Batiste- Some Nice Texture and Color

What some may not realize about my yarn reviews…they are really just for me. Yes, I am a bit selfish. However I have found that by reviewing a yarn weekly, it helps me hone my skills. Don’t get me wrong I hope you, the reader, gets some insight too, but I helps me focus on a fiber that I have in my working stash and imagine its possibilities. So you will see me discuss the fiber content, as this can really effect the drape and performance of the yarn, I also will remind myself of how it feels and if it works up well. I note the weight and length of the skein so that I can keep a mental note of how many skeins it would take to work up a desired project.

www.lindadeancrochet.comI recently travels to a yarn trade show. There are many various companies and different yarns to touch hold and get inspired by. Honestly, it can be a bit overwhelming, but it has provided me with some new yarns to critique and make notes about, such as Batiste from Knit One Crochet Too.

I cannot say that I have ever worked with yarn from this company before, I have seen it and heard the name, but never had the pleasure of crossing paths with a skein before. Batiste is made up of 50% fine merino wool 30% linen and 20% silk. The soft nature of the merino really shines through, while the linen offers a bit of a heather appearance in the color. The linen also offers the yarn a bit more structure and can allow the fabric to appear wrinkled or creased if put under pressure.

Even with the heathering it still has nice stitch definition, showing texture a bit more subtly than some yarns, but still very nice. It is listed as a Fine weight yarn, but I felt really comfortable using a 5.00mm hook (size H/8) so it didn’t feel at all too fine.

I can easily see this worked up as a garment or accessory close to the skin. The hank has a decent size with 208 yards/190 meters at 50 gram/1.75oz, so a small light shawl might take only 2 hanks, but I would prefer to use at least 3 to get a nice size.

Overall, a nice yarn that spurs some ideas. If you want to check out more of my yarn thoughts select the “Yarn Play” under the website categories.

 

Merino Defined!

Great stitch definition and easy to use yarn, which is the best way to describe Merino Textura by Plymouth Yarns as part of their Plymouth Select collection.

This yarn is a bulky weight made up of 62% Superwash Fine Merino Wool and 38% Merino Wool. It seems a bit redundant to state the Merino wool, but there is a bit of a subtle difference. The Superwash Fine Merino, is a fiber that is of smaller diameter and thus is softer. Also being superwash means that this fiber has been treated so that it will not felt. Essentially even though this seems to be the same kind of wool, it really is not. Just over 60% of this yarn is going to be very soft, and not felt, but the remaining 40% can felt, so take caution is washing and caring for your final project in this yarn.

It does feel very nice in the hand. For being a bulky weight I would think of it almost as like a medium weight but a bit heftier. The twist of the yarn seems very stable and for a four ply, it has a nice even round yarn. The clarity of the yarn and ply makes it great for a project that has textural stitches. It will allow popcorns and cables really stand out, as well as enabling open stitch work to easily shine.

I think this is a great yarn for outer wear, like a jacket or even a top layer sweater. The feel is soft enough for direct skin projects, but for me it is the weight that makes it outer wear, I like to layer and the heavier layers are on the outside. This yarn would also work up well in accessories like hats and scarves, or even home décor like a fabulous throw. This yarn will not disappoint.

A Little Linen for Summer- Milo

The temperature has begun to heat up in my California mountains, so I picked up a yarn that I knew would give a little less warmth then others in my stash. I chose a merino, linen blend yarn. This means that it has a fine, or soft, wool combined with a plant based fiber that has been around for thousands of years.

Linen is created from the stalk of the flax plant. The stalk is essentially long strands that are held together by a “glue” that is created by the plant. The “glue” is dissolved, in years past it was done with a fermentation process, the stalk was placed in a watery solution and allowed to rot. This broke up the “glue” and allowed the long, fine strands to be gathered and spun into a yarn. Once it was turned into a yarn, it was called linen.

Milo by Manos del Uruguay

There are certain characteristics with linen. It actually repels dirt and is stronger when wet. If it gets wet and dries quickly, but it does wrinkle easily. There is a particular luster quality, and is cool to the touch. This definitely fits the description of a summer yarn to me.

