Yarn Reviews

Yarn Review: Millamia Naturally Soft Super Chunky

YARN INFO: Weight: Super Chunky – Needle/Hook: 10.00mm (US 15) – Composition: 100% Merino Wool – Ball Weight: 100g (3.5oz) – Yarn Length: 50m (55yds) – Tension: 8 stitches, 12 rows to 10cm/4″ .

I don’t like summer, I’m just going to put that out there. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy longer evenings, having a glass of wine (or seven) in a beer garden with friends, all of that, but I really can’t stand the heat. Yes, I am aware that I’m in the minority here.

Luckily, we now live in a part of Spain where the temperatures rarely get higher than 25º in the summer months. We lived for four years in the hottest city in Spain – Córdoba – where temperatures exceeding 40° are the absolute norm, so it’s nice to be somewhere fresher now. A sunny Spanish city with 40° probably sounds nice in theory if you’re marching through sheets of rain at 7.30am on the way to work in Ipswich, but trust me when I say that working in it, being pregnant in it and putting one foot in front of the other in those kind of temperatures is not the same as lying on a beach. God, I really should write a seperate blog entry about all that one day…

Anyways, I’m digressing, because what I really want to do here is review some stunning yarn I was kindly sent to review a few months ago. On a little rummage around my stash the other day I came across these two balls of  MillaMia Naturally Soft Super Chunky, 100g of fine 100% merino wool. Even though it’s been tropical outside, I’ve been dying to knit something chunky out of wool, and these was the perfect choice of yarn to get started on some early winter knits. I always make a new hat every winter for Alex, and now she’s old enough to have her own colour preferences (pink, pink and even more bloody pink), the wonderful shade “Sugar Pink (413)” was ideal. I threw a curveball in and added some cute Fair Isle scallops by combining it with the second sample shade of “Katarina Blue (412)” to add interest. I have to admit that I don’t normally like combining pastels as they can make the project look a bit washed out, but these two look really good together.

To touch, this yarn is unbeatable. Powder soft, bouncy, full and with incredible stitch definition, it really is the ideal chunky winter wool. I’m impressed with their colour selection, too. If you’re like me and obsess over greys and modern brights, you won’t be disappointed. To boot, the 100g (50m) ball weight is generous and more than enough to create a kid’s hat or scarf, with a ball-and-a-half being all you need to work up an adult sized hat, pom-pom included.

However, here’s the crappy bit. I must tell you that I wasn’t best pleased to see a few knots in the ball, including a huuuuuge one right at the beginning of the ball of “Katarina Blue (412)“. If you’re spending €2 on a big ball of acrylic this is to be expected (although it’s yet to happen to me with the better acrylic brands), but if you’re paying into double-figures for a luxury yarn, it’s disappointing to say the least. Hmm. If I’d paid for this instead of it being a sample I’d have left a bad review.

Fancy a fabulous project to use with this yarn? Check out my pattern for the Cloud Friends Hat, a cute, quick and fun knit for kids age 4-6 years and adults.

The Positives:

  • Knits up quickly.
  • So soft! It’s incredible!
  • It would make a beautiful yarn gift for a fellow maker.
  • Pretty ball band.
  • Small but varied colour palette.

The Negatives:

  • There were a few knots. Not so good for the price. Bleh!
  • At over €11/£9 a ball, it’s pricey and would be quite expensive to make a larger item (cardie or jumper) using this wool if you’re watching your pennies.

You can check out other yarn reviews by following my “Yarn Reviews” tag.

Yarn Reviews

Yarn Review: A Chunky Yarn Special


It’s always a joy to review yarn – can you imagine if it was an actual job? – but when it’s free yarn it’s even better! One of the great things about being an ambassador for craft stores is the opportunity to get your greasy mitts on some cool yarns before anyone else, and even sample yarns of your choice. As part of LoveCrafts great July sale, myself and some other lucky makers were asked to review and try out some great yarns.

I’m going though a huge chunky phase right now (craft-wise. It ain’t Christmas yet) so I jumped at the chance to pick up some full-bodied balls!

First in my basket was Hoooked Ribbon XL Solids in colours Silver Grey & Bubblegum Pink (Buy here).

YARN INFO: Weight: Super Chunky – Needle/Hook: 8.00mm (US 11) to 12.00mm (US 17) – Composition: 80% Cotton 20% Synthetic, Ball Weight: 250g (8.8oz) – Yarn Length: 120m (131yds) – Tension: 7 stitches, rows to 10cm/4″.

This pretty ribbon yarn is very similar to t-shirt yarn but a bit less stretchy.

