Just as March is the month of Irish Soda Bread, to me, the holidays are all about gingerbread.  None of this namby-pamby desultory seasoning ~ really spicy gingerbread.

Quince & Co. Chickadee - Gingerbread

So it is appropos that my fiber purchase to myself this month included four skeins of Quince & Co. Chickadee in ~ wait for it ~ Gingerbread.  Rarely does a colorway name so perfectly describe what it looks like.  Yes, it’s  a perfect Nutmeg Owl colorway.

But Quince & Co. yarn is about far more than colorways.  It is American wool, spun in America and masterminded by the always-ahead-of-the-curve Pam Allen of the knitterati.  By way of example, at a Knitter’s Review Retreat a few years back, she started a discussion with us about our interest in organic yarns, what would make a yarn “organic,” and even the price point we, as yarn consumers, would be willing to meet.  In hindsight, it was a fact-finding mission for what she has now brought to the market.

Kilkenny Cowl

Back to Chickadee.  Have you ever dug your fingers into a sheep’s fleece and felt all the springiness there?  That is what knitting with Chickadee feels like.  Inspired by Luann, my test-drive is the Kilkenny Cowl, a Quince pattern which is really a sampler of stitch patterns to show off what this hardy little birdie can do.  Some cables, some lace ~ it’s all here.  And Chickadee does it all.

Simply put:  Chickadee feels like nothing else I’ve ever knitted with.  Though it’s a three-ply, it feels close to the sheep.  Not from lanolin, or even fragrance, just touch.  If I had a quibble with it, it might be that Chickadee knits more like a heavy fingering than a sport-weight.  But that would be my only quibble.

Quince & Co. Puffin - Marsh

There’s also a skein of Puffin in the stash now in Marsh to make Bristol’s Cowl – another one-skein project that will make for a quick project and test-drive.   It feels lofty without bulk.

Unless you are traveling through Portland, Maine, Quince & Co.

Quince & Co. color books

yarns are only available online.  If you’re interested in them, I highly recommend investing in a color card.  Computer monitors are not to be trusted when it comes to color selection, and if color matters to you, it’s worth it.   There’s a new separate color card for Tern, the wool and tussah silk fingering-weight blend, as the silk takes color differently from straight wool.  I’ll likely have more to say about Tern in the months ahead.

In the meantime, winter is for chickadees ~ the always cheerful friends darting and swooping to my backyard feeder.


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8 Responses to “Gingerbread”

  1. Luann Says:

    Isn’t that yarn something to knit with? It’s springy and sproingy but easy to handle. If I may offer my advice about the Killkenny Cowl – I wish mine were taller. It’s a fairly wide finished object, and if it were taller you could wear it up over your ears and have it come down to meet the back of your coat. At least on me, mine is not quite big enough to do that. Still cozy but if I had to do it over again I’d do another pattern repeat. You will have plenty of yarn leftover even so. Looking forward to reading more of your thoughts about it, and Puffin too!

  2. Bullwinkle Says:

    I haven’t knit with mine yet … may have to cast on. But now I am unsure what to cast on. /sigh such a problem to have: scanning through patterns!

  3. New Year, New Hat « Out of Yarn Says:

    […] skeins of Quince & Co chickadee in Carrie’s Yellow (125), 50 g 181 yards.  Inspired by Nutmeg Owl, alas, I do not have enough for this (and charts don’t work for Meeting Knitting anyway.)  […]

  4. Vaporized « Owlways Knitting Says:

    […] I do.  Period. Tangential digression:  I have realized that my seeming inability to make the Kilkenny Cowl grow is really an optical illusion.  Knitting this cowl on US 2s is really akin to knitting a tube […]

  5. Who killed (Kil)kenny? « Owlways Knitting Says:

    […] night, I was thinking about Luann’s advice to add a few repeats to my Kilkenny Cowl.  At this point, there was far more yarn left than there should have been.  Suspiciously, I […]

  6. Clever « Owlways Knitting Says:

    […] there is knitting going on chez Owl, just not much to show at the moment.  The delicious Kilkenny Cowl is now blocking […]

  7. Answers « Owlways Knitting Says:

    […] blog post of Year 2: My review of Quince & Co.’s Chickadee yarn outpaced every other post, including the Knitter’s Review Retreat.  No one got that […]

  8. Ciao 2011! « Owlways Knitting Says:

    […] I’ll get there.  Really.  If nothing else, because more people have read my posts about Quince & Co. Chickadee than anything I’ve ever written here.  I can only imagine what happens when I write about […]

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