The yarn I picked up was Milo by Manos Del Uruguay, it is 65% merino and 35% linen. Offering a generous 380 yards/350meters, for a 3.5 oz/ 100 gram hank, in a super fine weight yarn. Honestly it does not remind me of a super fine weight, or lace, it seems to have a bit more body then that and I feel comfortable working it up on a 4-5mm crochet hook. It has a nice feel in the hand, and definitely has that “linen luster” quality.

After washing it actually becomes softer, and I feel it will make a great shawl, but it could work into a nice camisole, or wrap. I think the fiber blend is really at a point of mutual benefit. The is just enough merino to allow for strength while being balanced with enough linen to give it a interesting and stand out quality. This one will do well on my hook and I look forward to seeing what it will become.

A Bit of Tencel to Join Merino

I am sometimes surprised at the “ingredients” I find making up my yarn. When I began crocheting I treated all yarn as if they were all the same, then as I began to get a bit more serious about working in crochet for a living I found that I needed a better understanding of my material in order to make my designs a bit more practical, and understand how my materials could affect the outcome.

Over the last several years I have taken in vast amount of study and research in yarn and the fibers that create them, yet there are still times that I pick up a skein admire its feel, admire its texture and then look at the label and I am a bit taken aback as to its contents.

Valley Yarns Coltrain www.lindadeancrochet.com

Valley Yarns Coltrain

One such yarn is Valley Yarns Colrain. It is a simple soft yarn that has a slight sheen, which lead me to think that the label would look much like most yarns on the market a wool mixed possibly mixed with an acrylic, so I was a little taken aback when it stated “50% Merino/50% Tencel™”.  The Merino did not surprise me, it is a well-known wool that is known for its softness and warmth. As a drawback it is also known for its great tendency to felt (that is shrink), but it is readily found in the markets and a fiber that most esteem to be like.

It was the Tencel™ that caused me to give a bit of a pause. It is a synthetic material that is created from wood pulp, as is rayon. Tencel™, as you may have noticed is a trademarked name, this is because the process which creates this material is trademarked, so all I really know about how it is created is that the base is wood pulp that uses a dry jet-wet spinning method to create this filament.

The properties of Tencel™ are vast.  It is recognized as being soft, as well as strong (even strong when wet). It is often cool to the touch and feels silky, while being able to wick moisture from the body. Like most synthetic materials it can also be created to imitate many other textiles and textures, in this case suede, leather or silk.

The combination of these 2 materials creates a pretty stable yarn. The Tencel™ creates the smooth feel while the Merino causes for the warmth. Each4 ply  ball is 50 grams and 109 yards, so one skein may create a hat or something small, so consider picking up a few extra balls for almost any project.

Merino & Acrylic- Deramores a Nice Choice

I was surprised at how soft and gentle I found Deramores Vintage Chunky yarn. It is quite lofty and works up very smoothly. I found it really pleasant to use, and would gladly pick it up again. It is not as springy as I would have thought by looking at it (yet there is a little),it is very stable and giving great stitch definition.

Deramores Vintage Chunky yarn. Www.lindadeancrochet.com

Deramores Vintage Chunky yarn

This yarn is half acrylic and half Merino Wool, which might explain the lack of springiness, as Merino may be known for its softness and warm, but it appears that this combination with acrylic reduces the amount of stretch that might otherwise be present. It is probably the Merino that gives this yarn its loft and airiness appearance, yet the acrylic tempers it enough that it could be worked as a home décor item, instead of the garment wear that I usually feel is better fitting for Merino.

It is a 5 ply yarn may have a slight tendency to pill after excessive wear, yet does not split when being worked. The fiber has a moderate length and this gives the yarn a slight halo, this is also caused by the ply. It allows light to be refracted offering a subtle type of sheen, that I cannot quite fond the word for.

This yarn is a medium weight and a generous 100 gram ball has 153 yards, which goes a bit further then you might first think. I would readily use it for hats and scarves, but also for pillows and afghans. As it does not have much weight for a hearty drape, I would not use if for hairpin lace, and it has a bit too much spring for broomstick lace and love knot stitches, but it will work well with most all of traditional crochet methods.