Yarn Reviews

Yarn Review · A Yarn and Colors Special

One thing the professions in teaching and the design industry (both my jobs as it happens) have in common is that planning ahead is essential. As a teacher, you are always thinking ahead regarding preparing exams, making sure that your students have the right knowledge to pass and that you haven’t missed anything out. As a designer, you simply have to plan ahead for the next season, check out what’s in and what colours will be hot, what celebrations are on the way… After all, nobody wants to be that girl hurredly knitting baubles on Christmas Eve, right?

Now that Spring is almost upon us, and as the weather (hopefully) starts getting warmer, our thoughts as makers start to turn to cooler knits and crochet items. For me, finding the ideal cotton yarn has always been a challenge, especially balls of cotton that come in trusty 100g size!

The squish is real. Pictured: Yarn and Colors Super Must-Have in Lilac.

Luckily, the brilliant team over at Yarn and Colors were kind enough to send me over an AMAZING selection of their Super Must-Have cotton to make some SS ’19 goodies with and review. You can’t get more generous and thoughtful than that!

I have to say that I was totally blown away by the sheer range of colours available – from trusty neutrals to exceptionally beautiful brights – as well as the thrill of using chunky cotton yarn, something that’s quite hard to find these days. The quality was obvious at first squeeze, too and this cotton has a very pretty sheen to it thanks to it being mercerized. Result. As for the size, its chunky weight combined with its generous 3.52oz size makes for great value. Can you tell that I like this yarn?

Zingy! Pictured: Yarn and Colors Super Must-Have in Pistachio.

Project-wise, the possibilities are endless. This yarn would be great to make a gorgeous summer top with, but you know me, homeware is my bag and I can totally see it worked up as a giant floor cushion, an armful of durable tea towels or some summery placemats.

The name says it all: Super Must-Have? Absolutely!

Article · Yarn Reviews

Yarn Review · Hobbii Yarn Special

Hobbii – Twister in Light Elegance (21)
YARN INFO: Weight: DK/Light Worsted – Needle/Hook: 3.0 mm (US 3) – 4.0 mm (US 6) – Composition: 50% cotton/50% acrylic– Ball Weight: 250 g (8.8 oz) – Yarn Length: 1000 m (1,094 yds) – Tension: 26 stitches, 36 rows to 10 cm/4″
Hobbii Rainbow 8/8 Organic Cotton in White (001)
YARN INFO: Weight: DK – Needle/Hook: 3.5 mm (US 4) – 4.0 mm (US 6) – Composition: 100% Organic Cotton – Ball Weight: 50 g (1.8 oz) – Yarn Length: 75 m (82 yds) – Tension: 20 stitches, 24 rows to 10 cm/4″

What springs to mind when you hear the word “Denmark”?

Cakes? Cold weather? Ham? Vikings? The Little Mermaid? Me, all of those, plus the stunning city of Copenhagen that I was lucky enough to visit a few years ago. Copenhagen is a beautiful place, full of characteristic, colourful buildings (check out Gammel Strand for some serious architecture envy and excellent bars), bicycles, friendly and happy people, plus some of nicest and well-kept parks I’ve ever seen… Sigh. We were tempted to relocate, actually, but it was a bit too expensive, so we shuffled off back to Spain, full of cake and €10 pints of ale, or øl.

This isn’t actually a tourism plug for Visit Denmark, but a couple of yarns reviews for my newest obsession, the Danish yarn brand Hobbii!


Funnily enough, this lovely company is based in Copenhagen, and offer a superb variety of yarns for all tastes, most of which are completely natural or seriously high-quality blends. They also stock a huge array of accessories that will make any knitter or crocheter drool, plus an incredibly quick delivery time. My yarn took 3 days to arrive from Denmark to Spain, and that’s fast.

Hobbii very kindly sent me some yarn to try out, and given that the weather has been warm recently, I chose some organic cotton (Rainbow Cotton 8/8) and a very pretty cotton blend (Twister) that comes in a very generously-sized cake.

Let’s start with the organic cotton first. I’m a sucker for high-quality cotton, and these 50g balls really kick other cottons I’ve tried to the kerb; soft, durable, easy to work with and versatile, you don’t get that annoying ‘splitting’ of the plies like with some cottons on the market, plus the organic-ness (is this a word?) makes you feel good whilst crafting.

