January 2013 Yarn Review

Friday, January 18, 2013

Jeanette Sloan tries out the latest snuggly yarns for winter.

1. Lang Kim Colour

Lang Kim Color is a chunky weight blend of 68% new wool and 29% superfine alpaca with 3% polyester Elité, which helps to stabilise the yarn. It has a softly plied construction and a gently graded colour effect with a repeat so long that it's only revealed over the length of the 100g ball. It's shown here in the intensely rich shade 814.0061, with a total of 10 shades available from cool grey mixes to intense turquoise and blues. With a standard tension of 9 sts and 13 rows it is an ideal yarn for knitting accessories such as hats and scarves but there are also designs for garments in the Fatto a Mano Collection 190 booklet (priced £7.50). Hand washing is recommended.

Composition: 68% new wool, 29% superfine alpaca, 3% polyester Elité

Weight: 100g

Length: 100m

Rec needle size: 9mm

RRP: £13.95

Contact: Art Yarn

10 High Street




NG34 0LX

T: 01529 240510

W: www.artyarn.co.uk


2. Blue Sky Alpacas Metalico

There aren't many yarns that are cleverly and beautifully hanked but Blue Sky Alpacas Metalico is definitely one of them. Each perfectly formed braid is a shimmering blend of 50% baby alpaca and 50% Mulberry silk that unfolds in the most intriguing way. This gently twisted roving yarn slips easily through the fingers and really is a dream to knit, with a sumptuous handle, fantastic drape and a standard tension of around 20-24 sts to 10cm. The colour palette focuses on the naturally occurring shades of baby alpaca ranging from bright white to glistening silver-grey and warm gold with evocative names like Cinnabar, Platinum and Gold Dust, shown here. Pattern support is available in the form of single leaflets. Hand washing or dry cleaning is recommended.

Composition: 50% baby alpaca, 50% Mulberry silk

Weight: 50g

Length: 135m

Rec needle size: 3.25-3.75mm

RRP: £12.50

Contact: Blue Sky Alpacas

PO Box 88 Cedar

MN 55011 USA

T: (USA) 763 753 5815

UK stockists:
London: Loop 020 7288 116;
Stash 020 8246 6666;

Bristol: Get Knitted 0117 300 5211; Bucks: The Knitting Hut 01908 586244; Ireland:
Coolwoolz 020 3882 020

E: info@blueskyalpacas.com

W: www.blueskyalpacas.com


3. King Cole Supa-Dupa Extra Chunky

You'll not be surprised to learn from its name that King Cole Supa-Dupa Extra Chunky is the heaviest of this month's yarns. It's a wonderfully thick blend of 75% premium acrylic and 25% wool with a fine filament binder which wraps around the yarn giving it a rope-like quality. It has a metreage of 57m per 200g ball due to its bulk and, as you'd expect, it knits up very quickly with a standard tension of 6.5 sts and 9 rows using 15mm needles so again, it's a great yarn for getting new knitters started. There are seven key shades in the range including the intensely juicy Damson, shown here, and plenty of designs for small garments and accessories in the collection of loose leaflets which are each priced at £2.99. Gentle washing at 30˚c is recommended.

Composition: 75% premium acrylic, 25% wool

Weight: 200g

Length: 52m

Rec needle size: 15mm

RRP: £9.59

Contact: King Cole Ltd

Merrie Mills

Elliott Street


West Yorkshire

BD20 0DE

T: 01535 650230

E: info@kingcole.co.uk

W: www.kingcole.co.uk


4. Lana Gatto Class

Class is a loosely plied blend of 80% extra fine Merino wool and 20% Angora from Italian yarn manufacturer Lana Gatto. It knits up smoothly and quickly to an Aran weight with a standard tension of 18 sts and 23 rows on 6-6.5mm needles. The angora content definitely gives this yarn its classy edge with a gentle halo that means it's wonderfully soft when worn next to the skin, whilst the Merino gives it shape and bounce. There are seven shades available including shade 5231 Thistle shown above, and it's an ideal yarn for knitting accessories such as hats and scarves. Hand washing
is recommended.

