

Our vintage collection

While developing the latest BettaKnit collection we raided the vintage cupboard and came up with this delicious variegated bouclé in tones of magenta, red and purple. It’s composed of three different coloured fibres, 80% wool and 20% acrylic, and it was produced about 30 years ago with the “latest” computerized technology.

Vintage Boucle

It’s absolutely gorgeous and truly a high quality yarn. But when Betta started knitting it she realized that it’s too easy to stick your needle right into those little loops. Since BettaKnit produces kits that should be accessible to beginners, this yarn could not be included in the collection.

A few more yarn photos

2KCBWDAY1

This post is also available in: Italian