Sunday, 10 May 2015

A box of delights

You might have thought that by my age I would have grown out of the excitement that follows the delivery of a parcel but some parcels reward my undignified glee. Underneath the cool and rather sophisticated exterior something was hiding.


There is something about tissue paper that adds to the suspense. I think it's that you get a bit of a glimpse of what is inside but can't quite see yet.


And here it is - four beautiful samples of yarn from a company that is new to me, Yarn Stories. I was really pleased to read that they spin their yarns at a mill in Yorkshire, another example of the skills and traditions of the wool spinning industry in the UK being brought back to life by enthusiastic people.

 The samples that I have been given are, Fine Merino and Baby Alpaca in an Aran weight and a DK and a fine merino in a DK and 4 ply.

I decided to try the Fine Merino DK first. It is as might be expected extremely soft with the matt finish associated with a fine wool. I was pleased to read that they have not super wash treated this yarn so the ball is still good and springy to squeeze with a bit of a halo, not flat and lifeless like many super wash wools can be. It has a four ply construction with a medium twist and what appears to be a more worsted than woollen spin although retaining a good amount of air in the yarn. According to the washing instructions it can be machine washed at 30 degrees but given that the yarn is not highly twisted I would be concerned about some loss of stitch definition and would probably hand wash.

Taking a practical approach to my swatching I decided to use it to make a pair of baby socks for a sock knitting class that I teach. For sock knitting I generally use a smaller needle than the ball band suggests so went with a 3.25mm needle. As the yarn is quite lofty it took the extra compression well and produced a firm but still soft and flexible result with good clear stitch definition.


Overall I was pleased with this yarn. I can't imagine a more butter soft example of a fine merino and at £5.25 per ball is a fairly average price for this quality of yarn.

I look forward to trying the other yarns in the box and will let you know how I get on!

Yarn Stores have also asked me to tell you about an exciting competition to design a blanket square that they are running in conjunction with the Knitting and Crochet Guild. You can read more about it here.

Disclaimer: I was sent this yarn to review by Yarn Stories.