Knitting (socks) with Zegna Baruffa lace-weight yarn…

Posted by on June 5, 2012 at 5:47 am.

There was a pasteboard box full of bright-colored yarns and another box filled with embroidery silks and sheets of perforated thin cardboard, silver-colored and gold-colored. Ma gave both boxes to Laura, saying, “You gave away the pretty things you had made. Now here are some lovely things for you to work with.” Laura was so happy that she couldn’t say a word. -The Long Winter

The Long Winter, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, is one of my favorite books from the Laura Ingalls Wilder series. I read the series when I was eight-years old, and the above passage comes from the chapter; The Christmas barrel.

In an earlier chapter, Laura’s mother talks with the older girls of the inability to have Christmas presents that year. The town had received numerous blizzards that were preventing trains from coming to replenish the two stores supplies. Laura, took the initiative and gifts her mother and her sisters with items she’s created. Pa, received some embroidered suspenders from a local hardware store. The family put their pennies together and purchased them for 10 cents. 

In many ways, I could identify with Laura. Which explains why I’ve read this series countless times, and it’s a personal account of pioneer life. She’s headstrong, has an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and she’s quite crafty….

But, there is a big difference, many of the items she made were created out of necessity. However it’s obvious throughout the series that she loved crochet, embroidery, knitting, and sewing. I don’t need to make hand crafted items for my family or those in need. I make them because they bring me joy, and I love sharing with others, just as she did….

Zegna Baruffa yarn

Yesterday, I received these three extremely large spools of soft alpaca lace-weight yarn…

And just like Laura, I was thrilled.

I was so overwhelmed; I didn’t speak for a bit. In my mind I was already thinking of how I’d use these three spools of lace-weight yarn; crocheted and knitted lace, embroidery, embellishments, shawls, and perhaps socks too; which I admit, is what I really want to use some of this yarn for… Judging by the size of the spools, I believe the yarn will last for years.

I must say, seeing large cones of yarn, direct from the spinner is quite different from the tiny hanks I’m used to seeing at Big Lots (Think Joann Fabric, Hobby Lobby, Michaels) and local yarn stores (stores that only sell yarn related items). Giant cones such as this are what a crochet or knitting designer would receive if they were creating handcrafted items for a crochet/knitwear shop.

The yarn is from Zegna Baruffa. I must admit, that I wasn’t familiar with the company until yesterday, but after a few brief internet searches, I learned….

Zegna Baruffa is one of the leading Italian spinners of knitwear yarns.

They’re located in Italy.

How did I get the yarn?

These spools were mixed within bags of clothing we receive from a secondhand store. We receive clothing from them often, and we turn these items over to other organizations in need. if you think about it, most second hand stores don’t have unlimited storage, and after some time, they’ll have to remove the items that aren’t selling, to to make room for newer merchandise.

We pick up the castoffs, and turn them over to clothing closets and loved ones who might be able to give items to those in need. Clothing closets are beneficial for those who don’t have money, since they can receive nice clothing for free. Many of the items haven’t been worn. Occasionally we’ll receive additional items, such as electronics, which is donated to the Purple Heart. This is the second time I’ve received yarn…


  • Teeni says:

    I enjoyed the Laura Ingalls Wilder books too, though I admit I don’t remember them as well as you do. Hmm – maybe I should go back and re-read. Anyway, that is wonderful that these yarns found their way into your hands. You know, a friend of our family runs the clothing drop-off trailer for the local high school and people are only supposed to donate clothing but sometimes people get lazy and drop off all kinds of other stuff there. Then my friend has to sort through that stuff and she tries to find homes for everything. The clothes get sold and the money goes to the high school fund. Everything else my friend has to find homes for. Fortunately my friend is extremely resourceful as well as thoughtful and many good items like baby car seats and home items made their way to people who couldn’t otherwise afford them thanks to her tireless efforts. It is rare to find those large cones but that is great since you’ll be able to do a lot with them. 🙂


    Opal Reply:

    Hi @Teeni, I’ve read the Laura Ingalls Wilder series at least thirty times, I know it’s a lot higher than that, since I read them yearly.

    Yes the items we receive all find good homes; it’s a great feeling.
    Opal recently posted..Crochet: Scraptastic hat update; pattern test complete


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