At the end of July my local yarn shop (Nomad Yarns) had a yarn tasting in conjunction with their four year anniversary celebration. If you’re wondering what a yarn tasting is let me tell you. You get little samples (enough to knit a couple inch swatch) of different yarns, in this case from a LYS, and you test them out. I took my own needles but they had some loaners available. It’s a great opportunity to try out new yarns or existing yarns you’ve just never been sure about.
I’m always one for trying new yarns so I sat down with several samples and pulled out my needles. I’m going to share with you the results for the four samples I knit up!
Mirasol Yarns Miski
I knit the above swatch on US 7’s since that’s what I had handy and I’m generally loose. It’s a 2-ply with decent twist and I didn’t have issues with it being splitty. It didn’t shed much but it might with wear. Like alpaca, it has little memory and would likely grow when worn. It would be great for something with drape though. Softness wise I would put it up there with alpaca. I would consider it next to the skin soft and has a nice open/airy quality to it. Perfect for hats, scarves and cowls. It sells for $10 per 50 gram online. Rating: A
Mirasol Yarns Sulka
60% merino wool, 20% alpaca, 20% silk bulky weight with approximately 55 yards per 50 grams that knits to 4 stitches per inch on a US 10 needle.
I started the above swatch on US 7’s but switched up to US 10’s when I realized it was bulkier. It’s a single ply, very softly spun. Think Malabrigo worsted but even more unspun. It was a bit splitty and does shed, consistent with a yarn without much twist. The merino gives it some memory though, which means it wouldn’t be as likely to grow as the Miski. Softness wise, it feels more like a 50/50 merino/alpaca blend, softer due to the loose twists. The silk gives it a nice degree of shine. I would consider it next to the skin soft and has a handspun quality to it. Probably a good choice for hats, scarves and cowls. It sells for $10-$11 per 50 gram online. Rating: B
Louisa Harding Grace Hand Beaded
31% silk, 31% merino wool, 8% polyester, 30% glass beads DK weight with approximately 74 yards per 50 grams that knits to 5-5.5 stitches per inch on a US 6-7 needle.
This yarn is interesting. There are small glass beads spun onto the yarn at random intervals. The yarn itself feels amazing and the beads knit up are beautiful. It is definitely heavier than other DK weights in terms of the weight of a couple inch sample. It is heavy enough I do not think you would want (or afford) to knit an entire garment out of this yarn. I would be (very) tempted to use it as a border or edge or cuff though. Or maybe just put in a couple rows of it in a shawl at different points. It sells for about $18-20 per 50 grams. Rating: B
Louisa Harding Sari Ribbon
90% nylon, 10% metallic bulky weight with approximately 66 yards per 100 grams that knits to 4 stitches per inch on a US 10.5 needle.
Another interesting yarn. I dropped down to a US 10 since I’m a loose knitter but I still felt like it was a very open yarn. It is probably not something I would use other than as an edging or stripe on something I wanted to be very fun/flashy/blingy. But, that’s me. It is rather stiff and does not feel great against the skin. It sells for about $18-19 per 100 grams. Rating: C