I’m going to ramble about yarn. Brace yourself.
I’ve ordered the tail yarn for the mermaid for the pattern example. Berroco Espresso – this time I got Pistachio. I’m waiting to see it in person before I order the rest of the yarn for her top, skin, and hair. Espresso is a 50/50 cotton/acrylic. This violates my “earth-healthy yarn” code. I’m using it anyway because it is a) perfect and b) novelty yarns are typically a compromise. While a hand-dyed wool would work beautifully, I’m trying to find readily available yarns for the Mermaid. She’s such a mix of yarn types, I don’t want people struggling to make her ‘look like the picture’ because they can’t get ahold of the yarn I used.
Her skin color is problematic. Once you factor in a less popular yarn weight (chunky) and my earth-healthy preferences for fiber…there’s not a lot left. I’d like a smooth organic cotton (not a fluffy one like I use for animals). It would be nice if I recommended a yarn that didn’t need doubling and one that is relatively easy to find (not a custom yarn from Etsy). Finding skin tones is just tricky anyway. Everything is dyed in beautiful, bright, clear colors right now. There are very few browns, tans, neutrals, or whatever the pale shades are called (haha ‘ecru’) available right now. I may end up with Pakucho held double. I’ve ordered a sample card so I can see it in person. Pakucho is color grown cotton which means lots of cinnamon, olive, and tans. Unfortunately no dark browns, but I’ll keep looking. I have to use a lighter yarn for the pattern example so that the stitches show up in the pictures, but people come in all kinds of colors! A doubled worsted does give people more options to fine turn their mermaid’s pigment so this might actually be better than a chunky that’s only available in a couple colors.
Are you following my thought process? All that to say, I will go with doubled, non-organic cotton yarn if one has a variety of ‘neutral’ shades. If anybody has a suggestion? I’ll include other recommendations in the pattern notes no matter what I actually knit her with.
P.S. Ruth has pointed out a couple South African yarns that look great but don’t have retailers in the US yet: Nurturing Fibre and Vinni’s Colours. I don’t mind international shipping, but neither of the companies has color cards with the yarns actually attached. It’s a big gamble to take if you’re trying to match colors, so I’m not ordering for the Mermaid I’ll keep you posted (Nurturing Fiber is first on my list: bamboo/cotton chunky).