Yarn Reviews

This is a list of yarns I have used, and what I thought of them. If I’ve insulted your favourite yarn, I’m sorry, but I just didn’t like it. I’ll keep adding to this as I use new yarns.

No-one is paying me to review these yarns, and no-one sent them to me to be reviewed. This list is yarn I bought and used and had an opinion on.

Apple Laine’s Apple Pie (machine wash cold, 50% wool, 20% mohair, 20% silk, 10% nylon, 190yds/2oz)

Used for Martha’s Orchard Socks, completed May 2007. This is wonderful yarn. Shiny, a bit fuzzy, bright colours, and kitten-soft. The thickness wasn’t totally consistent, there were a few slubs and thinner parts, but barely noticeable when knitted up. It withstood being ripped out at least twice. Slightly splitty if you’re not paying attention and going too fast, but there are only two plies to mess with. Definitely one to get again.

Artyarns Ultramerino 4 (hand wash, 100% merino wool, 191yds/50g)

Used for Lilac Bladderwrack socks, February 2011. This yarn is squishy and plump, rarely splits and has fantastic stitch definition. My colour is a gently shaded lilac, the colour is imaginitively called "126". I liked working with this yarn and would definately get it again.

bellamoden sport (machine wash, 100% merino, 250yds/100g)

Used for Doomed to Comfort socks made in December 2007. Beautifully dyed yarn. Knit on 3.25mm needles, the fabric was firm and squishy. Very warm and comfortable socks. Can be knit without looking at it. No knots in the skein, and it didn’t split. Love this yarn!

Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock yarn (machine wash, 100% wool, 360yds/4oz)

Used for Harvest Rock socks (Harvest Moon colour), completed January 2005. This yarn was my reward for finishing NaNoWriMo 2005. The colours are gorgeous, but after three washes, the colour on the sole is fading. Also there was a knot join in the skein, followed by an over-twisted section of about a yard that was unusable. The vendor I bought it from (The Fold) provided another skein as a replacement which I’m hoping will be better. The socks feel good, but I was surprised by the quality of the yarn. It’s possible I just got a bad skein, but I will probably not buy this again.

Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted hand dyed (hand wash, 50% wool, 50% alpaca, 100yds/100g)

Used for the Prairie Shawl from Folk Shawls, completed October 2005. The yarn is made up of lots of thin strands, very soft and very warm. It was occasionally splitty, but it’s good to work with. The shawl looks good, still soft after a wash. Drapes well, gave the shawl to Anna as a Christmas gift (2005).

Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted (hand wash, 85% wool, 15% mohair, 190yds/100g)

Used for Coronet hat (October 2004) and catnip mice (December 2004). I had enough yarn in one skein to make the hat and two catnip mice, which are being killed daily by my two cats. Thickness varied some, but the cable showed up well and I liked working with it. The finished hat felt warm. I’d like to try felting this yarn. Continual play from cats for over a year and the mice are still doing well, though yarn got very fuzzy.

Cascade 220 (hand wash, 100% wool, 220yds/100g)

Used for a Good Ole Cable Scarf that I sent to my Dad for Christmas 2004. The yarn was warm and soft, a little splitty if it was abused, but I liked it. It also refused to snap, even when I tried. No idea about how well it wears because the scarf is in England, but it knit up well. Definitely one to get again.

Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Solid (machine wash cold, 100% merino, 420yds/100g)

Used for Vinnland Hill socks for Elaine, completed March 2008. Yarn is tightly plied and a little thin, but it stood up to a rip out well. Feels soft and strong, good stitch definition. Skein has thick fuzzy splices I’m unhappy with, six in total. Will not get this yarn again. Cherry Tree Hill offered to send a credit to the store I got it from so I could get a replacement skein.

Classic Elite Alpaca Sox (hand wash, 60% Alpaca, 20% Merino Wool, 20% Nylon, 450 yds/100g.)

Attempted to use for Penny’s socks. Horrible to knit with! Seems a lot thinner than other sock yarns, used size 0 needle (2mm) instead of usual size 1 (2.25mm). Yarn appears to be made up of two barely plied strands that split very easily. It’s really soft and the colours are great, but I ripped out the sock and went stash diving for an alternative, I’m not knitting with this. Maybe it would be OK doubled…

Classic Elite Bazic Wool (machine wash, 100% wool, 65yds/50g)

Used for Leftovers Blanket, strip two, completed November 2005. Found a fantastic orange sherbet colour. This is a cheap yarn with an interesting texture. It is very twisty to use, caught a few stray strands while knitting, but it feels thick and warm. It looks shiny when knit up. Quite soft, comes in lots of colours. I like this yarn. Found a knot in my fifth ball.

Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille (hand wash, 100% cotton, 98yds/50g)

Used for a Cuddle Toy, October 2005. The yarn comes with a warning on the label to knit loose as it is not an elastic yarn. It knits up velvety soft and cuddly and heavy, perfect for a toy or a luxurious scarf. Can hurt your hands if you knit too tight. Comes in all kinds of colours, this is definitely a yarn I’ll buy again. Doesn’t shed while knitting, or when made up.

Crystal Palace Maizy (machine wash, 82% corn fibre, 18% elastic nylon, 204yds/50g)

HEEL WORE THROUGH JULY 2009 AT YARNOVERS, WILL NOT USE THIS YARN AGAIN.

Used for Maizy Monkey socks, May 2008. Doesn’t feel anything like cotton or wool, it feels soft and dry, like thirsty paper on dry hands, almost velvety. Made of eight plies with a loose twist, be careful of splitting. The finished fabric is worth the splitting. Stretchier than
I was expecting, feels cool, light, and airy to wear.

Crystal Palace Mini Mochi hand wash, 80% superwash merino, 20% nylon, 195yds/50g)

NEVER BUY THIS AGAIN.

Started to make a neck cozy with this yarn, and I could get over the variations in thickness and the wildly splitty single-ply yarn, but I could not get over the TWO KNOTS where it went from turquoise to orange, then back again with absolutely NO colour gradient. Two knots in less than half the skein! Frogged the scarf and binned the yarn, the gradient was the whole purpose for trying it. I’m not the first person to get this problem from the Ravelry reviews and I don’t like crappy quality yarn.

Crystal Palace Panda Cotton (machine wash 55% bamboo, 24% cotton, 21% elastic nylon, 170yds/50g)

Used for Panda Monkey socks, May 2007. Four ply yarn that splits at every opportunity, pay attention when knitting. Does not rip out well. There are some nice colours but the yardage is low. Having said that, the fabric is nice when knit tight and it shows up the lace pattern well.

Dale Falk (machine wash, 100% wool, 116 yds/50g)

Used for a Fair Isle experiment, and two baby hats, October 2005. Sturdy sport weight yarn, can’t snap it by hand, knits up evenly and barely splits at all. It’s warm, it’s washable, what’s not to like? Great for colourwork, inexpensive, jolly good yarn. Goes very soft when washed (in cold water, and not tumble-dried). Might try it for socks one day.

Dale Heilo (handwash, 100% Norwegian wool, 109yds/50g)

Used for Pirate Mittens, completed mid 2008. Sportweight yarn, feels sturdy rather than soft, feels better when knitted up. Plies unravelled somewhat after two rip outs but this is good yarn, not expensive and comes a great range of colours.

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran (machine wash, 55% merino wool, 33% microfibre, 12% cashmere, 98 yds/50g)

Used for SnB Nation hair bands and Leftovers blanket, March 2005. My first cashmere yarn, I made two hair bands with it and had plenty left over. Got 2 more balls for other projects. Expensive, but it did survive the washer and dryer mostly intact (I think it shrunk a little in the dryer), got a bit fuzzy but nothing major.

DZined hemp yarn (hand wash, 43% wool, 43% hemp, and 14% mohair)

Used for hemp socks. Do not put this yarn in the washing machine! Made a pair of warm socks with this yarn and have lots left over. Not good for machine-washing, it felts a little and shrinks. Colours are stunning, would be great for a lace scarf. Snaps if you pull it too hard, and it does contain a little plant matter, doesn’t stretch like wool, or retain shape as well, but still good yarn. DZined is no longer selling yarn as of 2008

Elsebeth Lavold’s Hempathy (machine wash cold, 40% hemp, 40% cotton, 20% rayon, 153yds/50g)

Used for Kumite Mouth Guard bag, February 2011. This looks like more of a fingering weight than sport weight yarn, though it’s supposed to bloom after washing. The two plies aren’t tightly twisted together and it feels hard and unyeilding. It’s not as rough as pure hemp but it did hurt my hands to knit with, and the plies do split apart easily. The bag I made feels durable and sturdy but I won’t be using this yarn on bigger projects.

