Category Archives: Yarn Reviews

Be awesome instead. True story.

“When I get sad, I stop being sad and be awesome instead. True story.” Thank you, Barney Stinson.

I got a surprise today in the mail. It was a fabulous, wonderful, stupendous surprise, in the form of a skein of yarn! It came from Genevieve of Turtlepurl Yarns, who I know from Ravelry. She’s a sweet woman, and said she sent me the yarn “just ’cause you’re so awesome.” As Barney Stinson might say, “Sa-weet.”

Turtlepurl Yarns Big Turtle Toes in Harvest Moon

I am, in truthfulness, a little flabbergasted and feeling very much blessed by this out-of-the-blue gift. So much so that I decided to do my first ever yarn review! It has occurred to me recently that while the infamous Knitter’s Review website is a great resource, it’s only useful for large company yarns. What about those smaller, indie brands that want a chance to shine? I play with a lot of yarn, so why not review it while I play? onward.

Turtlepurl’s Big Turtle Toes is called so because it comes in an extra-large skein, weighing in at a massive 115 grams (that’s slightly over 4 oz., for those doing the math). It has great yardage – at 425 yards I could practically knit myself knee socks, and it’s also very strong, with 25% nylon blended with the 75% superwash merino. As someone who lives in fear of holes in her handknit socks, nylon is the magic word for me. The base is a 3-ply fingering weight with what I’d call a “normal” twist – not overly tight nor loose. It’s soft with some bounce and strength – you can feel just enough nylon in the yarn to give you the confidence to run over carpet with a pair of socks knit from this.

Turtlepurl Yarns Big Turtle Toes in Harvest Moon - Closeup

The hand-dyed colors are where it’s at for Turtlepurl’s yarn. This colorway, aptly named Harvest Moon, is just lovely. With it’s lush colors of salmon, burgundy, eggplant, apricot, gold and chocolate running through the skein, it makes me salivate for some warm apple cider and dream of jumping in the largest pile of browning, brightly-colored fall leaves ever.

I decided to knit up a sample of this lovely yarn – I have, after all, enough yarn for knee socks so stealing a wee bit from the skein isn’t too much of a hardship. This swatch is stockinette with a nice border of seed stitch (just because I love seed stitch), knit on size 1.5 US needles. Why 1.5? Well, because I might just be knitting a pair of socks with that needle size and this yarn. No promises, though. I still haven’t finished my first pair of socks! I just absolutely love the color changes in this swatch. This is my favorite hand-dyed combination – semi-solid with just enough of an extra kick of color to make the colorway shine.

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The softest yarn for baby blankets

Today on Ravelry someone confessed that they were sick and tired of scratchy acrylic and yarns that were too wooly and she really just wanted to find the softest yarn possible for baby blankets. I thought you might like to see the answer I shared with them.

Personally, I just finished knitting a baby blanket out of Lion Brand Cotton-Ease and it turned out great! However, I do have a few favorites for extraordinarily soft yarn that’s great for baby blankets and the like. Let me pull some choices from my stash.

A New Day Blanket

Knit Picks has great yarns for great prices. My number one choice for softness, however, has to be the Knit Picks Stroll and Stroll Sport – soft doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton – while I love most of the Blue Sky line of yarns, for ultra-softness that’s super baby friendly, I go to the Worsted Cotton yarn every time. Between it and Misti Alpacas Pima Cotton & Silk I’m always set.

If you don’t mind venturing into indie yarns, may I recommend handgefaerbt.com Extra Fine Merino or Merino Medium? This yarn, hand-dyed by a woman in Germany, is so darn soft that among it’s English-speaking fans it’s fondly known by the colloquial name of “Handfarts.”

The SOFTEST yarn I have ever had the pleasure of stroking is Elsebeth Lavold Cool Wool, a blend of cotton and wool that is so sumptuous I drool every time I touch it. It gets full marks from me!

Speaking of supersoft merinos, Fibranatura Baby Merino might make you think that you’ve died and gone to heaven as well. I cannot get over how soft and lovely and wonderful this yarn is. I just want to love it to pieces.

Of course, there’s no reason to spend oodles of money for softness. I’ve found lovely, soft yarns right in the aisles of the big box stores. Try Bernat Bamboo Natural Blends – a blend of bamboo rayon, acrylic and polyester makes this a great, soft, silky yarn for a multitude of purposes – including, yes, a baby blanket!

And I’ve always been a fan of Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice – it’s the one all-acrylic yarn that I unequivocally can recommend to others for it’s cushiness and colors.