Category: yarn reviews


Archive for the ‘yarn reviews’ Category

Tank Top Knitting Pattern Yarn Choices

Monday, March 28th, 2011 by Rhonda Bell
Araucania Ruca Yarn

Araucania Ruca Yarn Swatch

When designing a new knitting pattern, I like to get several different balls of yarn and knit swatches to see how they knit up, what kind of drape they have, and if they create the type of fabric I’m looking for. Recently, I went to the yarn store looking for yarn for a tank top that I’m designing. I wanted something that would knit up with a bit of drape but not be too slinky and yet not too crisp. I wanted it to be lightweight and breathable. I’m also toying with the idea of creating a matching shrug or cover up in the same yarn because here in Seattle tank top wearing season is limited to just a few months and I can get more use out of a tank top if I can layer it.

With the help from the saleswoman at the yarn store, I came home with four different balls of yarn:

  • Louisa Harding Albero, 50% Cotton, 50% Lenpur (Viscose), 50 grams (1.76 ounces), 110 yards (100 meters), 20 stitches X 26 rows = 10 cm/4 inches, 4.5 mm/7 US, $8.00
  • Araucania Ruca Yarn, 100% sugar cane, 100 grams (3.52 ounces), 263 yards (241 meters),22 stitches = 10 cm/4 inches, 3.75 mm/4-5 US, $14.00
  • Berroco Pure Pima Yarn,100% Pima Cotton,50 grams (1.76 ounces), 115 yards (106 meters), 22 stitches X 26 rows = 10 cm/4 inches, 4 mm/6 US, $6.00
  • Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy, 34% Hemp, 41% Cotton, 25% Modal, 50 grams (1.76 ounces), 153 yards (140meters), 22 stitches X 30 rows = 10 cm/4 inches, 3.5 mm/4 US, $7.00

Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy Yarn

Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy Yarn Swatch

I must be a loose knitter because I can never get the gauge on the ball band with the size knitting needle that is recommended. I first knit up the Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy with a size 2 needle but decided to go down to a size zero because I didn’t like the look of the fabric. However, that going down needle sizes did not help. The resulting fabric is too scratch and stiff. I will not be using this yarn for my tank top.

The yarn I liked best of the four yarns was the Araucania Ruca Yarn. It has a nice drape to it and feels soft. Because it is hand dyed it has slightly different shades throughout the skein, it has depth of color. I only bought one ball of this yarn so I will need to purchase more. The yarn does not have dye lots and they recommend alternating between balls to get a consistent color in the garment. That could be a problem, but I like this yarn enough that I may not mind so much the extra knitting effort.

You can read my full reviews of both these yarns at: Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy Yarn Review and Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy Yarn Review. I also reviewed the Louisa Harding Albero and Berroco Pure Pima Yarn yarns, neither of which I will be using for my tank top.

Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy Yarn – Yarn Review

Sunday, March 27th, 2011 by Rhonda Bell

Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy Yarn

Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy Yarn


Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy

Yardage: 153 yards (140meters)

Weight: 50 grams (1.76 ounces)

Fiber Content: 34% Hemp, 41% Cotton, 25% Modal

Gauge: 22 stitches X 30 rows = 10 cm/4 inches

Recommended Needle Size: 3.5 mm/4 US

Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy Yarn Swatch

Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy Yarn Swatch


Care Instructions: Handwash only. Dry flat.

Review:

Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy was a yarn I selected for a tank top pattern I’m designing. It was recommended by the clerk at my local yarn shop. Despite the fact that I didn’t like the way the yarn felt in the ball, I decided to give it a try.

I wish I hadn’t. I started out my swatch using a size 2 needle because the ball band recommended a size 4 US and I’m a loose knitter. I had to go down to a size 0 and I still wasn’t satisfied with the resulting stockinette stitch. I especially didn’t like how it knitted up in 1 by 1 ribbing. It did, however, look best in seed stitch but still not great.

The yarn feels scratchy to me and I didn’t enjoy how it felt as I was knitting. I also didn’t like how the resulting swatch felt either. I don’t think it would be a good choice for a garment. It might make good dishcloth or a knitted bag, but at $7 for a 50 gram ball, I’d look for a less expensive alternative.

