This review comes as the direct result of yarn envy.
For the last few weeks, Faye of Buttons and Beeswax has been bringing the prototype of her latest design along to our local Stitch ‘n’ Bitch group. It uses Erika Knight Vintage Wool and I have been shamelessly coveting the heck out of it.
Faye has very kindly given me some of her leftover yarn and now I am gonna review this delightful stuff!
Vintage Wool is Aran-weight, 100% British wool and is also spun in Yorkshire. It’s as British as a nice cup of tea and a sit-down. This wool is very soft and silky which makes it an instant winner, and it’s quite loosely plied as well. The combination gives a result that I just love getting my fingers into (hence the coveting). I mean seriously, this yarn is freakin squooshy!
The colourway here, ‘Wisteria’ is a somewhat unusual lilac which I admit I struggled to photograph accurately. I’m not a fan of lilac, but it’s a surprisingly versatile shade; There’s a whole lot of pink and grey undertones, which can be seen through the entire range, keeping it all nice and cohesive for colourwork.
I had absolutely no quibbles with Vintage Wool whilst swatching; it’s incredibly easy on the fingers because of how silky it is. No splitting either!
The swatch was knitted on the recommended 5mm needles.
And after washing!
As you can see, it doesn’t relax a great deal after washing, but it does ‘bloom’ a little. I make the final gauge to be 18sts and 26 rows in a 4″ x 4″ square.
What fabric properties stand out? Well, this is a very soft, warm and drapey swatch, with only a little fuzzy halo. The stitches have blended together quite well after washing, but were quite easy to unravel prior to that.
Of course, I always make sure to do a thorough stress test of my swatches! I stretched it out with weights and gave it a whole load of friction to see how it wears…
One of the more notable characteristics is that the fabric seems to be quite inelastic for wool. It took a fairly long time to snap back after being pulled down by weights. A quick shake sorted it right out though, so no permanent distortion was caused.
My totally scientific friction test showed that Vintage Wool doesn’t actually pill very quickly, which is good. Obviously, it does eventually, as wool is wont to do, but for such a soft and loose yarn it’s quite tough.
It’s hardly original but I would use Vintage Wool for scarves and hats – I think it’s just the thing to wrap in large quantities around your face! It strikes me as very good for colourwork, in the way the stitches blend after washing. The thoughtfully planned colour range helps a great deal too. I can also picture making a giant cosy cardigan in Vintage Wool. Garments with negative ease may not work so well though, just because of that slight inelasticity.
All in all, I had a lot of fun playing with this stuff! Maybe I could squeeze a hat out of the rest of that yarn cake??
Erika Knight Vintage Wool is available in various online stores, such as:
The Yarn Cafe
More of my reviews can be found here.