August 8th, 2008
I generally believe that everything–whether tool, material, or method–has a purpose to which it is ideally suited. In my opinion, sewing is good for some things (dresses and bags), knitting works best for others (socks) and crochet is ideal for still others (amigurumi and afghans). And I think every yarn has unique characteristics that tell you what sort of project it should be.
Smooth, classic yarns (Vanna’s Choice, Fishermen’s Wool, Wool-Ease, and Lion Wool) are good for detailed, textural stitches, like the cables in the Tree of Life Afghan. Textured yarns like Homespun are usually soft, lightweight, and look great when knitted or crocheted at a slightly looser gauge – making them perfect for quick afghans, shawls, and scarves.
When we set out to design a new baby yarn, we used this line of thinking. We asked: what does a yarn need to make good baby afghans, hats, and sweaters?
- Softness: 10 out of 10 babies agree: a baby yarn should be as soft as possible. (Or at least they would if babies could talk.)
- Bouncy texture: Babies love to snuggle up in a cuddly blanket or sweater, and a project needs enough body to stand up to lots of love and wear!
- Light weight: Don’t crush that baby under pounds of heavy yarn! A security blanket ought to be lightweight enough for year-round companionship.
- Fast to knit or crochet – We all know that babies come on a pretty specific schedule, so being able to use big hooks or needles helps you finish projects on time.
- Bright, Fun Colors – Lively colors celebrate the joy of being a kid.
We mixed all these different ingredients together and came up with: Cupcake. It’s super-soft; easy to use; looks great in simple stockinette, garter, or granny squares; is machine washable and dryable; and comes in fantastic colors. Whether you want to craft an Unsquared Afghan or a Sunny Side Up Hoodie, Cupcake is a wonderful choice.
Of course, all rules are meant to be broken, and sometimes the real fun can start when you take a material and use it for a new purpose. Imagine our delight when we experimented and found out that our ideal baby yarn also makes flattering and comfortable fashion garments. The Sophisticated Options Cardigan and Scarf and the Half Moon Shawl are just two examples. I’m tempted to make a joke about sweet surprises here–after all, Cupcake does lends itself to punning. (See the Think Pink Cupcake for a visual example.)
So next time you’re looking to experiment with a new yarn, treat yourself to Cupcake.