When I subscribed to Elann Sample Skeins, one of my goals was to knit up each sample skein, including yarn I would never dream of buying. Because who knows? I might fall in love with a yarn that I otherwise never would have tried. Or, in short, I wanted to experiment a little and expand my yarn exposure.
The following are my impressions of the August sample skeins. These are NOT comprehensive yarn reviews. They are my opinions reflecting my personal preferences and prejudices.
All swatches are unwashed this month.
ON line Linie - Cotton Stretch.
70% Cotton, 30% Polyester. Bulky weight.
Swatch knit on #10 needle. My gauge 4 stitches/inch, 5.5 rows/inch.
Yarn is stretchy like tubular elastic. Very soft.
Not good for cables or lace or anything intricate. It would make a quick knit top for someone who likes the bulky yarn look. I won't buy this yarn, but if someone gave it to me I'd knit it up.
100% Wool. Bulky weight.
Swatch knit on #10 needle. My Gauge 3.5 stitches/inch, 5 rows/inch.
This is first cousin to Bad Biasing Yarn, the most awful yarn I ever had the bad judgement to purchase.
Look! Even this tiny swatch is showing bias. Don't be taken in by the pretty colors. Stay away, stay away.
Katia Venue (bottom swatch).
50% Wool, 50% Acrylic. Aran weight.
Swatch knit on #8 needle. My gauge 4 stitches/inch, 6 rows/inch.
Self-striping yarn with gradual color shifts. Pretty and soft.
It's also a bit fuzzy and could easily pill.
Katia VIP (top swatch).
58% Acrylic, 42% Wool. Polar weight (Whatever that is. Their words, not mine.)
Swatch knit on #11 needle. My gauge? Impossible to measure because I don't remember how many stitches I cast on. Now that they're knit, the stitches are invisible.
This yarn is dyed to match the Venus which could lead to designing fun if this yarn was knitable. Trust me, it isn't. If you try to knit it you will cry. It's so loopy and tangly I couldn't get the starting slip knot snug on the needle.
Filatura di Crosa Malizioso.
90% Wool, 10% Acrylic. Polar Weight.
Swatch knit on #11 needle. My gauge 3 stitches/inch, 4 stitches/row.
The recommended needle sizes are #13 to #15. #11 is the largest needle I own, and probably wouldn't own that if it hadn't come as part of the Knitpicks Options set.
Anything knit with this yarn is going to scream HOME MADE and not in a good way. To an experienced knitter of beautiful projects it is going to scream HOME MADE BY SOMEONE WHO IS TOO IMPATIENT TO KNIT WITH A NORMAL YARN.
And the colors are not pretty. At least not in this swatch.