Sample Cards

Have I explained sample cards to you guys?  They’re rather nifty, and not something I knew about until I started designing.  I just got another one in the mail, so I thought I’d take advantage of this shiny new addition to my drawer of goodies and tell you about them.

So we all know that hanging out at yarn stores is the best way to find great yarns.  You can see exactly the color and the structure, you can pet the yarn, you can even sniff it if that’s your thing.  But no one yarn store can have every yarn (except maybe Webs…I think they’re working on it, but they’re also far far away from me), and even if a store has yarn from a particular company, they may not have every color and every base.

But sometimes when you’re working on a design, you really need to lay hands on the yarn you’re thinking about using, or to see just how fuzzy the fuzzy yarn is, or to figure out if that pink will really look good with that brown in the real word.  This is where sample cards come in.  They show a little bit of each yarn and each color that a company makes.  It’s not a huge amount of yarn (a few inches each, not enough to knit a swatch with), but it’s absolutely perfect for really getting a feel for the color and texture.  It makes it much easier to decide which of the 14 thousand light brown fingering weight yarns out there is the right one for a given project.

This latest batch is from The Rare Yarns Company, a New Zealand manufacturer a friend recently introduced me to.  Sample cards are especially useful for yarns with interesting texture like these that can be hard to fully appreciate on a computer screen.  I’ve got a few lovely skeins that I’ve got great plans for!