Well this is exciting! We have a brand new yarn, and it is *beautiful*! You may already (hopefully!) be familiar with our Keld Fingering yarn, which is 90% superwash extrafine merino and 10% linen.. and now we have the Aran version!
This iteration of it is spun as a two-ply, which will give it better strength for a thicker yarn (a thicker singles yarn isn't usually a great idea - they tend to pill) but whilst also allowing the fibres to bloom and be all soft and lovely.
Just like its sister, this yarn has that unique and rustic appearance from the linen, which you can see. It doesn't take the dye like the merino does so on darker colours it stands out a bit more as it's off-white. The linen is visible both spun in, but also on the surface - so you do get bits sticking out, but I absolutely promise you cannot feel it at all. The yarn feels just as soft and smooth as if the linen wasn't there.
As usual, this yarn is being produced in dyelots of at least 10 x 100g skeins in order that you can get sweater quantities. You can find it HERE on the website.
The stats are:
- 90% superwash extrafine merino, 10% linen
- 180m/196yds per skein
- 4.5 - 5.5mm (US 7 - 9) needles
- 4.5 - 5.5mm hook
- 10 WPI
- Although it is superwash merino we do recommend that you handwash this yarn
Update: I have machine washed the swatches - on a 30 degree/1400 spin wash they came out looking amazing. I thought this yarn might not take kindly to it so I am really pleasantly surprised. It will still always be best hand washed, but if it has to go in the machine and you use a gentle cycle it shouldn't destroy it. :)
I have so far made three swatches although I'm sure there'll be more to come! This should still be useful anyway.
I started by crocheting one on a 5mm hook. This is rows of UK trebles, and as usual it is gently blocked. I've got 13 stitches and 12 rows over 10 x 10cm.
I also knitted a swatch on 5mm needles. Again gently blocked, I've got 15 stitches and 22 rows over 10 x 10cm of stocking stitch.
Then I needed to swatch on 4.5mm needles for my first Keld Aran project, so I've done that too. This one has been blocked harder because the project (a garment) has a lace pattern in it and the stocking stitch will need to stretch as much as the lace, if that makes sense! I've got 16.5 stitches and 24 rows over 10 x 10cm square in stocking stitch.
That's actually a looser gauge than the pattern calls for, by 1.5 stitches and 2 rows; however that works for me with the sizing that I have chosen (it's a nice boxy sweater). I would be interested to see what this yarn is like with 4mm needles though - I think it's fine enough that it might work.
As aran yarns go, this one is a little finer than our others - just like Askham Aran is (that's baby alpaca/silk so it's understandable). I've noticed that if I hang it vertically to dry it looks fairly thin, but if I dry it flat on the heated airers it fluffs out beautifully. That's true for all of our yarns but it's more of a visible difference in some. The thing is, we recommend that projects are laid flat to dry, and so I almost always dry the yarn flat too, so that you'll hopefully get the best possible representation of it which relates to how it'll handle when you actually use it - I hope that makes sense. Anyway, point being that if you hang it to dry (or block it hard) your item will drape well; but if you dry it flat you'll get a more fluffed-out, cosy fabric.
What this means is that this yarn is going to be great for all sorts. As I've mentioned, I am knitting a garment in it which has lace as well as stocking stitch so once that's done I shall report on it. But I am also planning accessories - hats, cowls.. the usual. It's another one that I think would be amazing held double with Eldwick Lace (mohair/silk), too.
Once we have projects and patterns for this we will add them into a separate blog post! For now though, I hope this has helped, and if you have any projects to go into the upcoming gallery please do let us know.
Another update: I am knitting Blossom by Along Avec Anna in this yarn, and it is pure joy. Here's how it's going...