I’d like to take a moment and talk about my favorite one of Periwinkle Sheep’s yarns – that would be her Merino Sport.
This yarn is wonderful. It’s sproingy, it’s soft, it’s amazingly durable for a 100% superwash merino. Heck, it’s durable compared to blended merinos too!
(yes, I balanced yarn in a tree for this picture. Got a problem with that?)
The trick is in the plies. This yarn is made up of many tightly plied strands. And when I unwound the yarn I found that each strand is actually two strands plied together as well!
All these plies easily combat the problems that can crop up with merino in general and superwash in particular. Merino has a short staple length and is a small micron fiber. These are the things which make it soft. But these exact same features make it pill easily*.
The plies made up of plies keep the merino under control. It’s less free to move about and thus less free to create pills.
The plies have other features too! They make the yarn bouncy and stretchy. This is key for a superwash yarn because the process of keeping wool from felting usually removes its natural bounciness. The plies add the bounce back into the yarn. But don’t let me mislead you, there’s nothing over-wound about this yarn. It doesn’t want to untwist as you knit with it and there’s no bias to the plain stockinette fabric. This is a well balanced yarn. Because of the plies and the balance this yarn has a gorgeous stitch definition which works beautifully with twisted rib, and I’m sure it’d show off cables just as well.
But so far I’ve just talked about the base yarn (which is amazing, did I mention that?) The base yarn would mean little if it weren’t for Karin’s ability to apply dyes. I fall in love with every color she makes. Pictured we have Craving, Chai, and Avocado. But seriously? I bought her Sophisticated colorway at Rhinebeck two weeks ago and I have Suits Him upstairs in my stash from a previous festival. Those first three may be design leftovers** but clearly I have a thing for her color ways.
The trick is she takes gorgeous colors and adds subtle variation. The yarns are solid enough to work with intricate patterning, but varied enough to be fascinating in plain stockinette. I don’t know how she manages this balancing act, but I love it!
So check out her colorways. If you see something on Ravelry that’s not in her store I’d recommend getting in touch with her. I know she’s dying yarn in her kitchen and while she can’t keep a lot in stock Karin would be happy to dye a color or a yardage for your next project!
*If you’ve ever knit with a single ply merino you know EXACTLY what I mean. That stuff pills if you look at it wrong.
**I’m sure you’ve all seen those disclaimers that say “this product was provided for review purposes.” I think in this case I should specify that “half these products were provided” since I paid for several of these skeins myself!