Grey and pink are my favourite colours for most projects, and I fell in love with the almost glittery look it’s generous yardage – 250g in each skein – which is brilliant if you’re like me and love big value, large sized balls of yarn. It’s made from recycled cotton and synthetics, so it’s a great choice for ‘green’ crafters and those of us wanting to reduce our consumer footprint.


It knits and crochets up as quick as you’d expect with a chunky yarn. I test knitted a swatch on 10mm needles and was impressed with its squish and satisfying look. It has a soft and light feel too, making it thick and chunky but also airy! That means it’s comfortable to work with during the hotter months if you still want to make chunky projects when the temperatures soar. Crocheted up it’s even better, with fabulous stitch definition and a sturdiness that makes it a great choice for making storage baskets and poufs.

If you’re an avid homeware maker and want a light but chunky alternative to tshirt yarn for your projects, look no further!

The Positives:

  • Perfect for impatient knitters – it knits up fast!
  • Breathable, with 80% cotton and a light feel.
  • Adorable, modern ball-band with ingenious plastified coating.
  • It goes a loooong way – 250g is a heck of a lot of yarn.
  • I can’t think of a better yarn for homeware.

The Negatives:

  • Recommended for homeware only. I’m not sure it would be too good for making chunky clothing or accessories.

Next up for review is James C. Brett Noodles Chunky in colours N6 & N7 (Buy here)

YARN INFO: Weight: Chunky – Needle/Hook: 6.00mm (US 10) – Composition: 100% Polyester, Ball Weight: 100g (3.5oz) – Yarn Length: 170m (186yds) – Tension: 14 stitches, 20 rows to 10cm/4″.

I’ve low-key been a fan of James C. Brett for some time, and I particularly like the fact that they’re a UK-based company.

In the past I have used their Misty DK with good results, so I was excited to try out this unusual yarn. Made from 100% polyester, it is machine washable with a strong squidge factor that makes a good choice for baby blankets, baby bibs… In fact, it is recommended for clothing too, and would look incredible worked up into an unusual and very modern-looking sweater or cardigan.

Their colour range is on the small side – hopefully they will introduce a broader palette soon – but the two shades I chose (grey and pink, obviously!) were stunning, bright and just what I was expecting. Plus, the yarn really does look like a load of noodles!

Its unique composition means that it is impossible to split and ideal for beginner knitters and crocheters and don’t get me started on that stitch definition because…. Just look.


I’m not sure what I’m going to design using this yarn, but I’m definitely going to think of something that will show off this yarn’s sponginess and depth to full effect.

The Positives:

  • Unbeatable chunky squish-factor.
  • Stitch definition from the gods and impossible to split.
  • Versatile. From homeware to babywear, this machine-washable yarn will take you places and will be hardwearing too.

The Negatives:

  • That 100% polyester composition might not be for everyone.
  • Tiny range of colours compared to other man-made fibre yarns.
  • The ball-band design is a little dated.

Have you ever tried these these yarns? Let me know on Instagram or in the comments below!

Yarn Reviews

Yarn Review: Sweet Skein O’mine “Dirty Dancer” DK Merino/Nylon blend


It’s a wonderful day when someone gifts you yarn, especially when it’s hand-dyed and “indie”, so I was thrilled when the lovely Amanda from Sweet Skein O’mine contacted me asking if I’d like to review one of her beautiful yarns. This is the first Indie Dyer review that I’ve done as well… Hurray!

Amanda is an independent dyer and podcaster from Fredericton New Brunswick in Canada (where it can get as cold as -13º in Feburary – cheers Wikipedia) and her hand-dyed yarns are really beautiful. I’m especially fond of the names; “Up Knit Creek” and “I Squid You Not” being my favourites, and truth be told, I had been eyeing up her hanks for a good while before she kindly offered to mail me one!

Postage was surprisingly fast given that I live 4,660 km away (cheers Google), but I have just learned that we’re actually on the same latitude and it’s more of less a straight line from Fredericton to Asturias over the ocean. The more you know…

The shade I chose was “Dirty Dancer”, 100g of muted pastel yarn in DK weight (my favourite weight, FYI) that is exactly my kind of colour. Its light pink and lilac shades look stunning together, and give a wonderful, almost ombré effect when worked up. The colour really reminds me of lavender flowers, cherry blossom and is so girly and pretty – Perfect for Springtime knits!


Pictured:  Just a few of Sweet Skein O’mine’s mesmerizing array of colours…

My original plan for this yarn was to make a little bodice for a children’s summer dress, but in the end I decided on a smaller, quicker project that shows off the beauty of this yarn to full effect.

In fact, I’m in the (long) process of designing and choosing colours for a range of slouchy DK weight socks and this yarn is the ideal choice… I cast on a cuff this morning and so far I’m really impressed with the stretchiness and tact. It’s got a great amount of give on ribbing and I can see it being a great choice for childrenswear, with its softness being gentle on little ones’ skin and it having loads of stretch. I’ve chosen a very simple construction to show off the muted colours to best effect, avoiding complex stitches. I can see this yarn looking incredible as well with seed/moss stitch too, with the subtle colour changes working well with the simple structure that stitch gives.