Elsebeth Lavold’s Silky Wool (hand wash, 65% wool, 35% silk, 192yds/50g )

Used for Faina’s scarf, completed December 2005. This yarn looks a little thin for sport weight, and it does have bits of plant matter still in there, but I’ll forgive a lot for the soft feel and beautiful look of this yarn. It has a tweedy look which is wonderful knitted up, the lace looks great. Yarn has split a few times, but overall it’s great. Blocked well, stitch definition is good.

The Fibre Company Road to China Light (hand wash, 65% alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel, 10% cashmere, 159yds/50g)

Used for Cabled Keyhole scarf, January 2011. The yarn was a gorgeous shaded solid with hints of green and gold under the blue. It feels very fluid with not much body of its own. While it is amazingly soft, was slightly scratchy around the neck, maybe I was sensitive to one of the fibres. Would definitely get this again, the colour and the blend are both worth it.

Fiesta Baby Boom (machine wash, 100% merino wool, 220yds/50g)

Used for Penny’s socks, completed February 2008. Gorgeous, velvety-soft yarn! Wish it came in solids too. Knit at 9st/in on 2.5mm needles. This yarn is the fingering weight version of Fiesta Boomerang. It’s a six ply yarn made from three two-ply strands. No knots in the skein, yarn rarely split, feels cushy when knit with good stitch definition, though patterns are a little lost in the variegated colours. Would definitely use this again.

Fortissima Colori Mexiko (machine wash, 75% wool, 25% nylon, 460yds/100g)

Used for Susan’s socks, completed July 2006. Feels thinner than some sock yarns, colours are good but the printing quality could use some work, colours overlapped and it didn’t look as good as I’d hoped. My two balls were wound in opposite directions, requiring a rewinding session before I could start sock #2. Found a knot join in ball #2 which had to be cut out. Quite rough before washing, much improved afterwards.

Fyberspates Superwash BFL Sock (machine wash 100% BFL wool, 437 yds/100g)

Used for Third Cousin Gradient Socks, February 2009. Loved the colours of this yarn, loved the softness, but one year later the colour is so faded! The fabric is holding up well and the socks are really soft and warm but I’m really disappointed in the dye quality. Will not buy again.

Great Northern Yarns 70% Mink 30% Cashmere yarn (hand wash, 70% sheared mink, 30% cashmere, 230yds/57g)

Used for Orwell Scarf, December 2010, frogged from Knotted Medallion scarf. The mink for this yarn comes from farmed animals that are sheared once a year. It is amazingly soft and has a slight halo when knitted up. My skein was short 30 yards, when I told the seller, he sent a free half skein. It’s a bit splitty to work with, but not enough to be annoying. Bought a second skein to make another scarf.

Hemp for Knitting’s Hempwol (hand wash, 65% wool, 35% hemp, 250yds/100g)

Used for Welted Hat #1, January 2012. The label says this is a worsted weight yarn, but I’d call it a sportweight, it has thinner patches and overall looks more sport than worsted. Some of the hemp fibres are only loosely attached, which is annoying to work with, but overall I’d get this again. It feels sturdy and warm with a nice heathered look.

Imperial Stock Ranch 2 ply (100% Columbia wool, handwash)

Used for a Coronet hat for me, February 2010. Yarn is FULL of vegetable matter. Full. It’s really annoying to stop work every ten or so stitches and pick out yet another piece of grass. I’d expect this from handspun yarn off an uncoated sheep that wasn’t prepped well before spinning, not from a commercial millspun yarn. The dye job is nicely mottled, which I like, and the yarn is squishy, but it’s tedious to work with.

Jade Sapphire Silk/Cashmere 2 ply (hand wash, 55% silk, 45% cashmere, 400 yds/55g)

Used for a Campanula scarf, July 2010. My skein was the most tangled mess of yarn I have ever encountered. It took nearly 2 hours to wind by hand, stopping every turn of the swift to thread my ball of yarn through the tangles. Emailed Jade Sapphire, and they offered to send a replacement skein, already wound into a ball, and talk to the supplier about the tangling issue. Several other people on Ravelry reported the same problem.

It snaps very easily. Will comment more on the yarn when I’ve knit with it for a while.

Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn (hand wash, 100% merino wool, 656yds/150g)

Used for Citron shawl, June 2011. At first sight, this yarn is quite rough, and smells like a sweaty sheep. Before knitting I gave it a vinegar soak and a Eucalan wash, which made little discernable difference. My skein did not have knots or breaks in, though this seems to be a common problem with Kauni. It did have a lot of vegetable matter in, which I find very annoying, chunks of sharp grass that have to be picked out individually. The thickness also varies from laceweight to thick fingering. Personally, I think the quality of this yarn is not worth a repeat purchase, Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport is a bit more expensive, but far nicer to work with.

KnitPicks Essential (machine wash, 75% wool, 25% nylon, 231yds/50g)

Used for Hubby’s socks, pair #2, May 2006. Felt thin, a little splitty at times, and rough. Softened up after a wash, slightly heathered look to the yarn. It’s hard to wear wool socks in summer, so I don’t know how well they’ll hold up, but other KnitPicks sock yarn has been good. Knit the rest in strip 4 of the leftovers blanket.

KnitPicks Simple Stripes (machine wash, 75% wool, 25% nylon, 231yds/50g)

Used for Vineyard socks, May 2005. Made my first Magic Loop socks with this, worked on the second sock at the Vineyard National Conference, using the Vineyard colour. This yarn got a lot softer after I washed it, shows no signs of wear yet (May 2008) and looks great. I bought more to make socks for my mother. Discontinued.

KnitPicks Sock Landscape (hand wash, 100% merino wool, 192yds/50g)

Used for mother in law socks, February 2006. Yarn is very soft, and the colours are bright and bold. It is a bit splitty, had to pay attention so as not to hook the strands apart. No problems winding this yarn. Got 9st/in on my Addi size 1 sock needle. I’m hoping these socks last as I’m sending them to my mother-in-law in England. They feel warm and cozy. Discontinued.

KnitPicks Wool of the Andes (hand wash, 100% wool, 110yds/50g)

Used for Jayne Cobb hat #1 in August 2005. Solid and sturdy yarn, couldn’t snap it, knitted up well, good results. Made a warm hat that looked great. Stitch definition is good, yarn is very cheap.

Koigu Painter’s Palette Pure Merino (hand wash, 100% wool, 175yds/50g)

Used for Koigu neckscarf (free pattern from Patternworks), March 2005. Very nice yarn! Got a pink skein instead of the red I was expecting, but the colours are amazing, they have depth to them. Would love to get more. Very soft, tightly spun, definitely one to get again.

Lana Grossa Meilenweit Maya (machine wash, 45% cotton, 42% wool, 13% nylon, 418yds/100g)

Used for cotton lace socks, August 2006. Got this yarn in Beth’s Unloved Sock Yarn Swap, it came from France. Yarn was a little splitty, but not as bad I was expecting. Colours are good and the yarn feels soft. Held up to making lace well, and the socks feel good.

Lang Yarns Tosca Light (hand wash, 55% wool, 45% acrylic, 437yds/100g)

Used for the Tell-Tale Heart, February 2012. This yarn is feels like a single-ply, loosely spun yarn, though its a tweed. It’s very easy to split the yarn while working. I liked the long colour change and the softness and relative cheapness but because of the splittiness, I’d think twice before getting this again. Also my skein has a long tangled patch that wasn’t a knot but took a while to undo.

Louisa Harding Kimono Angora Pure (handwash, 70% angora, 25% wool, 5% nylon, 125yds/25g)

Used for Koigu Neck Cozy, November 2009. Fuzzy bunnies! Unbelievably soft with a serious halo, the yarn will snap if you pull it but it hasn’t broken while knitting and I knit very tightly. I’d expect this to felt if it got within 10ft of the washer. Looks more like fingering weight than sport weight, and it’s not cheap ($10.25 a ball). Two knots are visible in the ball I started but they were less than a yard apart.

Lily Sugar n Cream (machine wash, 100% cotton, 95yds/56g)

Used for Summer purse, July 2005. This yarn feels indestructible, I’ve also used it for coasters. No give whatsoever, and it made my hands ache if I knit too long with it, but I like the results. Inexpensive and comes in lots of different colours.

Lisa Souza Sock! (machine wash, 75% wool, 25% nylon, 450yds/100g)

[Not used] Skein arrived with a hefty visible knot join in. Emailed Lisa Souza with a picture asking for a replacement, she replied saying I was being "harsh" and gave a refund. Then she emailed again, saying she’d seen the picture and was "horrified", and sent a replacement skein which did not have knots in. It looks like nice yarn and feels soft, but I’m put off by the fact that she didn’t look at the photo before her initial reply.

Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock (machine wash, 80% superwash wool, 20% nylon, 215yds/50g)

Used for socks for Rox (December 2006) and Seraphim shawl (September 2007). This is wonderful yarn and I would definitely get it again. It’s tightly spun, rarely splits, and the colours are beautiful. And there was plenty leftover from a pair of socks. Lace definition was fantastic and the shawl is warm and light.

Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted (machine wash, 100% merino, 225yds/100g)

Used for Landguard Hat MkII, October 2010. Wonderfully soft, with gorgeous colours, a pity it’s so expensive. Slightly splitty if you’re not paying attention, fantastic stitch definition, if I win the lottery I’m making sweaters with this. I’m curious how it will hold up under wear given it is so soft.

madelinetosh tosh dk (machine wash, 100% merino wool, 225yds/100g)

Used for Dew Point shrug, May/June 2011. I had some issues with this because the yarn was not the colour on the website, and the store I got it from, Eat.Sleep.Knit, said I should remember for future orders that it was my monitor was fault, not their picture. Apparently all three monitors in my house have the same flaw, under two different operating systems.

Having said that, the yarn is nice. Gently colour-shaded without being variegated, no knots or joins in my three skeins, no vegetable matter to pick out, no tangling when I was trying to wind them into balls. It’s soft, knits up well, the thickness is even, and I’d definitely get it again. Just from a different source.

Malabrigo Lace (hand wash, 100% merino, 470yds/50g)

Used for Hot Pink Butternut scarf, June 2010. Thickness varies from thinner-than-laceweight up through one fuzzy bulky weight patch. It feels like a single ply, slightly felted. Yarn sticks to itself, wouldn’t want to try ripping out a big section of this. It is not a strong yarn, it easily snaps when you pull it. I was afraid to use the blocking wires on it for fear of ripping a hole through the fabric. It blocked out well, and I like the results, the colours, and the yardage, but it feels too fragile to me.

Malabrigo Sock (machine wash, 100% merino, 440yds/100g)

Used for Timey Wimey shawl, June 2010. Skein was HORRIBLY tangled and a nuisance to wind. Had to hand-wind a chunk of it, then re-wind after untangling. It caught in the teeth of the ball-winder and there are big loops drooling off the bottom of the ball. Comments on Ravelry suggest tangling is a widespread problem. I will not get this yarn again.

Colour is good, yarn is soft but only loosely plied, which I don’t like. It is not worth the aggravation of the winding process.

(NB: I contacted Malabrigo about the tangling problem, and they sent me two replacement skeins, already wound.)

Malabrigo Worsted (hand wash, 100% merino wool, 216 yds/100g)

Used for Philly Cowl, January 2009. Amazingly squishy and soft, with rich, deep colours. Perfect for wearing next to the skin.

Mama Blue Simple BFL sock (machine wash 100% BFL wool, 418 yds/100g)

Used for Honeycomb Diamond socks, August 2008. Three ply yarn is thinner than average sock yarn, went down a needle size to knit with. Colour is great, semi-solid and warm without stripes or pooling. Yarn splits a little if you’re not paying attention or have ripped it back.

Magic Garden Buttons (machine wash, 83% New Zealand wool, 17% nylon, 135yds/50g)

Used for Comfort socks. Sport weight wool with nylon slubs, warm and soft. One casualty where the wool was ripped away from the nylon wrapper but still one of my best pairs of socks, the first toe-up Sherman heel pair I made. I wear these after a lousy day to make me feel better.

Miss Babs Yet (hand wash, 65% merino wool, 35% silk, 400 yds/50g)

Used for a Little Leaves shawl, July 2010. My yarn in the Roasted Pumpkin colour is a lovely shaded solid, I like most of Miss Babs colours. But the yarn feels scratchy to work with, and I’ve picked strands of plastic out of it. It is made of two loosely plied strands.

Mission Falls 1824 Cotton (hand wash, 100% cotton, 85yds/50g)

Used for Fiona bag. This was my first knitalong, and I flunked. The bag languished in my yarn closet for months and I finally threw it away. The yarn pills horribly, I ended up not liking the pattern at all. The colours are good, but the yarn felt far too fragile to make a bag and didn’t look good knitted up. Maybe it was all the purling, but I won’t get it again. Gave away what yarn I had left.

