A few weeks ago at work we got in a box of brand spankin’ new Fleece Artist yarn. It’s called Merino Angel, and is a blend of merino, kid, and nylon. It’s a two ply sock yarn with an amazing halo. When I pulled out the first skein, I noticed it felt a bit stiff, somewhat scratchy. Bob, Nancy, and I manhandled it for a good 15 minutes, wondering if it would knit up into a softer fabric. In the end, we decided that we’d need a knitted sample before we put it up on the website for sale.
Nancy told me to pick out a skein and go to town (not literally – I actually live in the woods, so “get out of town” is more realistic). My mission: determine if the yarn would soften up when knitted, and design a one-skein project that would showcase the best qualities of the yarn. I had the skein on the swift and winding into a ball within minutes of getting home. The ball came off the winder looking like some small, colorful, furry animal!
As is typical in Oregon, the summer heat of the day gave way to a cool, breezy night – not cold enough for dense, fuzzy socks, but just right for a pair of light, airy legwarmers. I decided to knit the Merino Angel on larger needles than necessary so that the resulting fabric would be as light as possible, while the kid prevented it from appearing too holey. After knitting the gauge swatch, I knew the outcome would be perfect – not a hint of scratchiness, and a soft cloud of kid enveloping every stitch!
The legwarmers all but designed themselves. I knew I wanted to keep the knitting fairly simple – ribbing at top and bottom, mostly stockinette in-between, with a single simple cable for interest. My inherent compulsion for symmetry determined the cable. Since I was knitting two legwarmers simultaneously on two circulars, I wanted something that wouldn’t have to be reversed on each leg. Thus, “print of the hoof” was perfect.