Last week I posted this picture of the Crazy for Ewe team at our weekly meeting. It's so wonderful and inspiring to get together with these amazing women and plan all the fun things for the shop. Here we are, four very different women, each with our own strengths and weaknesses. It is exactly those differences that make it a powerful partnership. Think a minute about the relationships in your life, with your spouse, your work group, or your best friends. Chances are the best relationships are those in which you complement each other. Each of you is likely strong where the other is weak. Brave where the other is timid. One of you may be a planner while the other is more go with the flow. You work together, bringing out the best the other has to offer, supporting and strengthening each other. That's why these relationships make you feel so complete.
Fibers are like people. Each has its own characteristics - its own strengths and weaknesses. By blending two complementary fibers, you get the best of both, like transcendent blend of bouncy merino and lustrous silk. Other blendings are less obvious, like our newest yarn, Wiklla, a 50/50 blend of superfine Alpaca and Pima Cotton. You might wonder why anyone would put these two fibers together, but they are actually a beautiful partnership. Alpaca, as everyone knows, is so luxuriously soft it's been called the new cashmere. The downside is that it's a fragile fiber with a very low tensile strength and a tendency to pill. Pima Cotton, on the other hand, is a strong, long staple fiber that can stand up to fairly significant wear. Alpaca is also warm - 6 times warmer than wool, so while we might love the feel of an alpaca sweater against our skin, it's almost too hot to tolerate in this climate (or after a certain age). The cotton lightens up all that warmth and gives you a fabric you can wear. Pretty great, huh? I thought so too!
Wiklla's half and half blend seems almost too perfect for our February First Friday project, Half and Half, a cute cowl from Churchmouse. Worked in 1x1 ribbing, half is knit flat, half in the round. The result is all the way perfect -- just the thing to cozy up your life these chilly February days. Spend some happy time knitting a lovely garment in this beautiful new yarn.