Morehouse Merino three strand natural (hand wash, 100% merino wool, 140yds/2oz)

Used for a Bowknot scarf. The yarn I used is undyed, the colour comes from blending black and white fleeces. It’s wonderfully soft, very warm, and something I really want to use again. The yarn is a little "sticky" in that it sticks to itself. That came in very handy when I found a moth hole, nothing had unravelled around the hole. This is a gorgeous yarn, go out and get some! I also made the green variegated snake scarf.

Mountain Colors Bearfoot (machine wash, 60% wool, 25% mohair, and 15% nylon, 350yds/100g)

Used for Hubby’s socks, July 2005. I love this yarn! It was silky soft, very warm and had a slight shine to it as I knitted. I dropped more stitches than average while working with it, but that could just be me. The socks look fantastic, I used the Pheasant color. I wasn’t sure the skein would make it through two man-size socks but it did, and I even had a little spare for my leftovers blanket. Definitely something to use again. Socks have survived several trips through the machine and one through the dryer, there is some pilling on the heel and the mohair has come out as a halo all over the sock. No obvious other signs of wear.

Noro Kureyon (hand wash, 100% wool, 110yds/50g)

Used for SnB Nation’s Hurry Up Spring Armwarmers. I wanted to like this yarn, I really did. But the thickness varied wildly, it snapped several times on the fingering weight sections in really awkward places, it’s rough, it smelled horrible when I washed the armwarmers, I’m never using this yarn again. The colours are gorgeous, but I hated working with the yarn and I’m not fond of wearing it either. There were lots of bits of vegetable matter in it I had to pick out. I learned to spit-splice with this yarn, to repair when it snapped and to weed out the boring colours, so something good came of it.

Oceanwind Knits Sock Merino (machine wash, 100% merino wool, 185yds/50g)

Used for Ocean Rapids socks for Martha, October 2008. Beautiful colouring, I used the Poppy colour. Not splitty, tightly twisted, very good stitch definition. Showed up my lace pattern very well. Didn’t feel as soft as I expected, but I’m sure a wash will fix that, it feels way softer than a wool/nylon blend. Warm on the feet and almost has a sheen to the knitted fabric. Made my socks at the usual 9st/in, fabric had plenty of drape. And Martha loved them!

Opal Rainforest Owl (machine wash, 75% wool, 25% nylon, 465yds/100g)

Used for my socks. This seemed thinner than other sock yarns, and a little splitty. Felt rough until it went through the laundry. Great pattern, no knots or breaks, and lots of yarn left over. Seems indestructible, no signs of wear yet.

Peace Fleece Worsted (hand wash, 70% wool, 30% mohair, 200yds/100g)

Used for Landguard Hat, October 2010. This was a test to see if Peace Fleece is soft enough for a cardigan. The yarn is very sturdy, knitted up it has a halo that obscures the stitch definition a bit. It is very very warm to wear, especially doubled around the ears. I also got several mini-skeins for sampling, some were softer than others. I liked this yarn a lot, but I wouldn’t want it next to my skin.

Plymouth Sockotta (machine wash, 45% cotton, 40% wool, 15% nylon, 414yds/100g)

Used for Sehlat’s socks. I like the idea of a cotton sock yarn, but this just didn’t feel soft enough for me. The colours are great, but it felt like knitting with string. Sehlat is still wearing them a couple of years later and she likes them.

Queensland Collection’s Kathmandu Aran (hand wash, 85% merino, 10% silk, 5% cashmere, 104yds/50g)

Used for Welted Hat #2, January/February 2012. This is not a smooth yarn, it’s quite rustic and lumpy. As I knit with it, little bits of vegetable matter dropped onto my lap, and it has occasional pieces embedded in the yarn. It also knit up looser and bigger than I expected and I had to drop a couple of needle sizes. My first skein had a knot where one ply had broken and been tied. I’d use this yarn again for a hat, but not for anything large.

Regia sock yarn (machine wash, 75% wool, 25% acrylic, 230yds/50g)

Used for Sarah’s socks. Really softened up after the first wash. They are still being worn a year later, so I guess they’re wearing well.

