The Yarnia Compromise

***Originally published on November 4, 2014***

Here is a stellar example of the benefits that come from blending your own yarns, like we do here at Yarnia.

This week, I decided to get started on this vest that I want to make for Jesse’s Christmas present.  It’s been years since I’ve made him anything, he’s a dapper guy, and though I still dutifully heed the freakishly accurate warnings about The Sweater Curse, this guy deserves a vest.

I knew I had my heart set on an earthy, heathered brown — a blend of something wonderfully warm and soft, like merino/alpaca.  What I hadn’t realized was that the pattern I finally landed on, with the perfect fit and construction, called for stripes!

men's striped vest

Of course, you could follow this pattern exactly as-is and leave the stripes out, but once I read through the pattern I realized that while I don’t like the stark contrast of the stripes in the model, I think some subtle, earthy stripes would give it just the sophisticated touch it needs.

The green was a no-brainer — we have the most gorgeous tonal, heathered green in both merino AND alpaca, that I knew would be perfect blended together in the sport weight that this calls for.  But I was totally stumped by the browns: should I go with a light, chocolatey brown, or a deep, dark brown?  I put it to an Instagram vote.

Which solved nothing!  My audience was completely split.  And, I actually agreed with all the comments.  Wouldn’t it be great if I could just blend the two options and end up with the best of both worlds?  So that’s exactly what I did.  Each of the options used exactly 2 strands of merino, and 2 strands of alpaca, so I just switched out two of the darker merino for two of the lighter, and voila!  Now this brown is exactly what I was going for, and didn’t change the weight, fiber content, or price of the yarn at all.

And here’s the true test — look how beautifully it knits up, after the first 4 inches!


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