Composition: 80% extrafine Merino wool, 20% angora

Weight: 50g

Length: 125m

Rec needle size: 6-6.5mm

RRP: £3.95

Contact: Yeoman Yarns

36 Churchill Way 
LE8 8UD 
T: 0116 2404464 

W: www.yeoman-yarns.co.uk


5. Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK

Baby Merino Silk DK is a softly twisted blend of 66% Merino superwash wool and 34% Tussah silk. It is a beautifully rounded yarn with a silky sheen and luxurious handle that gives great stitch definition when knitted up. The 20 shades available include a good selection of both pastels and brights, shown here in shade 689 Flower, and each has a semi-solid appearance due to the yarn's silk content. Rowan specifically developed this yarn for babies and pattern support can be found in the Just Baby booklet, which includes patterns for cardigans, sweaters, dungarees and accessories. It has a standard tension of 22 sts and 30 rows and is machine washable at 30˚c.

Composition: 66% Merino superwash wool, 34% Tussah silk

Weight: 50g

Length: 135 m

Rec needle size: 4mm

RRP: £5.95

Contact: Rowan

Green Lane Mill


West Yorkshire


T: 01484 681881

E: mail@knitrowan.com

W: www.knitrowan.com


6. Stylecraft Astrakhan Superchunky

As its name suggests, Astrakhan Superchunky is a hefty blend of 82% premium acrylic, 15% wool and 3% viscose. It imitates genuine astrakhan, which was originally made from the curly fleece of young lambs and the result is a much less controversial curly textured yarn with a synthetic binder that gives it extra strength. It knits up quickly on 8mm needles with dense but lightweight results, and there are eight classic colours to choose from, including shade 1675 Damson, shown here. Pattern support for both ladies and girls is available in a collection of loose leaflets that include jackets, sweaters, hats and scarves. In addition to being easy to knit it's easy to care for. Machine washing at 30˚c on a gentle cycle is recommended.

Composition: 82% premium acrylic, 15% wool, 3% viscose

Weight: 100g

Length: 70m

Rec needle size: 8mm

RRP: £4.49

Contact: Stylecraft

PO Box 62

Goulbourne Street


West Yorkshire BD21 1PP

T: 01535 609798

E: general@stylecraftltd.co.uk

W: www.stylecraft-yarns.co.uk


7. Lang Style

Lang Style is a tubular knitted blend of 30% mohair, 30% nylon and 40% acrylic. It's a superchunky yarn that knits up quickly on 10-12mm needles forming round, well-defined stitches making it ideal for young or new knitters who want results in no time. The mohair content gives the yarn a subtle halo and velvety handle without the hairiness that can sometimes make mohair-based yarns irritating to wear. There is a well-balanced choice of 13 shades available from cherry red and zingy lime to the smoky tobacco of classic neutrals like shade 824.0026, shown here. Designs using this yarn, including mega cowls, garter stitch beanies and cabled jackets, can be found in the Fatto a Mano #192 Urban booklet (priced around £6.90). Gentle washing at 30˚c is recommended.

Composition: 30% mohair,
30% nylon and 40% acrylic

Weight: 50g

Length: 37m

Rec needle size: 10-12mm

RRP: £4.95

Contact: Art Yarn

10 High Street




NG34 0LX

T: 01529 240510

W: www.artyarn.co.uk


8. Rico Creative Twist Superchunky

Creative Twist Superchunky is another hefty looking autumn yarn, this time combining 80% polyacrylic with 20% alpaca. The result is a softly plied chunky yarn with a blurred appearance and gently crimped texture that is extremely lightweight despite its superchunky status. For those knitters who want quick results it's ideal, with a standard tension of 9 sts and 12 rows to 10cm using 10mm needles and its metreage of 75m per 100g also means it goes a surprisingly long way. Whilst it is perfect for small accessories, the pattern collection also offers easy to wear ladies designs including a cabled jacket and seed stitch cardigan (each priced £2.50). Available in a palette of seven naturally muted shades including shade 006 Rust, shown here. 

Composition: 80% polyacrylic, 20% alpaca

Weight: 100g

Length: 75m

Rec needle size: 10mm

RRP: £5.99

Contact: The Black Sheep

Partridge Lakes

Glaziers Lane




T: 01925 764231

W: www.blacksheepwools.co.uk or www.rico-design.co.uk

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