Wholesomeness in a strand

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Viscose / Wool

Felted Tweed by Rowan

This yarn is popular! A quick glance in Ravelry showed over 25,000 projects using it at last count.

It is great for colour work and has a beautiful rustic palate that allows your imagination to run through an array of choices before landing on cherry red and fiery ginger. The fibre is lightly pre-felted giving it a nice solid texture aiding the stitch definition. Many people use this yarn for Fair Isle patterns where it comes into its own.

When knitting

DSC02804This yarn is wholesome. It’s like being in your favourite health food store and making sure you have enough fibre in your food. It just makes me feel good. It sheds a bit of the alpaca as you knit and after knitting for a while it occasionally looked like I owned a pet. However, the strands brushed straight off my clothes and were not annoying. The great thing I found was this settled once blocked and washed, which stabilised the fibres so they no longer shed. You can also find small bits of debris in the yarn that pull out quite easily. I have found the strand strong but have read of others having it break occasionally, but in my hands this hasn’t happened. Although this yarn is labelled as 8-ply I think it is closer to a sport weight making it a bit lighter than expected.

When blocking

I found that my gauge square grew 1cm in both directions when blocked so I chose a smaller needle size for my project. This relaxed the stitches and the fabric became beautifully uniform. The stitches have a haze around them from the long strands of alpaca and the fabric looks earthy. I used pins when blocking to develop nice straight edges where I wanted them.

When washing

Rowan says that you can use a cool machine wash for this yarn. I personally still hand wash it. I feel if I have spent weeks making a garment, a few more minutes’ hand washing is worth the effort. Do not tumble dry as the already lightly felted strands will felt further. I found the colours hold fast. Once washed the yarn softened slightly and I find it snuggly enough to wear directly against my skin. The dye lots are very consistent. I’ve gone back and bought a colour again and it has been the same. This is reassuring if you think you may end up needing more yarn.

When wearing

The knitted fabric feels textured but has a softness that for me is pleasant to wear. The drape holds some shape due to the 25% viscose component. It is warm and light to wear, which here in Australia makes it a good choice for a winter knit, but also makes it suitable for Autumn and Spring garments in colder climates. Wear after wear, I have found my garments are durable without pilling.

DSC02164

Conclusion

This is the type of yarn that can be a standard go-to yarn for lighter weight winter knits. It drapes beautifully, is light but warm and has a wholesome earthy feel. It is certainly a yarn I will go back to again.

Weight 8 ply – light, similar to a sport weight
Length 175 metres / 191 yards
Unit Weight 50 grams / 1.76 ounces
Gauge 24 stitches per 10 cm / 4 inches / 32 rows
Needle 4mm / US 6
Composition and Origin 50% merino wool, 25% alpaca, 25% viscose
Recommended handling Machine washable on a cool program, 30 degrees, do not tumble dry
Colour 31 rustic colours
Supplier Rowan owned by MEZ UK
Project Ideas Gullfoss by Stephen West
Slade by Michele Wang (shown in photo above)
Colour Affection by Veera Valimaki
Orkney by Marie Wallin
Source of review yarn Purchased by me
Average Retail Price $14.95 AUD currency

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