Saturday, 13 November 2010

Periodic Yarn

Most of the time, when I make a project, I go down to my LYS, and just pick up some yarn. A couple of times, I have bought "a sweater's worth of yarn" online, and then found a project. But that is not something I can do now. I need to think, and plan, and then my loads of yarn appropriately. Welcome to the Yarn-Offs!

Requisites for the yarn:
- no animal hair.
Ideally acrylic, or an acrylic blend, for durability and ease and care.
- wide range of colours.
With my current colour-scheme, I would need: red, a more different red, orange, yellow, green, light blue, dark blue, purple, pink, black (outlines and names) and grey (most likely background colour).
- easily available.
Ideally with some certainty that it's not going to disappear of the market (I haven decided yet whether to buy it all at once or in stages).
- not ridiculously expensive.
While my brother has both his kidneys if I need one in the future, I shouldn't just throw away mine.

I had a perfect yarn picked for it, Rowan All Seasons Cotton. I love this yarn. However, while the 2009 colours will fit my blanket just perfectly, the 2010 colours are very few, and not in the right ranges. I could wait until next year to see if they change them again, but I won't hold my breath for them. I shall play a sad tune, and move on to current yarns.

I scouted the local yarn shops, and brought home 4 candidates for my yarn. In the order I selected them, I bring you my candidates. All the yarns are satisfactory, but have extra pros and cons.

Candidate number 1
Test yarns
Rico Kids Classic Aran
50-50 acrylic poliamide, aran weight, 115 m/ball
Pros: has most of the colours I need, acrylic blend, machine wash & dry, preferred thickness
Cons: doesn't have all the colours

Candidate number 2
Test yarns
Rowan Handknit Cotton (rav)
100 cotton, worsted weight, 85 m/ball
Pros: has all the colours
Cons: I'm a bit weary or using pure cotton for a blanket, not a lot of yardage per ball

Candidate number 3
Test yarns
King Cole Bamboo Cotton (rav)
50-50 bamboo cotton, dk weight, 230 m/ball
Pros: has most of the colours I need, it's a blend
Cons: a bit too splitty and thin, doesn't have all the colours, delicate machine wash

Candidate number 4
Test yarns
Hayfield/Sidar Bonus DK (rav)
100 acrylic, dk weight, 280 m/ball
Pros: has all the colours, immense yardage
Cons: some of the colorus I need are so bright as to be radioactive, a bit thinner than wanted

Over the next couple of weeks/months, I shall be swatching with each of the yarns. Testing the yarn for such a big project is important. This will also allow me to decide which pattern to use for the squares, as well as know how much yarn I will need for each one, helping me determine how much yarn to buy. My initial preferences are towards Rico and Hayfield, but I won't really know until I work with and wash all the yarns.

Will keep you posted with some swatches soon!


  1. Rico or Hayfield sound the best to me also, and honestly, if some of the colors are radioactively bright, I don't see that as a bad thing for this project. I'm sure in your testing you'll probably wash the swatches too and that'll tell you if the colors fade any.

  2. So far those are my favourites too, Kath. Hayfield is a little squeaky though, so Rico is topping the list, but I've not finished working with all of them (nor decided on a square pattern).