Awhile back, a wonderfully ambitious friend offered to make some garb for Jack. A few months later, she mentioned coveting the DNA scarf, but didn’t think she could add learning to knit to her increasing list of fiber arts. Since she was already working on something for Jack, though, it made perfect sense for me to make her a DNA scarf in (partial) exchange.
She really only had one “want” for the scarf: it should be black. This initially caused me some consternation – black yarn and cables normally don’t play nice; cables like yarn and colors that let them “pop” and “popping” is a function of how the light and shadows play off the different surfaces created by the cable. Black yarn doesn’t show much in the way of shadows. So, I told her to let me dig around for some suitable black yarns and knit up some swatches to send to her.
There’s another difficulty with black, though I didn’t know it until I started looking for some. It seems that finding solid black yarn in DK weight is something of a challenge, or at least it was at all the yarn stores I could manage to make it into. I really wanted to go into a store to buy this yarn so I could *feel* it before buying it – it’s going to be a scarf after all, and the skin on someone’s throat is usually some of the most sensitive on the body. I didn’t want a scratchy wool, but I also didn’t want something so soft it wouldn’t hold the shape of the cables.
In the end, I ordered three skeins of black DK yarn from KnitPicks – one in Elegance (Coal), one in Swish DK (Coal), and one in Telemark (Black).
The Elegance is (not surprisingly; it’s 70% baby alpaca and 30% silk) the softest, but that also means it’s the one that is most likely to lose the shape of the cables. Surprisingly, the Swish DK is also quite soft, and it has the benefit of being a superwash. The Telemark is pretty rough, even after washing, but produced a swatch that is slightly larger than the other two. The silk in the Elegance gives it a bit of a sheen that I think might help the cables pop a bit better, but I also think they look just fine in the Swish DK. *shrug*
At this point, these three swatches are on their way to the future owner of the scarf so she can look at them and feel them herself. If she likes one of these three, I’ll go with her preference; if none of these three is what she wants, I’ll look for other alternatives.