Stash ’em: Reviews of yarns I have enjoyed
Disclosure: These are my personal opinions and I have not received any form of remuneration or consideration for providing them here.
(always more coming)
AslanTrends Invernal – This is one of those “sleeper” yarns that without fanfare, is simply lovely. There aren’t too many yarns with bunny angora but without so many other binders that they obscure the rabbit. This is one of them. Use it for anything you want to touch. A lot. Yes, there is “polyamide” – which is to say, a form of acrylic. It will not be evident, except in making the yarn stronger. Natural color is softest of all.
Berroco Blackstone Tweed – This feels nice enough on the needles, but give it a bath and the bunny love comes through. Excellent for hats and accessories, but beware that it can snap when over-manipulated via cables. Not recommended for mattress stitching.
Briar Rose Fibers Glory Days – This DK-weight BFL is just as smooth as butter to knit with, and it will do so at a variety of gauges. It can be substituted for a worsted gauge of 5 st/inch nicely, so calling it DK may limit its possibilities. It does everything – lace, cables, plain stockinette – and does so beautifully. Softens nicely and handles hard and light blocking. And at 500 yards per skein, you’ll have to keep thinking up more projects because you want to use up every yard.
Colinette Jitterbug – I’m not a fan of superwash, but this was nice and sproing-y to knit with for mitts. HOWEVER, a qualifier here: My mitts grew significantly when washed. Take this into account for your projects. Wash your swatch.
Crystal Palace Bunny Hop – Super yarn for durable, machine-washable baby/kid garments without that superwash feel. Vibrant palette and this yarn does NOT split. Machine washing produces this nice halo from the bunny fiber. Another blend where modern acrylic makes a better result.
Handmaiden SeaSilk – This is a real treat to work with. It’s fine, but not too fine, and like butter to knit with. Not splitty at all. Be aware that I have experienced significant dye bleed-off when soaking SeaSilk. This is not an unpleasant development; it usually results in less jarring color changes. Also, after wet-blocking, the texture changes significantly and it feels like pure silk.
Louet Gems – What a workhorse wool this is. No fuss, just terrific quality and lovely color saturation in a well-made yarn.
Mountain Colors Bearfoot – Mountain Colors produces the most lovely colorways and blends its mohair so well that even I can use it. Great for shawls as well as socks. Though I generally hate the feel of anything with “superwash” wool, this one works for me.
Mountain Colors Mountain Goat – Wow – a mohair yarn I can recommend. This is spun so tightly that the mohair doesn’t give you all that fuzz that clogs your eyes and nose and makes me drop stitches. And in the same wonderful dyeing as other MC yarns.
Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande / Misti Alpaca Chunky Solids – Fill a bathtub with this and swim in it. This is so soft and well-spun that it is truly a pleasure to knit with. Especially good for a one-skein cowl.
Queensland Kathmandu DK – I love this yarn, although calling it DK is a misnomer. It performs most nicely when opened up to 5 st/inch, and softens beautifully with a warm bath. One caveat: do not try mattress stitch with this yarn, as it will snap.
Queensland Kathmadu Aran – Definitely an aran weight and holds cables beautifully, as in Habitat hat.
Quince & Co. Chickadee – This 100% American wool entered the marketplace under the sure hand of knitterati Pam Allen in 2010. It is a plump, springy sport-weight that pops with texture (think cables) or easily opens up in lace. DO wash your swatch if using it for a garment.
Reynolds Contessa – Alas, long discontinued, but this bulky weight angora/wool blend was like butter to knit with. I still have a sweaters’ worth in stash.
Spirit Trail Fiberworks Brigantia – Finally, Polwarth spun up for knitters ~ with 15% Bombyx silk. This DK-weight blend is light but warm. It takes cables and lace equally beautifully with the drape only silk can give. I’m deeply in love with this yarn that debuted at MDSW 2012.
Spirit Trail Fiberworks Lyra – This light-worsted blend of alpaca, merino and silk is just yummy. While it appears somewhat loosely plied, it does not split. Plan to knit this at a looser gauge to experience the real squooshiness.
Spirit Trail Fiberworks Nona – This is laceweight that performs. It is very soft to knit with, but blocking transforms it into the softest cobwebs. Looks fabulous with 8-0 beading, too. Between the 25% cashmere and 25% silk, it drapes wonderfully.
Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna – The yarn world appeared to be taken by storm with variations of MCN (MerinoCashmereNylon) in the past few months. Sunna is a merino, cashmere and silk blend. It flows brilliantly on the needles, and Jennifer’s dyeing is exquisite. This is by far my favorite fingering-weight yarn.
Sweet Grass Wool 2-ply Targhee – The ultimate mitten yarn. it is plump and strong and close to the sheep. Beware of the dyed colors, which may release significant amounts of dye in the bath. It’s still worth it to knit with this.
Sundara Fingering Silky Merino – To knit with it is to love it. It is on the very fine side of light fingering, but because of the merino content, a dropped stitch does not run. It’s worth playing with your gauge – you get very different fabric depending on what you choose. Once completed, you have a cushy, squooshy FO with gorgeous drape. Wash your swatch – it relaxes significantly after a bath. Be aware that blues and reds will need special care after knitting.
Sundara Silk Lace – It’s dyed by Sundara and as smooth as you would want it to be. Be aware that blues and reds will need special care after knitting.
Sundara Sock (Original) – This is plump, squishy and smooth – like Jitterbug (see above) but better. Now discontinued because of supply issues, it handles lace and blocking beautifully. Be aware that blues and reds will need special care after knitting.