This is a really long overdue blog post (oops!), as Rosedale has been in production and proving popular for a few months now, but it’s still worth writing about I think!
For those who aren’t familiar with it yet, Rosedale 4ply is superwash extrafine merino with nylon and gold Stellina which is what sparkles. It’s *really* difficult to get the sparkle to show up in photos unfortunately! But under the kitchen spotlights and in the sunshine it is absolutely gorgeous. It’s more subtle than the Lurex sparkle which is what’s in Nateby 4ply.
The colours in the pic below are Loganberry (red/pink), Tide (teal), and Mountain Hare (browns), with a bit of Charcoal showing in the background. You might just be able to see the stellina fibres poking out!
Extrafine merino refers to the thickness of the individual wool fibres, and as you might expect extrafine means it is very fine and therefore soft. Most of our merino yarns use the same extrafine merino - the only exceptions are Tempo 4ply, and Keswick Fingering, DK, and Aran. They’re still soft of course (obviously - I wouldn’t have them otherwise!) but just not as soft.
Just going back to sparkly threads, I thought I should expand on that. Stellina (used in our Rosedale and Silverdale 4ply - the latter hasn’t been properly launched yet but has been used!) is a metallic-toned nylon thread. Lurex on the other hand is a brand name for the yarn produced by the Lurex Company, and the yarn is a synthetic film with an actual metal coating. Nateby 4ply is shown below - hopefully you can see what I mean!
So in Rosedale the Stellina fibres are soft and they are blended with the merino and nylon fibres like any yarn blend would be. The fibres are a certain length - again like a wool fibre is - and so you get get a bit of a sparkly halo from them sticking out. With Nateby and the Lurex yarn however it’s a completely different idea - the Lurex is twisted in with the plying of the yarn as one long strand (spinners will get what I mean!), so it’s smooth against the wool, and it’s very consistent in appearance. At 15 WPI Nateby 4ply is a much more plump yarn than Rosedale, which is 16-17 WPI just like Brimham 4ply and Pendle 4ply. It’s bouncy of course but has a good drape to it too.
A note on WPI aka wraps per inch: this is a great tool for substituting yarns, as the WPI measures the actual thickness of the yarn. In my opinion it’s by far the most accurate way to describe the thickness of a yarn, as when you compare things like metres per 100g it does not account for the difference in type of yarn, which can significantly affect that number of metres in 100g (e.g. a lofty woollen-spun yarn might have more metres than a smooth worsted spun yarn, and yet be the same thickness). Anyway.. WPI.. this can be measured really easily - all you need is an item such as a pencil or ruler which you can wrap yarn around and see how many strands fit into one inch. Do be careful of stretching the yarn tightly as that’ll make it appear thinner.
Rosedale 4ply knits and crochets to what I consider a standard 4ply/fingering weight tension. I made a load of little crocheted Easter eggs (as you do.. it was during lockdown, what can I say!) which I used a 2.5mm hook for and that worked well. And I’d stick with my usual 2.5mm needles for knitting socks with it. I tend to use 3.5mm needles or hook for garments. Of course, it’s all a matter of personal preference really! You might want to use larger needles for a more loose fabric, and yes this yarn is good for *everything*! Socks, shawls, lace, garments.. you name it. If you’ve got one skein then a Fuss Free Festival Shawl by Louise Tilbrook is a good place to start for knitters - it’s on Payhip here: https://payhip.com/b/deEj. To avoid colour pooling if you’ve got a more variegated colourway such as Nebula shown below, look out for patterns which have varying row lengths as this will break up the colours throughout the project.
I often see comments about superwash yarns and garments.. superwash yarns are great for garments and larger items - don’t be put off by the drape! All you need to do is keep it in mind. If you wash the item then hang it in some way to dry then yes the weight of the water will make it stretch downwards. If you dry it flat it’ll stretch but you can shape it how you want, more easily. Also keep in mind that a wool-based yarn without silk in will bounce back once unpinned after blocking, as well. Not to its original size, but if you’ve really stretched it then when you unpin chances are it’ll spring back a bit! The best way to know how to accommodate this is to make your swatch (ideally a large-ish one if poss) and then wash and pin it out well-stretched. This will give you an idea as to how the yarn will behave. Also if you’re really unsure, then with something like a top-down garment you can put it onto waste yarn and wash and block it part way through, to see how the length is on your body so far. Personally I find that more useful than anything!
In my first Shedcast episode featuring this yarn I went through colour combinations - they’ll no doubt be out of stock now but if you’re interested you can still see them - the section on colours starts at 16:41 and is here: THIS LINK
This colourway above is Midnight. It looks amazing with the gold sparkle! I hope this blog post has been helpful and inspiring. Let us know if you have any questions or anything to add!