Friday, October 12, 2007



Yarn Name: Scarlet Fleece
Yarn Color: Antique Watermelon
Type: Indie
Content: 80% Merino, 20% Nylon
Put-Up: 430 yards
Weight: 4 oz
Gauge: 7-9 sts/in
Needle Size: 1-2
Purchase At: Loopy Ewe

This yarn is so soft it should be illegal. A soft-twist yarn, it knits up into an incredibly airy sock. While it will wear out faster than a hard-twist yarn, the softness more than makes up for this. There are a wide range of colorways from which to choose. As with all the indie yarns I've reviewed so far, there are no hard edges to the endings/beginnings of new colors, and secondary colors form where two colors meet. You will need one skein to make most sock patterns. Because it is a soft-twist yarn, it appears to be larger in diameter than it really is. Use your normal sock knitting needles; the yarn will stretch as you knit and then bounce back into shape. A true delight to work with.



Yarn Name: Stone & String Om Toes Sock Yarn
Yarn Color: Cleverly Koi
Type: Indie
Content: 100% Superwash Merino
Put-Up: 440 yards
Weight: 4 oz
Gauge: 7-9 sts/in
Needle Size: 0-2
Purchase At: http://bellababe519.etsy.com

This yarn came in a cake, so I couldn't pet the skein to see how squishy it was. However, the yarn feels extremely soft. It is a medium-twist yarn. This particular colorway is very soft and has more sharply defined breaks between colors. I didn't observe any secondary colors with the yarn coming from the center of the cake, but that could change once I get into it. This yarn should knit up into fairly hard-wearing socks. Customer service is excellent, and there are many other colorways from which to choose. You will need one skein for most sock patterns.




Yarn Name: Spinning Bunny
Yarn Color: Autumn Sunset
Type: Indie
Content: 50% Superwash Merino, 50% Tencel
Put-Up: 390 yards
Weight: 4 oz
Gauge: 8-9 sts/in
Needle Size: 1-2
Purchase At: http://www.spinningbunny.com

I'm not a fan of Tencel, but this yarn is changing my mind. Soft, silky, and with a gorgeous sheen, this yarn has a medium to hard twist and should make extremely hard-wearing socks. There are 12 colorways to choose from; yarns are, for the most part, dyed to order. The colors in this skein flow, move, and create surprising secondary colors. There should be enough yardage in one skein for a pair of socks, but be sure to check your pattern. The colors aren't so harsh that they will obstruct a lace pattern; quite the contrary. You can use either a textural or lace pattern with this yarn; either would look terrific. It flows through your fingers and isn't so slippery that it flies off your needles when you least expect it. Customer service is exceptional, and the shop also sells spinning supplies.



Yarn Name: Drooling Over Yarn
Yarn Color: Witch Hazel Flies by the Seat of Her Pants
Type: Indie
Content: 100% Merino
Put-Up: 440 yards
Weight: 108 grams
Gauge: 7-9 sts/in
Needle Size: 1-3
Purchase At: http://www.droolingoveryarn.etsy.com

When I saw the picture of this yarn on Etsy, I thought it was beautiful, but when I opened it up, I was shocked. Beautiful doesn't even come close to describing this yarn. It has a soft twist and incredible loft. This colorway has three basic colors, but the way it is dyed creates secondary and tertiary colors. They dance and move and flow like water. There are no harsh beginnings/endings; instead, new colors appear and disappear. This yarn is a total sensory experience. It smells good, feels like velvet, and flows through your fingers. Being a soft-twist yarn, it won't wear as long as some others, but with a yarn like this, who cares? I'm completely smitten with this yarn to the point that I immediately ordered two more skeins in different colorways as soon as I was able to set this one down. The dyer provides excellent customer service. You will only need one skein for a pair of socks, but who wants to stop at one?



Yarn Name: Mountain Colors
Yarn Color: Eureka
Type: Commercial
Content: 60% Superwash Wool, 25% Mohair, 15% Nylon
Put-Up: 350 yards
Weight: 100 grams
Gauge: 5-6 sts/in
Needle Size: 3-4
Purchase At: Concrete stores which carry Mountain Colors

This yarn is extremely soft with a lovely halo from the mohair. Depending on the pattern and size of the sock, you will need one to two skeins for a pair. This yarn has a medium twist, which gives it durability (as does the mohair) while maintaining softness. Do not knit too tightly, as this will inhibit the yarn from blooming and forming the halo.



Yarn Name: White Willow
Yarn Color: Dark Autumn Oak
Type: Indie
Content: 100% Merino
Put-Up: 440 yards
Weight: 108 grams
Gauge: 8-9 sts/in
Needle Size: 0-1
Purchase At: http://www.whitewillow.etsy.com

Brooke is the powerhouse behind this beautiful yarn. She does a wide range of colors and will custom dye for you upon request. This yarn is extremely soft - it has a medium twist but feels like butter. Her colors flow and ebb, and her color sense is extraordinary. This yarn is not superwash so much be hand-washed. One skein is usually enough for most patterns. She also includes a stitch marker with each skein and provides excellent customer service before and after the sale.



