Friday, August 17, 2007

Yarn Review: Greenwood Fiberworks Cotton/Lycra

I am so excited for this contest. Thanks, Kala! I'm reviewing Greenwood Fiberworks Cotton/Lycra.

This 96% cotton, 4% lycra yarn is sold by etsy seller Greenwood Fiberworks. The variegated colorway shown is Forest Path. Each hank is 2.6 ounces and about 460 yards stretched, so you can get a pair of women's socks out of just one, which sells for $15. Right now I am knitting a 64-stitch sock on size 2 needles, with a gauge of 8 sts per inch, though this yarn comes with a free sock pattern calling for size 1 needles and casting on 72 sts (9 spi). All of her yarn is handdyed, in solid, self-striping (tiny one-row stripes), or variegated (semi-random episodes of color). I found the solid yarns still have some of that beautiful variation you'll find with handdyed yarns, giving depth. Like I mentioned, the yarn comes in hanks, and I would recommend purchasing the $1.50 ball winding service when you buy this yarn at her etsy shop if you don't own a swift and ball winder. Even with, I find this yarn is a bit tricky to wind because of the major stretching action and I think the dying process causes the strands to slightly stick to each other. I don't mind the extra time (about 10-15 minutes, helping the swift move along and stopping for little tangles), but impatient or swift-less knitters might want to go for the small charge our of convenience.

If you've worked with Cascade Fixation before, you might find this yarn is very similar, just a much lighter gauge. Click the picture above to embiggen, and you can see in the upper left hand corner some detail on the yarn itself, which appears to be a ply of cotton bunching side to side on a strand of lycra, pulling it in towards itself but stretching nearly straight when you pull on it. I've found that this yarn stretches almost twice in length compared to its relaxed state, and is very comfortable to work with. The fineness of this yarn opens up all those sock patterns that call for tiny needle sizes and make them veganizable (yes I just made up that word!). I'm really enjoying knitting with this yarn right now, and Carolyn provides great customer service and ships promptly. You have to check the etsy shop frequently, though; several months can go by without any of this yarn listed, and most is often bought up within a week of it being posted.


VeganCraftastic said...

Pretty! Thanks for the review, I've never heard of this yarn before, I'll have to keep a lookout on etsy.

Anna said...

I've used this yarn and found that it knit up pretty easily, although using 2.5mm needles the colours pooled terribly which was irritating and I had to change down to 2.25mm needles to stop it happening. The socks I knit can be seen here:

The next socks I'm casting on for after I get some others finished will be more Greenwood ones, but this time using a pattern rather than plain rib.