Yarn: Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok Worsted
Where I got it: Picked it up from a free yarn bin at Squam Art Retreat last year
Needles I used: US 6/4 mm
Blocked Gauge I got: 20 sts/30 rows = 4"/10 cm
What it's like: 100% worsted weight wool yarn that got two gently-twisted worsted spun plies. The color I got (Golden Meadow) is so vibrant and one of my favourite types of yellow/green. It's wooly, light, heathered, and soft, though not gooey soft like Merino. It seems like it would be hard-wearing and one that wooly wool lovers will adore.
What I might design with it: This swatch screams sweater to me. I think I'd love a relaxed-fitting pullover without much texture to let the heathered color do the talking.
Where you can get some: Check this list to see if your LYS stocks it or grab some online at Webs.
Yarn: A Verb for Keeping Warm Pioneer
Where I got it: Bought it at Verb while traveling in the States over Christmas
Needles I used: US 5/3.75 mm
Blocked Gauge I got: 19 sts/32 rows = 4"/10 cm
What it's like: 100% worsted weight organic wool yarn grown and milled in California. It's got a rustic, woolen spun feel and I encountered wonderful little bits of vegetable material as I was knitting, reminding me of the sheep this wool came from! (It was grown by Sally Fox and if you're not familiar with her, I encourage you to learn more about her farm!) It's buttery and lanolin-rich making a spongy, squishy, delightful wooly fabric. It definitely pills, but I just shave those right off, so it doesn't bother me.
What I might design with it: I knit a pair of Wild Feather Mitts out of this skein (from issue 2 of Making, an incredible little zine!), and I could really go for a cardigan from this stuff. I think it would be perfect for winter hikes. Quick note on my Wild Feather Mitts - they pilled a lot after a few weeks of wearing them. However, after I shaved them, they haven't been pilling since, so it seems like they got all their pilling done at once.
Where you can get some: The Verb for Keeping Warm website and brick & mortar shop both carry the yarn. It's a very magical place and I'm so delighted that I got to visit in person!
Yarn: Amano Ayni
Where I got it: Sent to me by Amano to try out for possible future designs
Needles I used: US 3/3.25 mm
Blocked Gauge I got: 24 sts/37 rows = 4"/10 cm
What it's like: 3-ply sport weight baby alpaca (80%)/silk (20%) blend. This is one of those exceptionally soft yarns that drapes beautifully. It's loftier than I expected, and my stitches were clean and even though alpaca and silk don't have much bounce. It's got the slightest bit of a halo.
What I might design with it: After making this swatch, I designed a cowl and a hat with it. They're both coming through Amano yarns, so keep an eye out for them! I think I'll stick with accessories for this one because the drape really shines in lace and Stockinette, though knit up in garter stitch (particularly with the yarn held double), it's got an incredible level of soft squishiness.
Where you can get some: There are a bunch of online sources listed for this one on Ravelry, but check your LYS too. Amano is distributed by Berroco, so if your LYS carries Berroco, they may carry Amano yarns too.
Yarn: Bumblebirch Vernacular 2016
Where I got it: Bought it at Knit Fit Seattle last year
Needles I used: US 3/3.25 mm
Blocked Gauge I got: 26 sts/42 rows = 4"/10 cm
What it's like: 3-ply fingering weigh Cormo/Merino blend wool. It's got a rustic tweedy thing going on and the fabric is so spongy and bouncy. As expected with that blend, it's super soft, though it seems like garments and accessories in this fabric would be right at home on the farm or on a hike.
What I might design with it: I just have the one skein and it's a very limited yarn, so I think I'll probably knit up a pair of Blueberry Paws Mitts to make the most of this precious skein.
Where you can get some: Since this was such a special, limited edition yarn, it's almost all sold out. You can still get the natural white color on the Bumblebirch website.