Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Testing, testing...

As regular readers of this blog may know, Natalie, yarn dyer extraordinaire and owner of the Yarn Yard and I are great friends and collaborators. Most of the schemes we dream up at half past midnight on the telephone never see the light of day but we do all we can to support each other in whatever we are planning or working on.

As you can imagine, I was delighted when Natalie asked me to review an exclusive new yarn for her. Last week, this little beauty and its partner arrived in the post. Although Natalie and I are friends I did give this yarn a thorough work over and hope I have been fair and objective.

It's an eight ply, 100% merino and as you can see, the fineness of the plies gives it a very smooth, solid construction with virtually no halo at all. It's also a little heavier and not so fuzzy soft as Natalie's current sock yarns, similar in weight to say Socks that Rock Light and very reminiscent in texture to Wollmeise but lighter than something like Colinette Jitterbug.

In order to give it a thorough test I chose a pattern which combined a lot of pattern stitches with a range of construction elements. This is, once again from Wendy Johnson's Socks from the Toe Up, the Riding on the Metro Sock.

The yarn is lovely to knit with and produces a fabric which is a lot more solid than the other Yarn Yard staples, Bonny and Toddy and very smooth and crisp in its stitch definition. It doesn't split too badly when working on those tricky little ssk's although it does have a slight tendency to twist up on itself during knitting but nothing compared to some that I have tried.

The skeins weighed in at 60g each so I wanted to make sure I got as much out of them as possible. This yarn doesn't have the yardage of Bonny or Toddy and produces a heavier weight sock. Because the lace pattern has quite long repeats I decided to stop where I would usually finish with a 50g skein and only had this 6g ball left so people who like a decent amount of leg on their sock will be pleased to hear that Natalie is planning to sell it in 65g(I think) skeins.

Here's a close up of the stitch pattern which is, as you can see very firm and defined. People who prefer their socks slightly less textured may wish to choose one of the other alternatives. Because of the eight ply construction I think it will make very hard wearing socks despite the absence of nylon. Natural fibre purists like me will be very chuffed about that!

All in all I think this yarn is a really exciting addition to the yarns available in the UK and as merino absorbs colour beautifully there is opportunity for some striking colourways.

I think it stands up to scrutiny pretty well.


theyarnyard said...

I knew I could rely on an honest assessment from Jane.
This will be available next month and at the moment it is nameless...

kathryn said...

Thanks for the review Jane, I shall look forward to the yarns debut.

Linda said...

That looks nice yarn, lovely colours as always. Thank you for the review.

littlelixie said...

Mmmm. Looks rather nice.