Yarn Name: Wooly Treasures
Yarn Color: n/a
Type: Indie
Content: 100% Superwash Wool
Put-Up: 392 yards
Weight: 102 grams; 3.6 oz.
Gauge: 7-8 sts/in
Needle Size: 0-2
Purchase At: http://WoolyTreasures.etsy.com

The colorways in this yarn are incredible. They flow into each other with no discernible beginning or end, forming secondary colors where they meet. This is a medium-twist yarn that, while soft, also has a slight bit of roughness (which could be from the resin applied to superwash wools). A true variegated yarn, this will knit up with interesting patterns and color combinations. You will need one to two skeins for a pair of socks depending on the sock size and pattern; each skein varies as to weight and yardage. Be sure to check the item description for this information.



Yarn Name: See Jayne Knit
Yarn Color: Canadian Maple
Type: Indie
Content: 100% Superwash Merino
Put-Up: 580 yards
Weight: 118 grams
Gauge: 7-9 sts/in
Needle Size: 0-3
Purchase At: http://seejayneknityarns.etsy.com

This yarn can only be described as "delicious". It has a soft-twist, which makes it soft as soft can be. Jayne has a wide variety of colors from which to choose; all of them show an advanced understanding of how colors interact with each other. There are secondary colors from overlap; the colors also flow and move. This yarn seems to be alive. It is a squishy yarn, which means that the socks made from it will also be soft and squishy. While this does not always mean a hard-wearing sock, it means ultimate comfort. You will only need one skein for a pair of socks. Jayne also provides excellent customer service before and after the sale, as well as a stitch marker attached to each skein.



Yarn Name: Elliebelly Handpainted Yarn
Yarn Color: Eire
Type: Indie
Content: 100% BFL Superwash Sock Yarn
Put-Up: Unknown
Weight: 4 oz.
Gauge: 8 sts/in
Needle Size: 2
Purchase At: http://www.elliebelly.com

This is a hard-twist yarn that has incredible softness. It is also very thin, so even though the dyer suggests using a size 2 needle, I would use a size 1 or even a size 0. Because it is BFL (Blue Faced Leicester), it retains the softness of the breed. There are different sized put-ups (yardage) for the individual skeins; be sure to check the label when ordering so as not to run out of yarn. The colors are fantastic; they subtly change and morph into other colors. There are a wide variety of colorways to choose from. The fabric made from this yarn is extremely soft and has wonderful drape. The skein is smooshy; the socks will retain that attribute while still being hard-wearing. You will find an incredible range of fibers, felted goods, clothing, and paper on the dyer's website. You will need one to two skeins to make a pair of socks.



Yarn Name: Sheepaints
Yarn Color: Pumpkin
Type: Indie
Content: 75% New Wool, 25% Polyamid
Put-Up: 460 yards
Weight: 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Gauge: 8-10 sts/in
Needle Size: 0-3
Purchase At: http://www.sheepaints.com; Woolgirl

This is another hard-twist yarn that has incredible softness. "New Wool" is also called "virgin wool"; I don't know what the specific breed is, nor does the dyer specify it. This yarn is also extremely fine and has incredible drape. The change between the colors is more pronounced than the previous yarn; however, the colors do not have a harsh beginning/ending. They flow nicely into each other. This yarn would work well in a lace pattern as well as for socks, and I believe that it would be hard-wearing yarn when used in a sock application. There are a number of colorways available. You only need one skein for most sock patterns.



Yarn Name: Union Center Knits Whatnot Sock
Yarn Color: Fall
Type: Indie
Content: 75% Superwash Wool, 25% Nylon
Put-Up: 450 yards
Weight: 100 grams
Gauge: 8-10 sts/in
Needle Size: 1
Purchase At: Dyed for Woolgirl at http://www.woolgirl.com

Joni Miles is the lady behind the yarn. I have to admit that this is one of my favorites. A medium-twist yarn, it is incredibly soft. The colorways are truly one of a kind; they range from vivid to subtle to surprising. Even though the colors flow into each other, there are little blobs of contrasting colors sprinkled throughout the skein. Knitting with this yarn is a joy and a surprise, for you never know what color is going to pop up next. With such a large put-up, you only need one skein for almost all sock patterns. There are numerous colorways from which to choose; all of them are gorgeous and would make incredible socks. I wouldn't use it for lacework, such as shawls; there is too much going on with the colors, which would obscure the lace design. Socks made of this yarn are best constructed with a textural pattern to show off the yarn.



Yarn Name: Woolly Boully
Yarn Color: Lunamoth
Type: Indie
Content: 75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon
Put-Up: 460 yards
Weight: 108 grams
Gauge: 8-9 sts/in
Needle Size: 1-2
Purchase At: http://woollyboully.etsy.com

Jenny Boully is the genius behind this yarn. This particular base is called "Meanie" and is one of my all-time favorites; she does have others which she uses. This particular skein is on the large size; they are usually around 440 yards and 100 grams. Jenny's colorways can only be described as "inspired". Even though there are a wide variety of colors in each skein, there are no hard breaks between the colors. These skeins literally breathe and move when knitting with them. The yarn is soft as butter; it flows through your fingers. The yarn has a soft to medium twist and is surprisingly hard-wearing. Jenny has a wide variety of colorways from which to choose and provides outstanding customer service before and after the sale. She also encloses a bag of tea or some other goody with your purchase. I am currently knitting a pair of socks from another of the colorways and am intrigued by the way the yarn stripes, winds, and moves. There has been no pooling. You will only need one skein for most patterns. The pattern I'm using has a lot of lacework; even though there are numerous colors in the skein, they do not hide the open nature of the pattern. This yarn is destined to be one of the all-time greats; you won't be disappointed with either it or Jenny.

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