September 15th, 2010

Be Smitten with Be Sweet

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Hi Everyone

One of the new yarn lines we added for fall is from Be Sweet.  Owner Nadine Curtis has developed her company around exquisite yarns, gorgeous colors and with a clear focus on social responsiblity.  The name of her company alone makes a statement “Be.Sweet”.  A lovely, warm way of saying “do no harm”.  Her business is built on the premise of creating jobs for women in South Africa, where her yarns are sourced.  It’s easy to talk the talk, it’s another to truly walk the walk.

Steve and I had a chance to send some time with Nadine at TNNA.  It wasn’t our first meeting as we had looked at her yarns in the past.  Why one brand over another makes it into the store is not a scientific ratio or a mathematical equation.  The time was finally right and we are thrilled to be offering Be Sweet Yarns.

The first yarn up is Nadine’s scene stealer – Magic Ball.  Magic Ball is made up of a variety of yarns that are hand tied together and hand dyed into individual rainbows of color.  Here are just some of the colors we are carrying:

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Here’s one that really speaks to me:

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Magic Ball is an adventure in color, texture and shifts in gauge.  This yarn is an experience in creativity.  Perfect for accessories, Nadine also offers patterns for full garments.    I think for those of you who enjoy the unexpected this yarn is calling your name.  For those of you more staid knitters (such as myself) I think Magic Ball is exactly what we need.

Next is Be Sweet’s Mohair Boucle – it comes in several weights but we opted to start with Extra Fine.  I Twittered awhile back  how much I love this yarn and how it is the complete antithesis of what I usually love in a yarn.  First – it’s skinny.  I don’t do skinny yarns.  Second – it’s a boucle.  I’ve never really met a boucle that I got along with.  Last – and most important.  It’s mohair.  I don’t like mohair.  Mohair is scratchy and often has an attitude and, well, I just don’t care for it as a fiber.  Be Sweet’s is so NOT any of these things (0ther than skinny but even that is transformed into a non-issue)

This mohair is soft and cozy and yummy.  In it’s 25 gm put-up the only attitude it exudes is – “hug me” , “cuddle me”.  Look:

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Don’t you just want to one of these??  I think I need to put one on my desk – makes me smile.

The boucle loops are adorable and not annoying at all.  In fact, I might just say that they are endearing.    And the skinny part?  Sure you can knit it on a small needle and create a lovely fabric, but Nadine is smart and has a great design sense.  Her diagnoal strip shawl/scarf spoke to me for it’s beauty and simplicity.  Best part?  It’s knit on a #9 needle.  Now we’re talking!  Look how lovely it is:

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(note:  this is a sample Nadine loaned us and does not represent colors we are carrying.  I know – not perfect but we just need to use a little creativity in picking colors).

This pattern can be purchased for $5.00 here.

None of Nadine’s yarns are inexpensive but when you are trying to create good in a far away place, it’s neither easy or cheap.  Magic Ball retails at $32.00 per hank and Extra Fine Mohair is $13.00 per ball.

The last piece I’ve yet to tempt you with is her color palette.  With 75 colors available we struggled to make choices.  Here’s what we currently have in stock:

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I love what we picked and I am toying with three possible combos for my scarf:

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What do you think?

You can also listen to the interview I did with Nadine on Ready, Set, Knit back on August 18th.  We had a great conversation and I look forward to having her at the store for an event in early 2011.

Enjoy!

Kathy

  • Kate

    I vote for the colour combination with the purple in the middle – gorgeous!

  • Stephanie

    I like the 1st of the 3 combinations you posted, but as always – knitter's choice!

  • http://twitter.com/rroentgen Andra Asars

    I vote for combo #1 with the purple as well. nice.

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  • Maryann

    All 3 are gorgeous. I like the first, with the purple for a cheery dash of color. If you want the scarf to really pop, I'd use the 3rd combination with the pink.

  • Amanda

    I prefer the first combo with the purple, but I am not a blue fan so I'd swap out one of the blues for lilac (second from left, bottom row).

  • Ariel

    Combo #1

  • Diana

    I recently purchased an approximately 100 yd. skein of Magic Ball yarn by Be Sweet. I paid $35 for nothing more than garbage! Nice yarns, beautiful colors – gives you the impression that all of this is wound together in ONE LENGTH – NOT SO, people! It’s nothing more than various SCRAPS of yarn tied together to MAKE that 100 yd. skein & is VERY unimpressive, once you wind it into a ball! It’s a MESS, it LOOKS like a mess & it’s nothing more than a waste of your hard-earned money! Use the color combinations as an idea to purchase other various yarns to create your OWN beautiful skein, I’m sure it will cost you much less & you’ll have more bang for your buck!nDiana

  • Anonymous

    Diana – I am sorry you are unhappy with your purchase of Magic Ball. It is not the only yarn of its type on the market – there are several that utilize the same principle of hand-tying different yarns together. This allows for both texture and color changes. There are certainly machine made yarns that can also offer these elements to some extent. There is no question that Magic Ball is not for everyone, but the finished accessories & garments are very unique.nnIf you would like to email me at kathy.elkins@yarn.com, with your full name & address, I would be happy to credit your account for the purchase.nnKathy

  • Csmithmacrae

    As I reading this for the first time 7 months after your post, I am wondering which combo you chose. All are beautiful. Personally I would have chosen #3 or #1 but all of the choices are beautiful. I hope you post a pic of the finished project sometime.

  • Jmfairclo

    I would love to use this yarn as an embellishment on felted hats and bags. Will some of the fibers in Magic Ball felt? How fun to have it partially felt. Thanks.

  • Dina F

    I bought the Magic Ball in African Veldt and adore the colors but the mohair boucle is giving me fits, I must admit. It doesn’t help that I chose to do a simple lace: k1, yo, slip 2, k1, p2sso. If you make a mistake, the mohair boucle is very unforgiving and difficult to rip back. But, still a gorgeous creative collection of yarns.  

  • avidrdr

     “Magic Ball is made up of a variety of yarns” is what is mentioned in the blog and is to be taken for what it is worth. I feel it is a combo of those as illustrated in the scarf. But since you mentioned it, I will not try any of the above–I cannot tolerate the loops or thinness as in Boucle and may not be ‘rip’ proof as with correcting mistakes. Your point is well taken–thanks for the thought.