Reynolds Lopi (hand wash, 100% Icelandic wool, 110yds/100g)

Used for Jayne Cobb hat #2. Well, that was different! I didn’t like the feel of the yarn to start with but it grew on me. Thickness varies slightly and the end product looked like it was covered in cat hair even when it wasn’t. Not a smooth yarn, and it can be snapped if you pull hard. Very warm to wear, and a little prickly. Good colour selection, and not expensive.

Reynolds Swizzle sock yarn (machine wash, 75% wool, 25% nylon, 416yds/100g)

Used for my first pair of socks. Hardwearing yarn, no sign of wear after four years of service. Got a lot softer after washing. Makes thin stripes separated by a thick band of colour.

Rowan Cocoon (hand wash, 80% Merino Wool 20% Kid Mohair, 126yds/100g)

Used for Greek Spiral hat, completed January 2008. Single ply yarn, slight variation in thickness, and a little fuzzy. Wonderfully soft and warm! You can split the yarn by poking a needle through it, but it’s nice to work with.

Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga (machine wash, 80% merino wool, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon , 450yds/4oz)

Used for a Larix shawl, December 2010. This feels plump and soft to knit with, rarely splits and has nice stitch definition. The colour is good, but there is variation between skeins, even from the same batch. I striped my two skeins to help the blend but you can still see the difference. I wish I’d started the striping earlier than I did. I like the yarn to work with, the skeins weren’t tangled at all, and it’s a generous amount of yarn.

Shelridge Farm Soft Touch Ultra Solid Colors (machine wash 100% wool, 185 yds/50g)

Used for Pyroclastic Apple socks, March 2010. The yarn had serious plying issues at two spots in the first skein and one in the second. Either one of the three plies broke and was missing for a few inches, or there was 8 inches of one ply to 2 inches of the other two. Not impressed with the plying quality at all. Socks feel OK but nothing to write home about, not especially soft. Comes in a good range of solid colours, but the plying issues put me off getting this again.

ShibuiKnits Sock (machine wash, 100% superwash merino wool, 191 yds/50g)

Used for Janice’s Shibui Hedgerow socks, completed January 2008. Nice yarn, it doesn’t split, no knots in either skein, and it feels very warm and sturdy. Very soft when washed, good stitch definition. Some pooling at the heel but not unattractive. Bright colours.

South West Trading Company Karaoke (hand wash, 50% wool, 50% soy silk, 109yds/50g)

Used for Karaoke scarf. Thickness varies from sportweight through chunky. It is soft and shiny but splitty, the yarn isn’t plied and you can leave some of the fibres behind if you’re not careful. It is easier to rip the whole thing than drop one stitch to fix it, the loose fibres get stuck together. The colours are wonderful, but it’s not a cheap yarn. Ball #1 had a knot join that fell apart in my hands, resulting in a monster blue section.

South West Trading Company Tofutsies (machine wash, 50% wool, 25% soy silk, 22.5% cotton, 2.5% chitin, 464yds/100g)

Used for Elfine socks for me, completed Feb 2007. Chitin is fibre from shrimp and crab shells. The yarn is splitty, you have to pay attention to catch all the plies. It is also very slippery, metal needles may not be best for this yarn. It can be snapped if you pull quite hard. Colours are good and bright, and it’s softer than I expected. 425m of yarn (464yds) in each 100g ball, I think the yarn is thinner than average sock yarn. Has a slight dusty smell to the yarn. Can be ripped out a couple of times before showing wear. Knitted fabric is floppy and thin, good for summer socks. Worked up with a narrow stripe pattern.

Sweet Georgia Superwash Sock (machine wash, 100% superwash merino wool) 185yds/50g

Used for Slayer socks, December 2010. The colour is wonderful, the yarn quality not so much. In several places in both skeins one of the plies is broken. Not planning on getting this again.

Tempted Luxury Sock Yarn (machine wash, 100% merino, 400yds/100g)

Used for Viking Socks for me, December 2008. Soft, rarely split, good deep colours. Stood up to being ripped two or three times with no sign of damage. Socks are warm, yarn is a little thicker than some sock yarns. Plenty of give in the socks and they feel very good to wear. Tightly spun two ply yarn, plenty left over after making a pair of cabled socks. Came out of the wash very soft with a slight halo.

Trampoline Stretch sock yarn (machine wash, 70% wool, 23% nylon, 7% stretch, 231yds/50g)

Used for Tiger socks. Didn’t come out with the nifty tiger stripes like I was hoping for, but there is a definite pattern in the socks. Had a few splits in the yarn but it looks like a sturdy sock yarn and I’m happy with the feel. Would use again. Not the cheapest yarn but decent.