To the touch, it’s hard to tell that there is any Nylon in this yarn, as the high percentage (75%) of Merino stands out. It’s so soft and cuddly!

Overall, I’m really impressed with this yarn and I’m definitely going to treat myself to a few hanks in the future so I can try out all the different weights that are available. In fact, Amanda has inspired me to finally get going with my podcasting – something I’ve been putting on the backburner for almost a year – as well as trying out hand-dying this Summer! It’s been an inspiring experience all round!


Pictured: Sock cuff action in full swing!


Do you fancy trying out some of this yarn for yourself?

You can visit Amanda’s Etsy store here

Follow her on Instagram here

Watch her knitting podcasts here

Are you an Indie Dyer or yarn company? Would you like me to review your yarn and write about you over on my Instagram feed? I’d love to hear from you!


Yarn Reviews

Yarn Review: Paintbox Yarns Wool Mix Super Chunky


Pictured: Paintbox Yarns Wool Mix Super Chunky in Vintage Pink (955) & Daffodil Yellow (921).
YARN INFO: Weight: Super Chunky – Needle/Hook: 10.00mm (US 15) – Composition: 50% Acrylic/50% Wool, Ball Weight: 100g (3.5oz) – Yarn Length: 55m (60yds) – Tension: 9 sts, 12 rows to 10cm/4″.
ALSO AVAILABLE: Wool Mix Aran and Chunky.

I have to admit that I’m a bit late to the yarn party when it comes to chunky knits. I’m a DK/Aran kinda lass, generally because of the type of items I design, but now I’m starting to (almost accidentally) specialise in designing outerwear for kids I’m seeing that chunky is the way to go in most projects.

It’s also true that I’m yet to find the ‘perfect’ super chunky yarn (that said, an affordable wool or wool-mix that feels good and doesn’t leave my teeth vibrating) and that’s why I was so happy to receive some samples (kindly) from the lovely and generous folk over at LoveKnitting and Paintbox Yarns to try out!

FYI, There are some fierce chunky knitters on Instagram (check out the inspiring Tiam at Knitsafari and the so-cosy-it’s-ridic Hookedhazel) that seriously give you #chunkyfeels (should that be a hashtag or does it sound a bit dodgy?) and make you want to run to your LYS and buy all the chunky yarn even if it’s mid-Summer. And why not? I think us chunky knitting fans should seriously start a campaign for chunky-knit fashion to be a thing even if it’s 30º outside…


So basically I’m a convert, and this yarn is why.

When I opened the lovely packaging (BIG love for LoveKnitting’s pink parcels and useful drawstring bags) my first thought was, ”PHWOAR!” and then, “AWW!” quickly followed by a “OMG, THEY SENT ME THREE BALLS!” and then a great deal of, “I’M STOPPING ALL MY WIPS AND CASTING THIS ON NOW!” much to my fella’s bemusement and semi-fear.

I’d been planning to design some children’s outwear for that tricky transition between Winter and Spring for a few months – that time where you don’t know what kind of coat the kids (or you) should wear – and those sunny playground days where they still need a warm but also light scarf or hat, so I must say that this yarn arrived at the perfect time.

It’s very soft to the touch, and has a cotton-like feel to it, almost as if it’s a wool/cotton blend, as well as being surprisingly light and fresh. That doesn’t mean that it’s not warm and cosy however; it’s clearly a great all-season yarn that can keep you snuggly in the snow or warm enough yet fresh in the Spring or even Summer. I really love that.

I’m having #chunkyfeels dreaming about using it for a chunky sweater or little skirt (sooo modern) at the moment, but currently I’ve cast on a ridiculously simple but pretty Seed Stitch cowl (which is why the third ball isn’t pictured) which really shows how versatile this yarn is. It’s so chunky that even a stitch as easy and simple as seed almost looks like a crocheted puff stitch or something far more intricate. I live.


Another thing to mention is the simple overwhelming array of colours that are available. You can spend ages looking at the variety of brights, pastels and neons that they have on sale, as well as checking out the lighter Chunky variety and the slimmer Aran type that’s definitely next om my list to try out.

The generous size means that you can whip up an adult’s cowl using one hank, or possibly two child-sized ones.

All in all, a fabulous yarn with so many project options (check out my project ideas below for inspiration) that comes at an affordable price. Long live Paintbox Yarns!


Winter accessories, throws/blankets, poufs, baskets, modern kidswear (chunky sweaters, skirts, legwarmers), cushion covers.