I have decided to embrace my inner yarn snob and find the one perfect yarn for me.
I live near a small town with one craft shop that is great, but doesn’t have the range of yarn in colours I would like. There are a couple of large craft chain stores about an hours drive from here, but I have found their supplies to be unreliable and sometimes the quality is a bit ordinary.
So I thought I’d try online. My rules for choosing a yarn to be part of my test were : 1) it had to have a good colour range – more than 15. 2) It had to be reasonably priced (I did break this rule a couple of times). 3) A yarn I had heard good things about. 4) “ooh that looks good” a couple of times. There were a few I had in my stash too. What the yarn was made of didn’t matter. I just want something that has a good colour range, works up well, feels soft and looks good.
Me being me, I had to be methodical and organised how I tested. So I made a test swatch in each yarn with the same hook, noted cost, weight and metreage, measured the end results, and made comments as I went. In the end, I tested 33 yarns. Yikes!
So what are my conclusions? I wont bore you with the detail of each yarn. If you’re really keen to see every yarn and my rating click on this link to get a PDF of it all : Yarn test By Shelley Husband September 2013
The number rating you’ll see in the PDF is a score out of 10 and is purely my subjective assessment. I marked down if the yarn split, stiffness, was shiny, slippery, stretchy, scratchy or fuzzy. I marked up for stitch definition, softness, drapiness, centre pull, ease of use. If you did it, I am sure you’d have different criteria and results. This is just me and my thoughts.
I narrowed my choices firstly by rejecting those with a score under 8. Then I took out those beyond my means price wise. That got me down to 10 yarns. I then looked at what I could easily source. My last choices were yarns I liked working with and the results were what I liked.
So now I’ve done all that, what will me yarn of choice be? If money were no object then it would be Debbie Bliss Cotton DK hands down. But unfortunately, its just too dear for me to use as an everyday yarn. It’s so lovely. It’s thick, soft and a dream to work with. It was the only yarn I scored 10. I’d love to try all the Debbie Bliss yarns. *sigh*
So my realistic choices were left. I choose 4 winners in the end, one from each yarn composition type as they’ll all be useful for different purposes.
The wool winner is Bendigo Woollen Mills Luxury Wool. I have used it before in 10 ply & while the colour range for 10 ply isn’t huge, the 8 ply range is, with 37 to choose from Happy days.
My bamboo choice is King Cole Bamboo Cotton. It is a little bit splitty, but the colour range is good at 29 choices and it feels so lovely, so I can live with a little bit of splittiness.
My acrylic choice is Sidar Snuggly DK. It’s a little like cotton to me in looks but with the feel of a soft acrylic. The colour range is huge too – 49 colours!
My final winner is Rico Design Essentials Cotton DK. The colour range is amazing at 44 vibrant choices and the stitch definition is lovely.
I know there are many,many more yarns out there. I’ll be adding to my note book of swatches as I get access to more.
So there you go. My obsessive organising skills in action hehe. Hope you’ve found it useful. Now to use up my stash so I can go shopping!
UPDATE : 30 August 2014 – things have changed a bit as you can read about here.