See more yarn reviews on the Blog Yarn Reviews Page or the Knitting News Cast Yarn Reviews Page

Berroco Pure Pima Yarn – Yarn Review

Sunday, March 27th, 2011 by Rhonda Bell

Berroco Pure Pima Yarn

Berroco Pure Pima Yarn


Yarn: Berroco Pure Pima Yarn

Yardage: 115 yards (106 meters)

Weight: 50 grams (1.76 ounces)

Fiber Content: 100% Pima Cotton

Gauge: 22 stitches X 26 rows = 10 cm/4 inches

Recommended Needle Size: 4 mm/6 US

Berroco Pure Pima Yarn Swatch

Berroco Pure Pima Yarn Swatch


Care Instructions: Machine wash on delicate cycle in cold water. Lay flat to dry.

Review:

I purchased Berroco Pure Pima Yarn in hopes of using it for a tank top. I’ve knitted with cotton before for summer garments and have been disappointed after a couple wears. I’m not sure why I though this yarn would be different.

Don’t get me wrong. I think Berroco Pure Pima Yarn is a great cotton yarn. When I knitted my swatch, I used a size 1 US needle and the resulting stockinette and seed stitch were lovely. I didn’t care so much for the 1 by 1 ribbing though.

I think this yarn would be great for wash clothes and dish clothes. I could also see it used for a baby blanket if it wasn’t knit in stockinette but with a more textured stitch like seed or moss stitch.

See more yarn reviews on the Blog Yarn Reviews Page or the Knitting News Cast Yarn Reviews Page

Araucania Ruca Yarn – Yarn Review

Saturday, March 26th, 2011 by Rhonda Bell
Araucania Ruca Yarn

Araucania Ruca Yarn

Yarn: Araucania Ruca Yarn

Yardage: 263 yards (241 meters)

Weight: 100 grams (3.52 ounces)

Fiber Content: 100% sugar cane

Gauge: 22 stitches = 10 cm/4 inches

Recommended Needle Size: 3.75 mm/4-5 US

Araucania Ruca Yarn Swatch

Araucania Ruca Yarn Swatch


Care Instructions: Dry clean.  Hand wash with cool water and mild soap.  Was similar colors separately.  Dry flat, do not sun dry, soak, spin or tumble dry.

Notes: There are no dye lots for this yarn.

Review:

I was intrigued by Araucania Ruca Yarn because of its fiber content, sugar cane.  Knit up in stockinette stitch it has a lovely drape and feel soft against the skin.  My swatch is knit with size 1 US needles.  The bottom is regular stockinette stitch, followed by 1 by 1 ribbing and then seed stitch.

The yarn is hand dyed in Chile and has slightly different shades throughout that gives it interest and character.

I think the Araucania Ruca Yarn would be a great summertime one. It would be great in tank tops or short sleeve sweaters. I think it would also be lovely as a scarf or shawl.

See more yarn reviews on the Blog Yarn Reviews Page or the Knitting News Cast Yarn Reviews Page

Louisa Harding Albero Yarn – Yarn Review

Saturday, March 26th, 2011 by Rhonda Bell
Louisa Harding Albero Yarn

Louisa Harding Albero Yarn

Yarn: Louisa Harding Albero

Yardage: 110 yards (100 meters)

Weight: 50 grams (1.76 ounces)

Fiber Content: 50% Cotton, 50% Lenpur (Viscose)

Gauge: 20 stitches X 26 rows = 10 cm/4 inches

Recommended Needle Size: 4.5 mm/7 US

Louisa Harding Albero Yarn Swatch

Louisa Harding Albero Yarn Swatch

Care Instructions: Handwash only. Dry flat.

Review:

I was looking for a cotton yarn when I found Louisa Harding Albero at my local yarn shop.  The viscose seems to soften up the yarn a bit and give it a bit of a drape in stockinette stitch.  However, I think it doesn’t feel as soft as I’d like.  The yarn has two strands and I found my needle sometimes getting in between them and splitting the yarn while I knitted.

My swatch is knit with size 2 US needles.  The bottom is regular stockinette stitch, followed by 1 by 1 ribbing and then seed stitch.  I like how the stitches look in stockinette and seed stitch, but not in the 1 by 1 ribbing.

I’m not sure if I’d use this yarn for a garment.  Even though it does have the viscose in it, I think the yarn would eventually cause the garment to sag like a lot of cotton yarn garments.  However, it might make a good spring scarf or shawl.  I’ve seen it used for a lot of baby items such as hats and tops.

See more yarn reviews on the Blog Yarn Reviews Page or the Knitting News Cast Yarn Reviews Page