Washable children’s toys and glitter just don’t go together, so I don’t often knit with sparkly yarn. However, as the season of sparkle approaches I thought it was time to try knitting my designs as Christmas tree decorations.
The impulse to buy something sparkly was so strong that I couldn’t wait for an online order to arrive. I reasoned that if it was in my LYS, then it was probably readily available. This has turned out to not always be true, but at least I got my yarn fix straight away.
The first yarn I tried was GGH velour-lame, it’s one of those surprisingly hard to find yarns, although you can still order it directly from GGH. Velour-lame is a ribbon yarn, I’ve had limited success with ribbon yarn in the past, I think it looks great in loose knits or lace work, but it never really works for toys.
Something that set velour-lame apart for me is that it’s a nylon ribbon yarn with a chain stitch of gold thread running down the center. The nylon and chain stitch combination means that this ribbon yarn has a small amount of “give” in it, it’s unusually springy.
I knitted a small Christmas tree with this yarn, it’s a foreshortened version of the Christmas Tree pattern. The tree pattern actually has a number of holes knitted into it’s design, so this was a great match. I was very pleased with this little tree. The only thing I didn’t like about this yarn was it’s availability.
Next up was something more luxurious, a hand painted sparkly yarn by HPKY. Once again, this yarn is going to be hard to get hold of, OK probably impossible as it was hand painted just for Atelier Marin, where I bought it. It’s a baby alpaca, merino and polyester mix with a silver nylon core, it is super soft, especially when it’s knitted up (when can you usually say that?) and because it’s a bulky weight it would be perfect for a cowl or scarf.
In the store, the yarn was shouting “buy me, I am fluffy and sparkly, like a Christmas owl”. The yarn did not lie and knitted into a completely adorable owl.The owl was a little larger than usual, because of the yarn weight, but I figure that some people have large trees.
From exclusive luxury to cost effective and readily available, the next yarn I tried was Lion Brand’s Vanna’s Glamour. It’s a sport weight yarn, a single ply acrylic twisted with a thinner strand of metallic polyester. When I bought this yarn at Joann’s, I thought it would look terrible knitted up, actually I was wrong.
I chose to knit an owl again but this time it was a tiny owl, only 2″ tall. I think that the sheer cuteness of this tiny creation plus the excellent light catching properties make this my favorite of the Christmas tree owls I knitted. I went back to Joann’s and bought some red and white, I’m currently working on a heart with wings and then I’ll make a white owl.
My least favorite owl was knitted with Lang Yarns Lanalux. There’s nothing wrong with this yarn, it’s a soft merino extrafine and polyester mix and I love that the shiny polyamid is blue. Unfortunately black is just not a holiday color. This owl looks sinister, I tried giving him eyes, but that actually made him look stranger. It did occur to me that this yarn would be great for knitting spiders with, look out for them at Halloween next year!
The last yarn (for now) was Sublime Lustrous Extra Fine Merino DK. This merino yarn is encased in a fine nylon netting, a little bit like yarn sausage, it gives the yarn an opalescent sheen which is an unusual way to get sparkle into your knitting.
I knitted a Wings of Love with this yarn and I’m mostly happy with it. It definitely looks better at night when the sheen is more obvious. During the day it looks a little shabby chic, which is also not bad. I am going to keep looking for a good sparkly yarn to knit this little ornament with, I’ll let you know how I get on.
Meanwhile, if you have any recommendations for good shiny yarns, I’d love to hear about them.