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Knitting with the NEW TRUVA Universal Yarn is TRULY luxurious

by Cynthia MacDougall

Truva by Universal Yarn is an interesting, heathery spun yarn. Truva comes in 8 colors, 3 of which are shades of denim-y blue.

Three balls of yarn are stacked in a pyramid. On top is Chambray, a yarn twisted with white, light gray, and pale blue strands. On the bottom left is Medallion, with twists of medium gray and ivory in with the dominant deep gold, and on the bottom right is Sandcastle, which has gray, pale beige, and white tones all twisted together; Truva by Universal Yarn

These 3 balls of Truva yarn in Chambray (top), Medallion (left), and Sandcastle (right) show the heathery tones in each of the colors.

One of the most interesting things about this soft yarn is its fiber content: it’s an equal mix of cotton and cashmere – an unusual pairing, but one that has merit.

Why is this an unusual pairing? In part, it’s because the two fibers are poles apart. Truva has the cool smoothness of cotton and the cozy softness of cashmere.

Cotton is a plant (or bast) fiber, one that doesn’t offer much in the way of insulation and one that is usually used for summer knits or in warmer climes. Cotton is grown in warm countries like India, Egypt, and the southern United States.

Cashmere, on the other hand, is a protein (animal) fiber. It’s shorn off of goats that originate in the cold, mountainous region of Nepal. Cashmere fibers are warmer than wool in terms of insulation value. The two fibers couldn’t be further apart, but they have some things in common.

One is that neither fiber has much body, which means, in order to achieve elasticity in places like cuffs and neckbands, ribbing is pretty well essential. For an all-over close fit, heavily textured designs like cable, mosaic, all-over rib, and slip stitch patterns will help. The choice must be made wisely though as the heathery tones in Truva command a strong stitch pattern to shine through the heather. This lack of body can work well for a knitter, as it means Truva will make beautiful, drapey garments like shawls and tunics.

Another thing the two fibers have in common is that they’re soft – in the case of cashmere, extremely soft. So, Truva is perfect for knits worn close to the skin – even a camisole would be great. As I knitted my first sample, I came up with another application for which Truva is perfectly suited: chemo caps. It’s that soft.

The way Truva is spun and twisted (plied), adds to the visual interest of the yarn.

An open coil of a strand of Sandcastle yarn rests on a light green background. On the outer round of the coil, the yarn is separated to show how each ply of the yarn contains a strand of white, cream, and beige that make up the yarn; Truva by Universal Yarn

Each ply of Truva contains all the colors in the yarn. Both the singles and the final twist are spun in the ‘S’ direction.

Because of its 50% cashmere content, the recommended care for Truva is to hand wash, and dry flat, so it might not be the ideal yarn for your next baby-knit, unless you know mom is prepared for the extra care. In a project for yourself, however, Truva feels very luxurious!

In this series, I’ve dusted off one of my favorite stitch dictionaries: Barbara G. Walker’s first book, A Treasury of Knitting Patterns. I purchased this original printing in the early 1980s. It’s one of three knitting books that would be replaced immediately if my library ever met a disaster.

A book with a pale blue cover with a photograph of knitted lace down the left side. The title reads A Treasury of Knitting Patterns in a black box about ⅓ of the way down the right side of the cover. Sticky flags can be seen popping out of the side and top of the pages. On the top right is a pink ball of wool, and on the bottom left is a blue ball of wool; Truva by Universal Yarn

A Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker

This week, I’ll tackle increasingly difficult stitch patterns to hopefully inspire you to adapt a ‘vanilla’ sweater pattern into a spectacular knit.

In my next post, I’ll offer some advice for choosing the right size needles, and make a ‘vanilla’ sample in a stockinette stitch with Truva by Universal Yarn.

This is part 1 of 5 in this series

Go to part 2: Knitting needles for the new TRUVA yarn: How to pick the right size


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