I used this cotton held double with Twister to add an almost heathered effect on the skirt of this little dress I designed to great effect.


All in all, this will be my go-to cotton yarn from now on. I’m sold!

As for Twister, this was my first time using a yarn cake with variegated colours, so I was excited to choose this gorgeous colourway (Light Elegance 21), a feminine blend of greys, rose, burgundy, pink and light pink, ingeniously twined together for a smooth experience. I started using the cake by crocheting from the inside-out, which meant the bodice of the dress started with a stunning rose-burgundy shade, moving out to rose-burgundy-pink then to pink… Drool. If ombré is your thing, you’ll love this yarn. This yarn is a thin DK, but sturdy and soft. Even though it’s a blend, you cannot tell that there is any acrylic content – that’s the sign of a high quality yarn.


Hobbii, you’re my new bestie!

The Positives:

  • Soft, high-quality yarns.
  • No knots in Rainbow 8/8, a few tiny but invisible knots in Twister. Good job.
  • Unbeatable value.
  • Awesome ball band designs.
  • Large colour palettes. Superb colour transitions.

The Negatives:

  • Literally none, and I always find a negative!

Are you a fellow indie-dyer or yarn brand who’d like me to review your yarns for free? Drop me a line and we can have a chinwag…

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!


Article · Yarn Reviews

Acrylic Yarn – The 700g Itch


Acrylic, synthetic, no matter how you prefer to call it, man-made vs. natural yarn is a hot issue in the word of fiber art. Not potential war with North Korea hot, but pretty hot.

I think it’s fair to say though, that if the average knitter* or crocheter was offered 100g of synthetic yarn or 100g of cashmere/alpaca mix yarn, the latter would be the choice. Natural yarn is almost always seen as the best choice for any craft, and a lot of makers see the slightly annoying task of hand-washing delicate fabrics as a worthy trade off for working with a material that is animal or plant based, not made from anything artifical and usually pretty lovely to touch.

*Forgive me if I sometimes only use the word ‘knitter’, but I’m trying to avoid typing ‘knitter/crocheter/weaver/etc’ all the time because, obviously.

Then there are others who cannot work with or use animals fibers (shout out to the vegans and allergic people) to whom acrylic yarns are life and the difference between crafting or not.

I did a little Instagram poll recently where I asked my followers a few questions about their feelings towards our acrylic-y friends.

“Here we go…” I thought, “The synthetic-bashers are going to come out in force with this one” but surprisingly to me at least, 61% of people asked said that they are a fan of acrylic, and 57% said that 50/50 (acrylic & natural) yarns are also great. 43% of those asked said that even if the yarn was mixed with natural fibres they still wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole, and 39% said that acrylic was basically “ugh!”.

Sorry to use a particularly trendy and irritating word, but I was SHOOK!

I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that normally when I scroll through my feeds on social media that natural fibres are the ones that get most of the praise. You don’t usually see folk proudly holding up their 100% acrylic chunky yarn proclaiming, “Look at this babe I found in my #LYS! I cant wait to get my mitts on this!” – unless they are sponsored, or sent it for free, and I can’t criticize, but then again I’m a fan of acrylics – that kind of talk is almost always used for your expensive hanks of 100% angora, am I right? My conclusion is that maybe using acrylic is seen as a sneaky, ‘guilty pleasure’ by some people and/or maybe it isn’t as photo worthy as those lovely natural skeins, or perhaps it’s just that, no matter how much synthetic yarns have improved in recent years, it’s still seen as a nasty, crunchy, filling-irritating. cheap, neon green ball of nastiness only used by beginner knitters who don’t know any better (we’ve all been there, guys) or cantankerous great-aunts who insist on making appalling cardigans for you that make you sweat just by looking at them.

Which brings me on to the next part. The fact that there’s acrylic and then there’s acrylic (the latter said in a slow, accusatory tone, obvs).

Let’s make it easier and take a look at the positives and negatives of synthetic/synthetic mix yarns.



