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This weekend! Blue Heron!

It's that time of year again -- Blue Heron Yarn 3rd annual Trunk Show is this Friday and Saturday.  I swear this event gets bigger and more fun every year!  We'll showcase their flagship yarn, Rayon Metallic, but we'll also have lots of my favorite from last year, Soft Twist Rayon.  Both are 100% rayon, but that's where the difference ends.  Rayon Metallic is silky with a tiny filament sparkling throughout - very glam and sexy.  Think Marilyn Monroe in yarn form.  Like any Hollywood starlet, all it really wants to do is lounge around and be admired.  And everyone does, because Rayon Metallic is mesmerizing.  You just can't help yourself.  Step out with this beauty, and people stare.  Even non-knitters will ask you about your garment. 

Soft Twist Rayon is the more serious, hardworking sister.  Also beautiful, but with a more subtle shimmer.  Without the sparkle, you focus more on the colors and the lovely texture of this yarn.  It will be happy showcased in a special wrap, but it's also an excellent choice for a year round sweater.  Soft Twist Rayon would be comfortable under your jacket at work, and make a smooth transition to an evening out. 

Both fibers are best worked in a project that plays to their strengths - knit something that takes advantage of the beautiful fluid fabric they create - Something like Chance of Showers by Heidi Kirrmaier that drapes and takes advantage of how Blue Heron yarns flow.

 Chance of Showers

Or Louisa by CocoKnits that falls in graceful points


Whether you choose Blue Heron for a sweater or a wrap, you will love it because their yarns are really special, and whatever you make will be special too.  

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Blue Heron Yarns

I really love Blue Heron Yarns. Their fibers are beautiful and unusual, so your project looks special with very minimal effort. Who doesn't love that! Rayon Metallic, with its gorgeous hand and shimmery metallic accent give a glam fabric that feels beautiful against the skin. Rayon loop, a charming boucle, makes a gorgeous textural fabric with a terrific sheen and drape. Their new chenille is the definition of luxury - it feels amazing and knits up like velvet - you just want to stroke all day.

Another thing I love about Blue Heron Yarns is their color. They are, first and foremost, a hand-dye company, and they really get it. The high rayon component allows the fibers to really drink up the dye, so the colors are very saturated, but their color sense is sophisticated - dark jewel tones and luminous pastels as well as bright, playful multi-colors that are fun and playful without being garish. Take a quick look at their yarns on my Pinterest board.

Blue Heron Yarns come in big, generous hanks, so even one gives you enough to make a big scarf. But who can get just one? Pick up several different colors of your favorite fiber, or choose several fibers in a few coordinating colorways and get creative with texture. A few hanks of Blue Heron Yarn in your stash is an inspiration and a treasure

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Play to your Strengths

One of the most valuable things I ever learned came from a workshop on group dynamics. This was an intensive class lasting many weekends over a two-year period. We looked at personality types and behaviors - and how different people handle conflict stress, how they show love, etc. But here is one thing that really stuck with me. "The thing you like most about someone, taken to its extreme, is the thing that drives you insane about that person." Think about that for a moment. Consider your spouse or your best friend - someone you've chosen to have in your life. What is it that drew you to this person? When you argue or become frustrated with that person, what is it typically about? Funny how that works, isn't it! In successful relationships, the partners understand each other's personalities and play to their strengths.

The same is true for yarn. Yarns have strong intrinsic tendencies - personalities, if you will. It's essential that you understand a fiber's personality when choosing a project - especially if the yarn has a strong personality. You need to know its strengths so you can choose a pattern that highlights what that yarn does best - making the yarn's personality an asset rather than a fault.

One yarn with a very strong personality is the gorgeous, silky, sparkly hand-dyed hank of wonderfulness, Rayon Metallic from Blue Heron. This yarn works up into a glorious drapey fabric that is deliciously silky and smooth - like a glimmering liquid against your skin. That drape and silkiness are this yarn's strengths. Its appeal is irresistible, and once you touch it, you're gone. Your only thought is, "Ohmygod, I LOVE this - what can I make with it?" This is where you need to be careful.

Trying to knit Rayon Metallic into a crisp, structured jacket would make you insane. No matter how you tried, you would never be able to create a structured fabric. You would forever be fighting with gauge, trying increasingly smaller needles and a variety of stitch patterns to force it into stability, and neither of you would be happy. But knit it into a silky shawl or wrap that calls for fluidity and drape, and you have a match made in heaven. Play to the yarn's strengths, and it will reward you with a fabric that looks amazing, feels absolutely luscious against your skin, and is a delight to knit and to wear.

So, get to know your yarn's strengths - swatch, ask your friendly yarn store staff, and look at projects worked up in the yarn. Careful selection of the right pattern for a beautiful yarn makes the knitting a joy and gives you a finished product that showcases both your workmanship and your fibers.

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