Sunday, April 22, 2007

stella nova, reviewed

On my travels, besides knitting frantically on the ribbing of Orangina (which never, ever will be finished) I also picked up two gloriously lurid balls of Debbie Bliss's new yarn, Stella. (I would link directly to the Debbie Bliss site, but weirdly, the yarn's not up there yet.) It's 60% silk, 20% rayon, and 20% cotton, a rather heavy aran-weight combination that gives a very average yardage of 88m per 50g. The colours are absolutely amazing:
the price is a bit jawdropping. It's silk, and priced accordingly, but it handles like a short-fibred cotton yarn, not a sheeny, long-fibred silk. On casting on, the yarn is every bit as fray-ey and splitty as it promised to be in the ball, alas. It's lovely and soft to knit, and much easier on the hands while knitting than cotton is, but it splits like crazy. Another very unimpressive quality of the yarn is the number of knots - lots of little ones holding together separate plies, making for lots of annoying little ends to be woven in to the back of the work.

On the plus side, the stitch definition is, as promised in the brochure, quite good - better than I would have thought - and the fabric it knits up into is really lovely, felted-feeling and cuddly and heavy. Also, it seems to hold its shape quite well. But still, the finished product sheds.

I had a wee stroke of Debbie Bliss's other new summer yarn, Pure Cotton, which is the most sumptuous, silky, gorgeous aran-weight cotton imaginable, and at a much better price. Stella doesn't seem to do anything that this yarn doesn't do anything that that one doesn't, apart from having the heavier, warmer qualities of silk. That said, the colours are amazing.

So what did I actually make with the somewhat maligned ball?
one skein wonder back
Another Glampyre knit, because clearly, I am unhealthily obsessed. Some day, I will knit up everything Stephanie ever designed, and then you will see a whole new theme for this blog, I swear. In the meantime, I've been slightly obsessed with this pattern: it's the nearest you can get to an accessory while still being a garment, I think, the slightest, scrappiest jumper imaginable. Does it really have a function, I asked? The answer is, surprisingly, yes, actually: it's not just bright and fun and a super-quick knit, but worn on a fair spring day over a cotton t-shirt (as in the pic), it's a really welcome hit of warmth over the shoulders, almost as good as wearing a full cardigan. That would be the silk in the Stella, I guess. Well done, Glampyre, for whipping up a natty solution to a problem I didn't even know existed. That's true science for you.


marykmac said...

GOSH ISN'T YOUR HAIR LONG. It really is, you know!

I love it! It's such great Glitzcolours. Can I see it in person pleeeease?

Anonymous said...

love the colours of the stella.. and good call with the OSW! I've been really unimpressed with the Stella myself. If you're going to fork out for a 60% silk yarn, it should at least look it you know? I like the new pure cotton, but I especially love Rialto, the 100% merino stuff she's got out. A bit weird to release a 100% merino yarn just before summer, but it is luscious... so shiny and soft! Every time I think of it, I drool :) PS The Fitted Knits book is well worth the splash if you love Ms Glam so.

Anonymous said...

Canada calling cute blog i just started knitting at 60 and love it.