Sometimes a wonderful yarn is right under your nose, it is just mislabeled. In the past, I had tried Lion Brand “Fisherman’s Wool.” And, I did not like it at all. The yarn band recommended big needles, i.e., US # 9. When Lion Fisherman’s Wool was on sale, I would buy some, and start something using the recommended # 9s, and I was never happy with the product. For example, I have one knee sock that I knitted from this yarn in a fancy Scottish pattern on # 6 needles, and despite the fancy pattern, it looks - Well, home made. I could never bring myself to knit its mate.
But the other day I was looking for a portable project, and I hit upon taking little balls of left over yarn from my stash and knitting the same little pattern swatch on US # 1 needles from each of the different yarns. You guessed it! One of the balls of yarn was left over Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool.
I got back, and had a bunch of 3-inch square swatches in my bag. After blocking, the swatch that I liked best was from the Lion Fisherman’s Wool. Knit continental style, at 7.4 spi (over moss stitch), it is a firm, flat fabric with excellent stitch definition. With a knitting stick, I can easily knit it at 8 spi and the effect is even better. Forget the fancy wool I bought in Scotland last year, my next gansey is going to use Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool. I am very excited! Because it is a firm fabric, a gansey knit from this yarn will require real attention to tailoring. It requires knitting a garment that fits and is carefully blocked. And, it is a warm fabric – maybe too warm to wear in modern centrally heated buildings. But, it is a glorious fabric. Unfortunately, it only comes in the natural cream color, but it is less itchy that the wonderfully colored Cottage Craft yarn that I love. So get ready to dye. (I have no connection to either company.)
One funny thing is that Lion sells a wide variety of knitting stuff including needles, but the finest needles that they now sell is #2. Go figure.