Tuesday, 29 January 2013

A String of Pearls


In the fall of 2012, Vogue Knitting celebrated its 30th anniversary (for this reincarnation, that is, as the original Vogue Knitting was in publication from 1932 to 1969) with a special pearl-themed issue. In 2007, they had similarly celebrated their 25th anniversary with a silver issue. They did not use the concept for their tenth issue in 1992, but I suppose it's hard to get inspired by the idea of relating tin to knitting. I am, however, looking forward to their forthcoming coral, ruby, sapphire, gold, emerald, and diamond issues.

At any rate, besides featuring a number of pearl bead-encrusted designs such as sweaters, skirts and lace stockings, Vogue Knitting also promoted a special pearl yarn that the New Zealand company Zealana produced especially for the occasion. Pearl yarn production employs a cellulose spinning method that permanently fuses powder made from crushed pearls to tencel fibre. The resulting yarn, which is 50% pearl, 50% tencel, is supposed to be luminous, to feel velvety to the touch, to smooth and moisturize the skin and to lighten freckles, and more prosaically to also be breathable, moisture-wicking and even block ultra-violet rays.

Zealana produced 500 skeins of this yarn, priced at $40(USD) a skein, and each one was numbered and placed in a black velvet jewelry box, like, well, a strand of pearls. One hundred skeins went to String Yarns in New York City and sold out overnight, and the other 400 skeins, which went to stores across the U.S., will almost certainly be all sold by now. The Yarn Sisters has exclusive distribution of the yarn, and had another lot of it earlier this month, but also seems to have sold out of that. I doubt it's possible at present to buy more pearl yarn, but if you are as avid to possess a skein as any of the characters in John Steinbeck's The Pearl, you might keep an eye on The Yarn Sisters via their Facebook and Ravelry pages and see if they offer another lot in future.

I have to admit I would love to get a skein or two, even though $40 a skein is much more than I would normally pay, but hey, compared to vicuña yarn, it's a downright steal, and anyway it's yarn made from pearls, and how amazing is that?

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