Now, some knitting. I have found a new yarn. It's GORGEOUS. I bought a swatch ball and am completely in love. The yarn is new from Patons: "SWS", which stands for "Soy Wool Stripe". It is 70% Wool, 30% Soy, in an aran weight (100m for 80g). Recommended tension is 17X21 over 10cm on 5.5mm.
This yarn is appealing on so many levels. It has the cuddle factor, nice and soft in the ball. It's not tightly spun, so I don't know how it will wear in the long term, but the relaxed spin makes a nice fuzzy yarn. There are occasional chunks of vegetable fiber in the strand, which are easily removed but, if left in, don't detract from the appearance anyway. Occasionally I snag a strand when knitting, even though I am using blunt-ish bamboo needles.
I like the long colour repeats in this yarn. The effect when knitted is definitely striped, but in a very laid-back way. It's not aggressive and clean-cut, but nice and muted. A different colourway would probably knit to a more noticeably striped fabric, since this colourway does not contain widely varying colours. I very much like the look of the "Natural Geranium", and I think that would come out beautifully pink-and-white-candy-cane. The "Geranium" is definitely on the short-list for a zero-ease version of Knitty's Sonnet, with nice pewter buttons.
The sheen is remarkable. I really must explore soy more fully as a fiber - I didn't know it would lend such a patina to the final product, but look at the moss stitch in this picture...
The yarn cables nicely, but whether you would want to use it for cables I don't know - you'd have to watch how many stitches you had on your needles, depending on the stripe you were going for, or there would be too much going on.
It could be really nice in a sweater knit in the round, if the stripes didn't knit up too thickly. For me, if I cast on enough to fit around me, I'd end up with about 175 stitches, and this would eliminate the thick stripe altogether. It might knit up into a spiral effect, actually...could be quite nice. Then, of course, if I divided at the armholes and knit front and back flat, the top stripes would be awfully thick compared to the lower ones. I'll have to beat up my swatch a bit and see whether it felts. If it does, a steek might be in order.