Yarn Review from Knitting issue 125, February 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Jenaette Sloan stays warm with the last of the winter yarns

1. Belinda Harris-Reid
Buttersoft

1 Belinda Harris -Reid Buttersoft
Buttersoft is an apt name for this yarn from Belinda Harris-Reid, which is beautifully luxurious and buttery soft to the touch. It consists of two plies of 100% alpaca, which are gently twisted together producing a yarn that slips smoothly through the fingers as you work creating an incredibly warm and supple fabric. If you’re more used to working with wool than alpaca don’t expect the stitches to have the same ‘bounce’ as alpaca has less crimp so the stitches won’t have the same crisp definition of something like a Merino of the same thickness. Although not overtly hairy like mohair there is a slight haze to this yarn due to the length of the fibres. If you find that wool causes irritation when worn next to the skin you should give this a try as alpaca is hypoallergenic. It is a versatile yarn that is ideal for accessories but can also used for larger projects such as garments. Available undyed only. Hand washing at 30°c is recommended.

Composition: 100% baby alpaca
Weight: 100g
Length: 100m
Rec needle size:
4-15mm depending on pattern
or desired effect
RRP: £13
Contact: Belinda Harris-Reid
T: 01392 252256
E: info@belindaharrisreid.co.uk
W: www.belindaharrisreid.co.uk


2. Baruffa
Pura Lana

2 Baruffa Pura Lana
Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia is a family run business that has been spinning yarns in Italy since 1850. They’re renowned for supplying high quality Merino yarns to industrial knitters and weavers who supply some of the biggest brands in the fashion industry and they’ve used these same skills and experience to develop a range of hand knitting yarns for Todds Hand Knits. Pura Lana, which is a 4 ply here but is also available in both DK and Aran weight, is 100% extra fine Merino wool. It’s a beautifully smooth, softly twisted yarn that knits to a standard tension of 24 sts and 36 rows on 3.5mm needles. The resulting fabric has a lovely soft handle, beautiful drape and excellent stitch definition which makes it ideal for knitting countless stitches, from moss and garter stitch to cable and rib structures. It has a good metreage of 170m per 50g ball and there is an impressive choice of 30 colours in the range including shade Embers, shown here. Gentle washing at 40°c is recommended, may also be dry cleaned.

Composition: 100% virgin wool
Weight: 50g
Length: 170m
Rec needle size: 3.5mm
RRP: £4.20
Contact: Todds Hand Knits
T: 01509 788960
E: enquiries@toddshandknits.com
W: www.toddshandknits.com


3. King Cole
Country Tweed

3 King Cole Country Tweed
Country Tweed is a gently twisted blend of 73% acrylic, 24% wool and 3% viscose. It’s a modern take on a tweed yarn with tiny flecks of fibre twisted into it, which add bright accents that contrast against the overall striping effect. There is quite a bit going on with this yarn in terms of colour so you may prefer to use it for basic stocking/garter stitch and large cables rather than investing long hours in complicated stitch effects that then get lost in the colour. That said, it would also work well for lace structures knitted on larger needles. It knits to a standard DK tension of 22 sts and 28 rows producing a soft, lightweight fabric. Pattern support can be found in a collection of loose leaflets featuring sweaters, cardigans and slipovers for both men and women. There are nine shades available from a palette of rich autumnal tones including shade 167 South Downs, shown here. Gentle washing at 30°c
is recommended.

Composition: 73% acrylic,
24% wool, 3% viscose
Weight: 100g
Length: 280m
Rec needle size: 4mm
RRP: £5.99
Contact: King Cole
T: 01535 650230
E: info@kingcole.co.uk
W: www.kingcole.co.uk

4. Stylecraft
Weekender

4 Stylecraft Weekender
Weekender by Stylecraft is a chunky yarn made from 100% premium acrylic. Despite its pure synthetic fibre content it is a high quality yarn with a twisted construction that makes it look like a much more expensive wool yarn and gives it excellent stitch definition when knitted. It is soft and extremely lightweight, which makes it extremely versatile whether you’re using it for quick accessories or larger projects. Pattern support can be found in a collection of easy-to-wear ladies’ garments including moss stitch jackets and cabled sweaters that are ideal for chilly winter days. There are eight shades to choose from ranging from the intensely blue shade Indigo to the more gently dusky pink shade of 3679 Petal, shown here. To add to its versatility this yarn is also machine washable at 30°c and may also be dry cleaned with care.

