Romney Yarn for a Romney Kerchief

A red triangle made of yarn with a textured ridge pattern in it. When complete it will look like a cowboy style bandana.

Heirloom Romney yarn knitting up into the Romney Kerchief pattern

The ATM withdrawals from my checking account are a testament to the volume of 100% U.S. sourced, spun and dyed yarns I (happily) found at the Black Sheep Gathering (BSG) in Eugene, OR from June 20-22, 2014. Yes, there they are, three $120 withdrawals right in a row. Good thing BSG comes just once a year!

There were two single skeins stashed among the sweater quantities in the laundry bag that I stuffed into my suitcase. One of them is Heirloom Romney yarn from Fancy Tiger Crafts. I kept returning to their booth at BSG, unable to keep my eyes off of their sensational color palette. It was all so deep and multifaceted, and they aren’t kidding when they say Romney is “lustrous.” But I’ve never worked with Romney before and did not have a project in mind for the yarn. All of the booth examples were felted and I don’t do much felting (not on purpose, at least, but accidentally…), and inspiration didn’t strike.

But that color. That lustrous, brick red color. I had to buy it, just one skein, for something really stand-out. Given its rustic and strong texture, probably not something next-to-skin, so a close-fitting cowl was out.

At last, I’ve found the perfect pattern just by searching Ravelry for the most obvious term: “Romney.” My latest knitting project is the Romney Kerchief by Jared Flood, which calls for handspun Romney. My Heirloom Romney yarn is knitting up beautifully. It’s a perfect marriage.

Working with Romney yarn has been interesting. It’s strong but has spring to it. It’s so strong that it feels thicker and heavier in hand than the worsted weight yarn that it is. Over time (I knit six chart repeats yesterday), it wears on my fingertips in a way similar to the way linen and hemp do, but not as badly – just to the extent that I’m aware of it. It has nice stitch definition and the piece doesn’t have much drape, though I expect it to bloom and soften when I block it. I can tell it will hold up like a dream and I don’t expect it to pill: there are no tufts and fluffs coming off of this. This yarn makes me feel that I’ll get a piece that will last and wear well.

I highly recommend both the yarn and the pattern, which is a fast, fun, satisfying knit.

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