Baby Yarn Reveiws

Dk Baby Yarn this week samples as before done on 3.75mm needles and 3.5mm hook. A Sloppy knitter standard variation for me. These are a selection of the yarns suitable for babies — including a comparision of some merino DK which was interesting. Odd thing discovered with these baby yarns (except the stylecraft) say avoid tumble drying (a good thing for the planet but not new Mums?!) but they will wash in the machine!!

Here we go with Bo Peep from West Yorkshire Spinners……

The yarn is soft in the ball and the balls are a bit sloppy. It is 52% falkland wool, 48% nylon machine washable at 40, dry flat.  50g;112m; band tension 22stx 28 rows. £4.25 Softly spun with 3 plys. The high nylon content means the fabric feels vintage (like all the homemade baby garments I was given when my children were born), it has a nice spring and is substantial bulk to the knitting. The yarn knits easily with a bit of spring, breaking off is better with scissors! It crochets easily but the loose spin split a little if you don’t keep it tight. My crochet square is 9cm x 9cm.


Next Cotton Soft DK from King Cole,  100% cotton yarn is 100g, 210m and band gauge on 4mm is 22st x 28rows. machine wash at 40. Dry flat. £4.75 The ball is substantial and the yarn smooth soft with a slight aura and not tightly spun with 3 ply. This is light and soft to knit with as with most cotton there is no spring so the stretch in the knitting comes from your work.   I have 22st and 29 rows the fabric is flat with no garter to stocking stitch roll, on a crisp but soft fabric. My full sample is significantly longer than the others so watch out for patterns which tell you to work so many rows. The crochet fabric is crisp it was nice to crochet with no splitting and I have 9.5cm x 9.5cm. Both fabrics have a fluffy surface which could pill. Scissors needed.

Next Babino from Stylecraft 100% acrylic yarn with 5 plys and a tight spun look. Ball band details are : 100g , 268m 22st x 30 rows 4mm needles; machine wash at 30; cool tumble dry. £2.95 This yarn appriciated being ulled from the ball centre as the plies are softly spun it untwists slightly if worked the other way. The fabric is dense and smooth with strong bounce and stretch, it has good stitch definition. I have 22st and 29 rows for the 10cm square. This yarn feels like a smooth wool when you are working it. The yarn will break but stretches when you do so you get a shaggy tail. The crochet is 8.5cm x 8.5cm and thick with only a little spring. This yarn will split if you don’t keep tension on it.

Merino DK don’t imagine they are all the same, I found subtle differences working the samples one after another. All will snap to break easily. Starting with the discriptions!!

King Cole Luxury Merino superwash currently on offer £3. This says 100% merino superwash.Band info. 22st x 28rows;50g; 140m; Wash @40 dry flat. This is 4 loose spun plys in an rounded thread, soft to touch and smooth in a doughnut ball. Fabric is 24st x 31 rows ( so I could go down another size needle) the fabric is crisp, stretchy, and deep/dense. I liked working with this smooth stretchy yarn but it split with the sharp needle so go blunt and the ball goes a bit floppy. The crochet was 9cm x 9cm and has more diagonal stretch than across . Good stitch definition in both cases.

Yarn Stories Fine Merino DK  £5.75. This is 100% wool; 50g; 12m 22st x30 rows (4mm); machine wash at 30. This is a 4plys to the tread giving a soft bulky yarn n a doughnut ball. Knitting with the twist helped the ‘non split’  The thread is soft smooth and springs. It has more visible plies in the ball but not as much definition the the stitches ( no right and left side them) so a smoother fabric. My gauge was 23st x 30rows (could try a smaller needle but may be just need to be aware of st count or sizing whan choosing a pattern). The fabric has good stretch, depth and bounce. The crochet is 9cm x 9cm and firm not as much diagonal stretch.

Adriafil Primula is new to RedApple. Band details are 50g; 150m; 22stx30rows (4mm); machine wash at 30.  Doughnut again with a slightly skinnier thread, which is a tighter spin and 4plies, it is smooth and very springy. The samples knits and crochets well no splitting. I got 24st x 30 rows, the fabric is lighter than the other two not as dense and has a little more bounce back (This lightness is common with their other products). The Crochet is 8.5cm square with equal give diagonally and across. Both have good stitch definition.

Next week I’m going to tackle British 100% wool — I hope


yarn reviews

A new series of yarn samples and reviews of our yarn stock.

Since we opened we have always had samples of the yarns we sell made into garments or as samples worked up for customers to see and feel. It is important as all yarns look and feel very different after working and wool yarns do change after blocking. What something looks like in the ball is the kerb appeal is one thing but how it works should be what knitter want to know.

All yarn makers and designer emphasise tension/gauge and sampling yourself as an important part of making any design up as it was intended and getting the garment you want ie the one in the picture. What this series will do is compare the samples knitted by me on a standard set of needles and crocheted on the same hook differentiated for the yarn type. We will start with DK yarns as there are some new ones in. I am a very sloppy worker and usually find I need to knit DK on 3.75mm (old number 9) and crochet on 3.5mm hook. I will try to keep the reviews factual – describe the yarn, how it works and behaves while working, any noticeable features. The purpose is to give a description to help when choosing a suitable pattern/project for the yarns not to grade as good or bad.