Undoubtedly it is cheaper to buy acrylic yarn than natural yarn, with some exceptions. For those of us who have to count the pennies and need to watch what we spend on our yarn hauls, buying synthetic is a good way of still being able to shop for that sexy yarn and fill those bags and not break the bank.

It’s a positive addition to other yarn compositions

Cotton, for example, is the high-maintainence chick of the yarn world. It’s unforgiving, stretches out easily and is a pain in the backside to use if you make garments, things that need cuffs, ribbing… It’s However, when combined with a synthetic material such as polyester, it can gain a bit in terms of stretch and take on some wool-like characteristics that make it a lot better and more versatile to work with.

It’s ideal for people with allergies/animal-free lifestyle choices

Whether you are a maker who chooses not to use animal fibres in your work, or you are making something for a person who has a wool allergy or is following a vegan/veggie lifestyle, you can still create fantastic handmade treats for them. The same goes for plant-based yarns as well, of course.

Premium acrylics

It’s unfair to say that all acrylic is that kind used by that nasty auntie I mentioned earlier. There are some simply beautiful acrylic yarns on the market, some of which I was kindly sent to review by Stylecraft Yarns recently (You can find a mini-review later on in this post).  Premiums are a world away from scratchy, cheap versions.


Especially when you make items for children, durability is key. Synthetic yarns tend to be hard wearing, machine washable and easy to care for – although don’t iron them, ever!


That itch I mentioned, and the sweat

Probably the number one issue people have with Mr. Acryl and his sisters Poly and Ester is the itchiness, sweatiness and general lack of breathability acrylic yarns have. No matter how high-quality the synthetic yarn is, you can’t replicate that fantastic breathability of natural fibres. Let’s be honest though, 100% wool garments can also give you the itch (itchy pits alert!), so it depends on the quality of the yarn you are using.

Pilling, shine and the “halo”

Nothing to do with Beyonce here, she’d obviously be 100% organic silk if she was a skein of yarn, but the halo I’m talking about is tht unpleasant ‘glow’ that hovers around acrylic yarns. Slightly fuzzy and cheap-looking, it is a good way of telling whether a garment is synthetic or not. We aren’t talking that sweet halo you get with angora or fluffy natural yarns. Pilling is when fabrics bobble up with wear, and although these bobbles can be removed with a special tool, it’s inconvenient and makes items look tatty. Thirdly, synthetics can have a pretty horrible shine to them which can look bad. Maybe that is a matter of taste, though. I’m not so keen on it.

So what can we gather from all this, yarn people? The fact is that there are good and bad things with all types of yarn, and acrylic just happens to be one of them. The moral of this story is, as long as you are in love with what you are making and are enjoying yourself, that’s all that matters.

If you’re interested in checking out some fabulous quality synthetic/synthetic mix yarns, here are a few examples of the best I’ve tried so far in three weights from 2-ply to aran, and no sweaty Betty in sight!

Schachenmayr (try saying that with your mouth full) Baby Smiles Suavel

Composition: 100% Acrylic
Yarn Weight: 2 ply
Yarn ball weight: 50g

Buy it at: Loveknitting


A genuinely awesome yarn, completely chemical-free and the ideal choice for lighter babywear. It comes in a wide selection of muted colours, typical baby shades and some brighter options. Try it out on a romper, mid-season sweater or a newborn hat. So soft!

Stylecraft Bambino DK

Composition: 100% Acrylic
Yarn Weight: DK
Yarn ball weight: 100g

Katia Merino Tweed

Composition: 51% Merino, 43% Acrylic, 6% Viscose
Yarn Weight: Aran
Yarn ball weight: 50g

You could have fooled me that this contains ANY man-made fibre, to be fair. This is the softest acrylic mix yarn I’ve ever tried, and I love the wonderful flecks of material that give this yarn a really cute and traditional look. Good for garments that need a ‘rural’ look (it makes me think of posh people in the countryside called ‘Bunty’ or ‘Julian’ wearing wellies and walking Labradors – I mean TWEED – of course you would). A wonderful Aran that makes for a quick knit and a warm garment.

I’m excited to hear your opinions and views. Are there any synthetic yarns that have totally impressed you, or totally made your teeth itch? Let me know via the contact form or on Instagram and I’ll share your views in a future post!