Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I've never seen the like

I was flipping through the latest Lion Brand catalog at breakfast this morning. Now, I know Lion Brand doesn't sell the best yarn (of course not--I do! Ha ha), but for breakfast time catalog-flipping, any yarn is good yarn, so I took what I could get. And then it looked at me with its big brown eyes and said "You ain't seen nothing yet."

Luckily it stopped before the stuttering part of the song, but it turns out it was right. Lion Brand has a new yarn that's part of their luxury fiber collection: LB Collection Wool Stainless Steel Yarn. It's 75% wool, 25% stainless steel. I've never heard of this before. Stainless steel yarn? In some discussions about cashmere, I heard multiple people say that a fiber has to make up at least 15% of the yarn to change the feel. This is 25% stainless steel, so it's not just that there's some insignificant little tidbit of it in there to add strength or something. Is the point of it that it's like wire, so you can knit colorful chain mail more easily? Super strong rust-resistant socks that never wear out? Or is it so you can make conductive clothing that monitors people's health, like this project did? The official website offers only a hint: "unique Wool Stainless Steel yarn creates unique pieces that keep their shape." Also intriguing is their claim about the gauge for this yarn: "Variable gauge is acceptable for all knit and crochet." (It's super fine. I guess the idea is that if you knit it with bigger needles, you get a stiff lacy effect?)

I am certainly curious. I doubt I'll be seeing this yarn in the wild any time soon--it's too esoteric for places like Michael's and Hobby Lobby, but too, well, Lion Brand for places like Yarn Expressions--so I hope somebody at least writes about it or something. I could just buy some, I guess, but I'm not $10/14 grams curious.

ETA: A little more Google-fu has revealed some funny discussion on Instructables. No real information, though.


~ Phyllis ~ said...

Somehow I just don't think I want to knit with stainless steel. I also don't think that I would want to wear something knitted with stainless steel. Just can't picture that in my mind. I say we stick to our own good old wooley and alpaca, silk, mohair etc. fiber.

Anonymous said...

well, i just got the weirdest captcha ever, so now I really have to comment. It says "rotside".

steel yarn, wrapped all around me... I been a prisoner since the day you found me....

/michael bolton

yeah, that's weird. wtf.

I think they just wanted to take the scratchiness of acrylic to the next level. ha ha.


Meg said...

I'm pretty sure that this is a reincarnation of Habu's stainless steel blend yarn. Nice for bags and such, but not much else IMHO.