Composition: 100% acrylic
Weight: 100g
Length: 100m
Rec needle size: 8mm
RRP: £3.69
Contact: Styelcraft
T: 01535 609798
E: general@stylecraftltd.co.uk
W: www.stylecraft-yarns.co.uk


5. Coolree
Cashmere

5 Coolree Cashmere (1)
If you’re looking for THE ultimate luxury yarn then look no further. Coolree Cashmere is a 100% cashmere hand dyed in Wexford, Ireland by Alex McLeod who started the business after learning to knit and becoming inspired by the numerous colours and textures available on the market. It’s a luxuriously soft laceweight yarn with a semi solid colouring that glides through the fingers as you knit. There are lots of tonal variations within each shade that produce gentle bands of colourful interest when knitted so if you’re using it for intricate lace stitches the detail won’t be lost in the yarn. Shown here in Eye-Balm Green. The resulting fabric is beautifully lightweight, warm and incredibly soft to the touch. Whilst there aren’t any specific patterns for this yarn the popularity of lace means there’s no shortage of projects for which it can be used. Gentle hand washing is recommended

Composition: 100% cashmere
Weight: 50g
Length: 366m
Rec needle size: 2.75-3mm depending on desired effect
RRP: €29.95
Contact: Coolree
E: alex@coolree.com
W: www.coolree.com


6. Rowan
Fine Art Aran

6 Rowan Fine Art Aran
Fine Art Aran is the latest addition to Rowan’s Fine Art family of yarns. It’s a luxurious blend of 50% Wool 25% Alpaca 20% Mohair 5% Silk which is hand painted and this produces gentle changes of colour and tone within each shade when knitted. It knits to a standard tension of 19 sts and 25 rows on 4.5 mm needles and the resulting fabric is wonderfully soft, warm, and lightweight given its thickness. There are eight colours to choose from with dance-inspired names like Foxtrot (a purple/green/brown mix), Conga (a gold/pink/orange/maroon mix) and the pink/orange/red tones of shade 552 Azonto shown above. Hand washing at 30°c is recommended, may also be dry cleaned.

Composition: 50% wool,
25% alpaca, 20% mohair, 5% silk
Weight: 100g
Length: 170m
Rec needle size: 4.5mm
RRP: £14.95
Contact: Rowan
T: 01484 681881
E: mail@knitrowan.com
W: www.knitrowan.com


7. Knit UK
Cornish Chunky

7 Knit UK Cornish Chunky
Cornish Chunky is the first yarn from West Midlands-based company KnitUK. Made from 100% Blue Faced Leicester wool and spun locally in Cornwall this is a truly British yarn produced by the woollen spun method. The result is an extremely strong and sturdy yarn that has a gentle lustre and is wonderfully quick to knit with a standard tension of 16 sts and 23 rows on 6mm needles. There are three key shades to choose from including Natural, Silver and shade 001 Purple, shown here and although there are no individual patterns currently available there is a scarf and wrist warmer set which can be bought as a knitting kit from the website. Cool hand washing is recommended, may also be dry cleaned.

Composition: 100% pure
new wool
Weight: 100g
Length: 110m
Rec needle size: 6mm
RRP: £9.99
Contact: Knit UK
T: 07876 550698
E: contact@knituk.com
W: www.knituk.com


8. The Little Knitting Company
Cashmere Yak

8 The Little Knitting Company Cashmere Yak
Cashmere Yak is an unusual blend of 42% cashmere, 40% yak and 18% virgin wool that knits to a DK tension. It has a plied construction with a slightly uneven texture, which is highlighted by tiny flecks of complementary colours that are revealed as you knit. It produces a beautifully lightweight fabric with a tweedy texture and whilst it’s a lovely yarn to work with you’ll see the real character of this exotic yarn after knitting – just give it a good blast with a steam iron and it’s transformed, revealing its true softness. With an excellent metreage of 67m per 25g ball, it is perfect for small accessories such as gloves, which require only two balls. There are eight shades to choose from including Lotus Pink, shown here, and hand washing
is recommended.

Composition: 42% cashmere,
40% yak, 18% virgin wool
Weight: 25g
Length: 87m
Rec needle size: 3.75-4.5mm
RRP: £6.95
Contact: The Little Knitting Company
T: 01367 710362
E: info@tlkc.co.uk
W: www.thelittleknittingcompany.co.uk

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