Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Notes from the Designer

I received a lovely email this morning from Ashley Moncrief, the pattern designer of "our" skirt, saying she was both appreciative of our interest in her pattern AND available for consultation via email with any questions we might have. She also left these messages as notes to previous posts, which I though I'd share here as well:

To Bettina's question about yarn substitutions, Ashley wrote:
"Hello, this is Ashley Moncrief, the skirt designer. To Velma: I really would be extremely cautious about using a yarn with a moderate silk content because it does have a tendency to grow and 'stretch'. has two Peruvian Collection yarns, one in alpaca and one in wool in worsted weight that come in several different colors. Remember that I knitted with a worsted weight yarn at a smaller gauge to help prevent sagging. I have never used a Peruvian Collection yarn, so I don't know exactly how it will perform. Another yarn you could use is called Zara by Filatura di Crosa. It is absolutely one of my favorite yarns. It is an extrafine Merino Wool that feels wonderful. I think it would be a good option. If you don't use it for this, at least try it out on something else in the future. I think it's the best Merino out there (that I've come across). Good luck."
To Laetitia, who is using the recommended SWTC Bamboo, Ashley wrote:
"About your concern about sagging: The pattern calls for a smaller gauge than what is recommended for the yarn, specifically to help eliminate the sagging effect of some knitted skirts. If you stick to the gauge called for, I really don't think you'll have a problem."
Finally, I received a second email from Ashley, as follows:
"...the skirt I made is wearing fine with no sagging or stretching. However, I am a little concerned because SWTC has changed their bamboo, and the one currently available is not the one I used. They have said that it is the same thing, and the only difference is that they washed it. However, the bamboo yarn I used was sort of rough and the 'new' version is very shiny and smooth... possibly troublesome for a skirt. I washed my swatch, and it didn't turn into the shiny smooth version that is now available, so I really don't know if that is the only difference like they say. Actually it does feel much better now, I just hope it will behave the same way.

Like I posted this morning, I think Zara by Filatura di Crosa would be a great substitution. I can't say enough good things about it. The only drawback is that it has a somewhat loose ply and you can easily split the yarn with your needles if you're not careful."
So, there you have it folks, directly from the horse's mouth, as they say, we have yarn substitution suggestions! I am also sending Ashley a Blogger invitation so she can post directly to this blog. Welcome, Ashley, and our thanks!


At 9:08 AM, Blogger Kari said...

WOOHOO That's great she took the time to answer our questions about substitutions.
I will start shopping come payday (a whole 'nuther week away)

At 9:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At 12:04 PM, Anonymous amy said...

I am so glad I found this blog before I bought my yarn! I am planning on making this skirt as a Christmas gift for my SIL and had decided to try it in Knitpicks Elegance (an alpaca/silk blend). Does anyone have any experience with their Merino Style? At $2.49/skein, it seems like it'd be worth trying.

At 1:12 PM, Blogger velmalikevelvet said...

i haven't used it, but was also thinking it might be a good choice. wonder what ashley thinks?


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