Twisted Fiber Arts Arial yarn (machine wash, 75% wool, 25% nylon, 480yds/100g)

This yarn was a special order from her Etsy store because I wanted a wool/nylon blend. I noticed a little splitting, but not enough to be annoyed with. The yarn is very soft, and the colours are bright. After one wash, there is no sign of wear, and this may be my favourite pair of socks. Definitely one to get again. Somepilling on the heel after a few years, colour is unfaded.

Urban GypZ Twisted (hand wash, 100% merino, 208 yds/100g)

Used for Immigrant socks, April 2008. This is a sport weight three ply yarn where one ply takes dye differently. The cast on end felted from being inside the sock as it was knitted, which makes me wary of how they’ll hold up to wear. Yarn is soft, but I’m not buying it again, I much prefer superwash and I don’t like how it pooled on the sock cuff.

Vermont Organic Fiber Company O-Wool Balance (machine wash, 50% wool, 50% cotton, 130 yds/50g)

Used for Organic Adipose toy, June 2008. I used the natural cream coloured yarn. There were some slubs in it, it looks "rustic" but knits up well. I wouldn’t use this next to my skin but it’s good sturdy yarn.

Wolle’s Yarn Creations Color Changing Cotton (hand wash, 100% cotton, 240yds/50g)

Not used, destashed because I didn’t like the look of the yarn. Yarn is made up of four thin strands of cotton, which are not plied together. This will make lace patterns difficult and to my mind, limits the use of the yarn to simple patterns.

I have concerns about how the colour changes happen after reading Etsy feedback saying strands were knotted together. For three colour changes, that would be eight knots per skein, which is six more than I’m happy with.

Wollmeise 100% Merino Superwash (machine wash cold, 100% merino wool, 575yds/150g)

Used for two attempted lace scarves, February 2011. I wanted the feel of Wollmeise to live up to the hype about the colour, it did not. The colours are fabulous, but the yarn is wildly over-plied, hard and unyeilding. Every two or three rows I have to stop and let the yarn untwist itself. I tried re-winding the ball counter clockwise, going from the inside and outside of the ball, and got the same result. This yarn is chronically over-twisted and just plain horrible to knit with. There are lots of tiny threadlike plies that kept splitting as I worked and I do not like the feel of the yarn. The knitted fabric feels harsh and crispy. I am never getting this yarn again, I do not undestand the frenzy over it when Sanguine Gryphon’s Skinny Bugga is so much nicer to work with.

The Woolen Rabbit Opulence (hand wash, 50% wool, 50% silk, 300yds/100g)

Used for Spiraluscious cowl, December 2008. Light sport weight yarn, two ply, a little "rustic" in places but mostly smooth. Kitten soft with interesting shaded solid colouring. Loosely plied, came untwisted a few times. Lovely to work with, nice stitch definition.

Wooly Wonka Superwash BFL sock yarn (machine wash, 100% BFL wool, 400yds/100g)

Used for Boudica socks. Colour is fantastic, knit fabric looks great, and yarn smelled of sheep (this is a good thing in my opinion). Yarn stood up to a couple of rip outs before the three strands began separating. Has a few thick patches, and a knot where one ply had snapped and been joined. Will get this again. Hard wearing yarn, but did attract a moth.

Yarn Lust All That Glitters sock (machine wash, 63% superwash merino wool, 20% silk, 15% nylon, 2% silver, 420yds/100g)

Used for Mead Scarf, January 2009. I was expecting this to be scratchy because of the silver, but it wasn’t, it is surprisingly soft. The silver is tiny strands that give the finished scarf a sparkly halo. The colour is semi-solid shades of grey and looks good knitted up. Good stitch definition, only slightly splitty yarn.

Zealana Kia Ora Kiwi Laceweight (hand wash, 40% merino wool, 30% cotton, 30% brushtailed possum, 217yds/40g)

Used for Plain Jhayne fingerless mittens, May 2012. I would class this as a light fingering weight yarn, not a laceweight. It has a halo when it’s knitted up, and the occasional dark possum hair is visible as you knit. It doesn’t feel like it has much stretch in the yarn itself but the fabric stretches nicely. It’s a splitty yarn too, certainly on metal needles, but I like the results and you get used to watching for stray plies. I will definitely use this again.