Wool/Silk – Shiny or Flat

February 16, 2006

A few months ago I knitted a clapotis out of Brooks Farm Yarn. One thing I noticed about this yarn was how “flat” looking the colors were in person. They were more earthy and not as shiny. Still gorgeous and incredibly soft, just not as shiny as I had expected a silk blend to be I assumed the silk would be the shiny and wool the more flat, right? So for awhile I thought maybe this yarn didn’t have as much silk as some of the other yarns I have seen made into Clapotis. I also wondered if maybe people’s camera were picking up a “shine” but it wasn’t as shiny in real life.

Well, last weekend when I went into my favorite lys…(okay, I know it isn’t really local, but just humor me….and yes the town does really have that gorgeous view and more of it looking the other direction, too. I suppose if Tony and I ever got divorced I would *have* to live there with my parents, oh the horror…)

Okay, back to yarn talk…So, I am in the store and I am speaking to Annelle, the owner and I am feeling the $42 skein of silk blend yarn that is shiny and wonderful….and I ask the owner why some silk blend yarn is shiny and why some silk blend yarn is more “earthy.” There is a good reason and I think it will help the next time you are looking for the shiny type of wool/silk.

Annelle, ever so helpful and very knowledgeable with yarn did have an answer to my question. Did I tell you I loved this store? Here was her response and I am pretty sure she is right on with this:

If the yarn is plyed (or is it plied?), it will be more earthy (or flat) and less shiny.
If the yarn is spun as a 1ply (or single,) it will be shiny.

So…this yarn here…would be more flat and less shiny.. Schaefer Marjaana (I have been eyeing this yarn for a long time.) Now, I haven’t purchased or felt this yarn in person, but I can see from the picture it is plyed so I have an idea now it will be more flat. If I purchase the yarn online I won’t be as disappointed if it isn’t as shiny.

This yarn, Henry Attic’s Andromeda is a single and is shiny. Lorna’s Laces Lion & Lamb is a single, too and is shiny. This is the yarn the original clapotis calls for. The $45 skein of yarn? I found it. It is Curious Creek, Oban and is a single and is very shiny and luxerious!

Thanks Annelle for your expertise! (Not that I think you read my blog, but you never know….if so, see this weekend at Stitches West, lol!)


One comment

  1. I am not an expert on this, but there are also many different kinds of silk (different moths) and different ways to process it. Some silk is “flatter” and crunchier (think raw silk or a blend like Fiddlesticks Country Silk) or shinier and smoother. So which one you mix into the wool blend will affect the outcome of the blend!
    I was googling Marjaana yarn, now discontinued, and found your post. (I bought 2 mystery colorway skeins and was looking for the name of them). The feel of the yarn is amazing… very much like cashmere… and the colors are deep… not shiny, not flat, just intense. I also have the 50/50 merino silk from brooks farm, and I also would not call it “flat” although it is not shiny like regal silk or the new colineete tao, I would say it has “sheen” and “depth.”

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