I pull balls from centre.

Knit samples are on 3.75mm wood/bamboo needles one blunt and one sharp (this will help to advise for tool choice) . The pattern will be the same cast on 36st, K4 rows, then 37 rows stocking st, K5 rows cast of in K. I am writing that here so I can’t forget!! I will show them just knitted and after blocking and compare them with a ‘control’ see below. I record the gauge count I got for comparison between my samples.

Crochet samples are worked with a 3.5mm hook into a granny square. Starting with a magic loop cast on ring of 12st and 5 rounds total(including the ring). The stitch I use is  worked by wrapping the yarn over hook make a base loop into the hole in the work below ( 3 loops on hook) pull through all loops on hook ( I am describing it because I get confused by the names of crochet stitches!!).

This is the master sample above which is West Yorkshire Spinners (WYS) BFL DK in olive. Yarn comes in 50g traditional shaped balls with 112m, and their ball tension is 22st to 28rows to 10cmx10cm on 4mm. The yarn is wool spun and has 4 threads(4plies). It is smooth but has a wool medium aura, knits easily and it snaps easily with a hairy edge  when pulled to breaking.  My sample has 22 stitches and 28 rows to a 10cm x 10cm square. The crochet is square and 9cm. The fabric is quite dense when compressed between finger and thumb and is springy when pulled diagonally and across the knitting, it has a minimal woolly textured ( ie the stitch definition is slightly blurred) surface.  The photo shows unblocked samples. I will do a post later showing the changes once blocked.

I’ll start with some new yarns in the shop this week a crepe spun cotton polyester, a wool and cotton and a wool and hemp mixes from Adrialfil in Italy.  I like to stock UK produced yarns where I can but I have found it hard to find these particular types mixes are not available spun in the UK, except from indie dyers. Adriafil spin theri own yarns so have a similar business model to WYS.

Soleluna is 96% cotton 4% polyester, crepe like yarn. The ball is a soft doughnut with 1 band. The band details say 50g ball with 160m it knits on 4 or 4.5mm needles? 24st and 32 rows. Machine washable. £4/ball

I have 24st to 32 rows and a quite crisp, light, fabric which is thin, smooth and stretchy diagonal and width ways. This yarn knits like wool yarns in it feels elastic when you are working it. The stitches have crepe like texture and a bit of drape. The finished garment might not need blocking the sample is flat and feels finished now. The yarn give a very stretchy light cotton fabric unlike mercierised yarns which can be heavy and dense – good for a T or shell jumper, baby clothes or vests!! . The yarn does not break so keep scissors handy. The crochet is 9cm square, has a bit of give and would make some great wash cloths or lacy cardigan!! There was no snagging or splitting while working and I could work fast. The ball was intact and not to messy when I finished the samples.

Duo Comfort is a 52% merino 42% Egyptian cotton yarn. Again a doughnut. The band details are: 50g 120m, knits on 4 or 4.5mm needles 19st and 26 rows. Yarn is smooth and 10 plied with a chalky effect to the colours. Machine wash at 30.  £5.50/ball

The yarn snaps when pulled with a frayed edge and no stretch damage.  I have 22st and 27 rows, the fabric is crisp and smooth with diagonal stretch and width ways give. The fabric is flat and has good stitch definition. It had drape and substance. This would knit for me as a DK not an aran the fabric at the given gauge it will be loose, it might be good for a lacy design on 4.5mm needles.

The crochet is 9cm square and the fabric is a bit dense with not much give, it needs a bigger hook and an open lacey design would work best in crochet. It did split a bit when working due to tight work. It did pull back easily. This ball fell apart and needs managing!!!

WoCa is a 70% wool 30% hemp yarn eco yarn. the band details are: 50g  110m knits on 3.5 or 4mm 21 st and 28 rows to 10cm, The yarn is bi with white fibres it looks coarse with plant hair and fluffy white texture. It is a single ply yarn. £4.85/ball

I have 19 st and 29 rows and a soft plump fabric. It has a loose structure and hairy surface. The fabric stretches width and diagonally and has drape. It does feel soft and not scratchy which the visual suggests and has a pleasant rustic feel appears more substantial. Possible uses at this gauge: simple designs to show off the yarn the big casual jumper or cardigan, or a cowl hat. Will need smaller needles to get the suggested gauge and will give a denser possibly springier fabric.

The crochet is 10cm square – it is stretchy but firm. This yarn crocheted much more easily than expected for a single/roving spun yarn no splitting, and smoothly, it is not so easy to pull back due to the fibre aura. I could see this as a nice blanket of granny squares but any complicated patterns will get broken up in the strong colour mix/marl style. The yarn breaks when pulled and has a stretched tail. And the ball stays together well (the yarn nature it is gripy onto itself in the ball – which meant pulling out lengths as I worked the crochet, this may effect your tension when knitting).

Next time DK Baby yarns!!!