Timaru- Yarn Fun with Bamboo

In the world of yarn there can be many really exotic fibers, but at the end of the day we all usually fall back to the most affordable and common. That is why it is a treat to come across a yarn that offers so much to a design, and can take the basic to extraordinary.

One of these extraordinary yarns is Timaru from Lisa Souza Dyeworks. It is a fingering weight yarn that is comprised of 65% Superwash Merino and 35% Rayon of Bamboo. It has a very generous 500 yards per 100 gram hanks, so it goes a long way.

Timaru....www.lindadeancrochet.com

Timaru by Lisa Souza Dyeworks Merino with Bamboo yarn

The Superwash Merino ensures that this yarn is going to be soft, and can have some warmth, as well as being treated so that it does not felt or shrink. Merino is a great wool, but it is not what makes this yarn so special, in this case it is the Bamboo.

The bamboo in this yarn indicates that it is a Rayon, this means that the bamboo is made into a pulp, using the leaves, and some stem. It is ground down and added to a chemical bath to create “goo”. If you ever made homemade paper, it is a little similar. This pulp is then extruded through small holes to create a long filament. Another name you can find for bamboo processed this way is Viscose.

The way it comes together in Timaru with the Superwash Merino lends itself to a yarn with a great drape. Bamboo gives a cool touch to this yarn, so it makes it very warm weather friendly. It also does not take the dye the same as the wool (a protein fiber, whereas the bamboo is a cellulous fiber), this causes a really beautiful lustrous sheen.

I can easily see this yarn worked up as a shawl, a wrap, a tank top…I even know people that love it as a sock yarn. It has a great amount of versatility without sacrificing its integrity in any project. It might actually be difficult to find a project that this yarn will not shine in.

Ava, A Great Yarn by Anzula

I am always on the lookout for yarn that inspires me. Sometimes this is color, sometimes this it texture, but regardless it needs to be good quality. Anzula Ava certainly qualify in this part.

Ava is a sport weight yarn, which is 80% superwash merino (meaning it is a soft and warm wool that will not felt), 10% cashmere (adding to the softness and warmth) and 10% nylon (giving it added strength). One skein offers a generous 330 yards/301 meters.

I really do love the feel of this yarn. It is soft in the hand and lighter in weight then it appears to look at it.  It has very little halo, no real springiness, but instead offers a really nice stable 3 ply yarn. The twist is tight, and creates a nice round yarn that I do not usually find in typical 3 ply yarns. The Merino and Cashmere really play nicely together, creating a fabric that is very soft in the hand. It is surely a fabric that you would like near the skin, even though it is soft, it is still sturdy and durable. I consider it a reliable yarn. I know that it will bring its best to my project and will enhance any project that I put it to use in.

Anzula Yarn Ava www.lindadeancrochet.com

Anzula Ava yarn

It seems to wear well, meaning that it does not pill or stretch out of shape much. It has nice stitch definition, the only thing that moves your eye from the definition of the stitches is the way to color smoothly transitions through subtle hues in this hand dyed yarn.

I would consider this yarn one for special projects. It makes great accessories, like hats and scarves, but can easily make up gloves. I would love it in a sweater or shawl, a nice cardigan, anything that is you would love to treasure. I highly recommend playing with this yarn, you will enjoy it.

Big Squeeze by Ancient Arts- A Lofty Experience

I have played with a lot of yarn over the years, but I do not think that I have ever found a yarn that is so forgiving, or as “squishy” as Ancient Arts Big Squeeze.

This yarn is 100% Superwash Merino, as a result it will not felt or shrink but has a very soft feel. The way this yarn is spun it has a great loft to it, and this has a couple of benefits. Not only is it forgiving in the stitches, and adjusting well for uneven tension, but it also holds more air making it warmer.

Ancient Arts Yarn www.lindadeancrochet.com

Ancient Arts Yarn Big Squeeze color Frolic

This bulky weight yarn comes in a skein size of 127 yards (116 meters), which is comparable to other skeins of this weight, and one skein can easily complete a scarf or hat project. With the larger yarn, it garners a need for a larger hook a J/10/6.00mm will give you a pretty dense fabric, and you may prefer working with a hook size of at least K/10 ½ /6.5mm or greater.

The smooth even ply of this yarn also gives great stitch definition so it makes your stitches the star of the show, even though it comes in over 125 brilliant colors.

I feel this yarn will work up nicely in any home décor, simple accessory, or outer wear garment project. Due to the weight and lofty, it is obviously not the choice for small delicate items (in either look or feel). I also would not necessarily recommend it for projects that have a lot of fine detail, as the large bulk and hook make the details almost disappear.

My overall impression of this yarn is that I could just wrap myself in it and it would be a pillow and a blanket, maybe an all in one cocoon, which I could happily go about my day. It is a dream to work with.

Springy Superwash Yarn!

ScannedImageYarn with a little spring can keep things interesting; Mountain Colors Crazyfoot is just such a yarn.

Crazyfoot is a 90% superwash merino, 10% nylon, light weight, 4 ply yarn that offers a bit of bounce in the stitches, while having a surprisingly round yarn that gives good stitch definition.

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Mountain Colors Crazyfoot yarn

The superwash indicates that the wool has been chemically treated so that it will not felt. In this processes essentially what happens is that the “scales” on each individual fiber are smoothed or relaxed so that they do not catch on the “scales” of the adjacent individual fibers. It is these “scales” (much like the pictures that hair conditioner commercials have used as a before photo) that join together and attract to each other that causes felting.

The process does not change the other properties of wool, as it is still fire resistant, still warm when wet, still takes dye well, still resists odor absorption, still has great stretch, and still able to wick moisture from the body keeping the body at a neutral body temperature.

When paired with a nylon this becomes a very stable and resilient yarn, that can offer a yarn that will stretch and readily spring back into its original shape. It is great for socks, gloves, hats, any garment with a negative fitting ease (where is stretches over the body and hugs the skin), it could even serve as a good outer garment, yet the weight of the yarn may limit its use in this area.

The yarn has a nice twist that does not readily split and holds its shape nicely. This allows for nice stitch definition, creating stand out for texture stitches. The only deterrent is the dependent upon the color way selected. Some of the short color repeats may cause distractions to more complicated stitch work, but overall it is a yarn that I go back to time and again.