Crystal Palace Panda Cotton
59% bamboo - 25% cotton - 16% elastic nylon; 182 yds/50 gr.
7-8 sts/inch. Note: I got 32 st/4 in
The bamboo gives a great feel and a luster, the cotton adds a soft core and the elastic nylon retains the shape and makes it wear well for socks.
(These previous details from the Crystal Palace website)
Panda Cotton at Crystal Palace | Panda Cotton at Ravelry
Yay! Sheepless sock yarn! *dances around happy*
The fibres are quite squishy and loosely plied together (see picture below, yarn is a bit unravelled in this one on purpose). I didn't find it *too* splitty, although it occasionally happened. Because of this loose plying, what happened the most was some of the strands being knitted at a different tension than others, which can lead to "bunching" of the individual plies. This is very easy to fix by gently tugging at the yarn. This difference in tensions meant that the yarn requires a little bit of attention when knitting. It doesn't super-coil on itself when knitting, which is a problem I often have.
Length: One ball of sock yarn made one Wanida sock on a UK ladies 5 1/2, but only just about. It will make that length for plain-ish socks, but not if you want to do anything more complicated (especially cables). I didn't know this, and only bought two balls thinking it would be enough. It was, but unless your feet is smaller than a size 5, I would recommend buying 3 balls to make two socks, especially if you want to swatch properly.
Colour: The colour is much more vibrant than other sock yarns I've found, but it is still not a super-bright colour. Not too bad, though! I plan to make something soon with one of the variegated yarns, but until then I can't comment on pooling or variegation.
The knitted fabric is highly textured, which shows in the knitting. I think it will look better with simpler styles, otherwise you risk this texture fighting too much against the pattern for attention. I am happy with it, but I can see how it wouldn't fit all styles of people and socks.
The fabric is quite elastic, and I have had no problems stretching the sock to put it on, and then it bounces back to its original size.
I've only worn the socks (Diamond socks) once for now, but they held up well. I don't know how the warmth compares to wool socks, but they are certainly warmer than store-bought cotton socks, which is what I normally wear. Reports from the web will have me believe that the yarns holds up well to wear.
I hand washed them using tepid water and Soak. The label says that they can be machine washed, but I wanted to check the bleed: it didn't bleed, and there was no hint at pilling when squeezing them out and drying (I have some other sheepless socks that start to pill if you so much as look at them when damp).
I'll throw them in the wash next time, as the label assures me I can, and will try to remember to take them out before the drier cycles kicks in (although I may throw in my swatch for the drying cycle as well, to report).
I was certainly thinking on getting some of the variegated yarn to make a pair of Skew socks: I love the socks and I think they will look better in non-solid yarn. Plus they don't have a complicated pattern, which will work well with the yarn texture.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Crystal Palace and no direct connection (the yarn was my personal purchase). This review just represents my personal opinion and impressions on the yarn