Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Samples Skeins for September

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 September sample skeins. These are NOT comprehensive yarn reviews. They are my opinions reflecting my personal preferences and prejudices.

These swatches have not been washed.

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Astrakhan. 60% Merino Wool, 30% Microfiber, 10% Cashmere. Aran weight. Swatch knit on #6 needle.

My gauge: To get an accurate gauge on a boucle, one needs to count the stitches when they're cast on and count the rows as they're knit. I didn't do that. I'm guessing the gauge is approximately 4.5 stitches/inch.

This is the nicest boucle type yarn Elann has sent so far. It is possible to knit if one is highly motivated to knit a boucle item. I'm not.

Rowan Classic Yarns Soft Tweed. 56% Wool, 20% Viscose Rayon, 14% Nylon, 10% Silk. Bulky weight. Swatch knit on #11 needle.

My gauge: 3 stitches/inch, 4 rows/inch.

This yarn has a felted feel to the strand. Overall it's soft and too warm for most of us to want to wear indoors.

My little skein had a knot and a place, marked by the pin in the picture, where the yarn turned into a thread. Thought I've never bought any Rowan yarn, I think of it as being high quality, so those two imperfections were a surprise.

Louisa Harding Impression. 84% Nylon, 16% Mohair. DK weight. Swatch knit on #6 needle.

My gauge: 5.5 stitches/inch, 8 rows/inch.

This is my favorite of the month's offering. It's a ribbon yarn in gorgeous jewel tones with a slight halo. Easy knitting and soft results.

Note that I'm a complete sucker for variagated yarns and usually regret that choice after actually knitting up. This yarn sure is pretty. I'm going to admire my swatch and save my money.

Gedifra Fashion Trend Gold. 49% Wool, 48% Acrylic, 3% Polyester. Polar weight. Swatch knit on #11 needle.

My gauge: 3 stitches/inch. 4.5 rows/inch.

If anyone is tempted by this pretty yarn, make sure you consider that the result may be a short term fashion choice. The metallic spots are painted on. Even though I didn't wash my swatch, I can't imagine they're going to last through too make wearings and washings before looking ratty or disappearing completely.

Plymouth Outback Mohair. 70% Mohair, 26% Wool, 4% Nylon. Bulky weight. Swatch knit on #10 needle.

My gauge: 3 stitches/inch, 4.5 rows/inch.

A little difficult to knit because of the fuzz, but soft and colorful.

The swatch is wider toward the bottom because I did a row of eyelets there to see if a lace pattern would show. It doesn't.

In my younger, skinny days when I didn't mind endless stockinette, I would have snapped this up to knit a new fall sweater. But not until I made sure the swatch still looked great after washing.

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