Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: New Yarns from Cascade Yarns!

Recently I had the good fortune to stumble upon the Cascade Yarns display at Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival, where I got a personal tour of their new yarns.  (And got to take some home with me to play with as well!)  It was such a delight to play with these yarns - let me take you through them:

70% Undyed Merino Wool/ 30% Undyed Baby Alpaca
Aran / 10 ply, 8 wpi
100g / 164 yds
Gauge: US 9, 18 st = 4"
Hand Wash
Eco Cloud is truly a unique yarn.  It's really a yarn of contradictions.  Not only is it made of very warm fibers: merino and alpaca, but it is light weight.  I know.  Right now you're scratching your heads and thinking, I've not worn too many garments that were "lightweight" knit or crocheted from merino/alpaca blends.  But the key to it's lightweight and stretchy quality lies solely in it's amazing crocheted construction.  The yarn itself is constructed from crocheted chains.  This creates an extremely light weight and stretchy fabric.  Because the chains have structure built in, this would not lend itself to a project that needed a smooth finish.  But use this yarn in cabled projects and you've got instant stretch, bounce, and gorgeous texture.  This yarn is moderately soft to the touch with a mild halo.  Because it provides nice stretch, it is perfect for patterns with negative ease.  (Cables)  One word of advice: If you are a tight knitter, be careful not to stretch the yarn taught while knitting.  You have to have a loose hand so that it's bounce and stretch remain intact.  Eco Cloud will run you approx. $13/hank and is available in 10 beautiful, natural shades.


85% Superwash Merino Wool/ 15% Mulberry Silk
Fingering Weight, 4 ply (14 wpi)
100g / 437 yds
Gauge: US 2-3, 28-32 st = 4"
Machine Washable
Heritage Silk is just an amazing yarn to work with.  It's a very smooth yarn with subtle shine and little stretch.  It's incredibly soft and provides terrific stitch detail - perfect for socks and lace work!  It has a nice tight ply which allows for precise detail and consistent stitches.  And because there's a hint of silk in this fiber, it drapes so nicely and feels lovely against the skin.  The subtle sheen helps to really make those lace stitches pop!  Heritage Silk costs approx. $15.50/hank and comes in 28 luscious colors!

50% Alpaca / 50% Wool
Worsted Weight, 10 ply (9 wpi)
100 g/ 219 yds
Gauge: US 7-8, 4.5 - 5 st = 1"
Hand Wash
I've always loved Cascade 220 as a standard worsted yarn - proven and consistent.  Well if you like Cascade 220, you'll love Lana D' Oro.  Like it's all wool counterpart, Lana D' Oro provides consistent stitches and nice stitch definition.  But unlike it's counterpart, it contains 50% alpaca!  So it's a wonderful yarn that combines the feel of wool with the warmth of alpaca to provide amazing winter garments.  Their solid line is slightly variegated, almost kettle dyed -providing a terrific depth in the color.  Lana D'Oro also comes in a painted line boasting vivid colorways.  This yarn a very slight halo and a moderately tight ply.  And like it's cousin, 220, comes is a myriad of colors.  Infact it comes in 86 solid colors and 6 paint colorways.  You'll find Lana D'Oro a steal at around $8.50/hank.


70% Merino / 30% Silk
Worsted Wt, 10 ply (9 wpi)
100g / 218 yds
Gauge: US #7 - 5 st = 1"
Similar to Heritage Silk, Venezia Worsted proves that worsteds can be fabulous also.  Venezia has a surprisingly lightweight feel and a moderate sheen.  The ply is moderately tight and did not tend to split when knitting it up.  It's a nice smooth yarn with no halo and the sheen only helps to compliment and highlight stitch patterns and provide terrific stitch definition.  Soft to the touch, this yarn would make a great cardigan!  You can pick up Venezia Worsted at around $14/hank in 50 delicious colors!


40 % Superwash Merino / 60% Acrylic
Worsted Wt, 10 ply (9 wpi)
100 g / 213 yds
Gauge: US#7-8, 4.5-5 st = 1"
Machine Washable
Okay, I know acrylics get a bad name.  Memories of dime store, scratchy acrylics loom deep in your brain.. BUT, Cascade is trying to change your opinion of acrylic yarn with this smart acrylic blend.  Pacific combines the soft warmth of a merino with the durability of an acrylic.  No scratchy yarn here.  It's a soft feeling, very slight halo yarn with terrific stitch definition and tight ply.  This yarn is perfect for children's garments or those workhorse garments/items we use daily: the office cardigan, the winter mittens, the afghan..  And although this yarn doesn't look or feel like a dime store yarn, you can get it for almost the same price: at just $6.50/skein, you can pick up any number of the 50 colors offered!!

Leave a little comment love: If you've knit or crocheted with any of these yarns or are looking forward to giving them a whirl - leave a comment and share!!

You can interact with Cascade Yarns via their website or:
Disclosure: Cascade Yarns provided KnitPurlGurl with the yarns in this post free for review.  KnitPurlGurl was not compensated for this review.  All opinions expressed in this blog post are those of the blog author's and do not necessarily reflect those of Cascade Yarns.



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