I have been reading a lot of Clara Parkes and her Knitter’s Review, especially the yarn reviews.  I knit with a lot of different yarns for a multitude of purposes and have decided to write my own yarn reviews. 

Oct 16/2010:  The Malabrigo yarns are amongst the most talked about and stashed yarns on Ravelry, with good reason, the colour range and softness make them a must have, must knit kind of yarn.  Some knitters have experienced problems with pilling, due to the softness of the yarn – So I have tried them out for myself – It was love at first stitch.

Malabrigo Worsted Merino – 100grs, 200m, 100%merino

This yarn is soft, very soft, great loft, and did I mention soft – both versions!  The worsted took a lot of ripping out and casting-on at the beginning of a pooling project – both the hat and scarf and did not show any signs of pilling and fuzzing, which I had been expecting.  Merino and other soft fibres often pill faster than many of the hardier fibres.  This is due in part to the shorter length of the fine fibre and way the fibre has been spun.  Malabrigo yarns appear to have a very soft spin and the resulting soft hand or feel.  With wear I could see this becoming even more soft and perhaps developing some pilling.  I would not let this keep me from working with the yarn, the colour palette and softness are incredible and the yarn has developed an incredible following – for good reason.  This yarn creates projects that are a joy to knit, from first stitch cast-on to last stitch cast-off.

Malabrigo Baby Merino – 50grs, 470 yds, 100%merino

Baby Merino "Bronte" by Sharon Miller

Heaven!  Crisp stitch with soft hand and incredible yardage.  The Malabrigo mills seem to know what they are doing with the production and quality of the yarns they produce.  No downside for the yarn as yet – I’ll let you know what I think after blocking!

 Oct 3/ 2010:  Today I will start with both ends of the knitting spectrum, CashSilk Lace by SweetGeorgia and Briggs and Little Sport.

CashSilk Lace is a Canadian product, hand-dyed in Vancouver and is a 45%Cashmere and 55%Silk knitting dream, with approximately 400yds to 55grs. 

I have just started knitting a square shetland style shawl with this yarn and I am loving the hand and the big payback for your time and effort.  The yarn is a fairly loosely spun 2-ply.  I haven’t had any problems with splitting or fuzzing as yet, even though I have ripped back my start 3 times trying to find a lace pattern to suit the project I was creating.  I am using a fairly large needle for this weight of yarn, 3.75mm, and the fabric being created has great bounce and body.

River Colourway in Tough Love Sock

The colourway that I am using is Espresso, one of SweetGeorgia’s suble colours with the depth of colour apparent even in the photograph.  All of her colourways have this richness (this is my second project with one of her yarns) and I am looking forward to knitting with more of her yarns.  Very satisfying yarns to knit with.

Briggs and Little Sport, another Canadian Yarn, made from 100% Wool with 430 yds per 40z or 113grs.
 
Briggs is one of my go to yarns.  I love the hand and the wooliness of this yarn.  It knits beautifully and once blocked, lofts and holds whatever stitch it was knit in beautifully.  A sport weight yarn that is suitable for sweaters or lace shawls, the everyday style of shawl, the one that gets grabbed when you are cold and want to get warm.  This is not a soft yarn.  It is wooly and scratchy to most (I’m told that I must be part sheep to find this yarn appealing!), but it has never disappointed.
Briggs Sport is a Single ply Sport weight yarn, often overspun, it will become an energized single that twists back on itself while you are working with it.  The yarn has been scoured so that there is no lanolin but there are still pieces of hay that are easy to remove as you knit.  One of Briggs Sports strengths is the range of traditional colours that it comes in.  Many naturals, heathers and solid colours with lots of shading, making this a great yarn for traditional styles of fair isle knitting. 
Recently I have been using the Briggs for the Samplers for Mad About Ewes’ next Retreat and the results speak for the yarn.
 
 

 

These are just my opinions of the two yarns.  They are very different from each other, and yet they both offer a very satisfying knitting experience.

Happy Knitting

Lynette

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