Quince and Co, as I talk about briefly in my NYC’s Best Knitting Stores post, is a wonderful yarn company primarily for their yarn practices. All of their wool comes from sheep farms in North America and is dyed with all natural dyes in a dying process that’s safe for our environment. The yarn is affordable and quality, and the founder and president, Pam Allen, is one of the most amazing knitters and knitwear designer advocates in the world (she is a big reason why knitting designers can sell designs to people).
All that said, when I was first introduced to Quince and Co Lark I did not like it at all. It felt stiff and dry and a little scratchy, and I was on an undyed kick so I didn’t really appreciate the colors. I eventually decided to design a knitting a project for it after quite a bit of prompting from my wife (who adores knitting with the yarn). That project, of course, being Hexaform, though I will design more knitwear with it, I’m sure.
Working with it, I still wasn’t too impressed. I did discover that the yarn wasn’t that horrible to knit with, but I still didn’t like the feel of it (I’m a big baby when it comes to my hands feeling dry, so working with a yarn that feels dry makes me cringe a little). Then I soaked it, man what a transformation! The yarn suddenly became soft and malleable and a little luscious, and of course it had all the wonderful properties of a quality wool: warmth, stretch, and a tendency to keep its shape and hide knitting mistakes among others.
Lark comes in a variety of colors, some of which are to die for. Others I’m not quite as fond of, but the dying process is so humane I don’t mind. I also know plenty of people who love all the colors. You won’t find the luster, of course, of some other yarns, and all of the colors are solids – no hand-painteds to be found here. You’ll also find that two different dye lots can differ quite vastly. That said, there are many wonderful colors to choose from and those who love color in their knitting will not be disappointed.
All in all, I highly recommend Quince and Co Lark for all your worsted needs, and at $7 a skein you can afford to at least give it a try! Go ahead, buy a skein and knit a swatch, just be sure to soak it if you want to fully appreciate how wonderful a yarn it is.