I really enjoyed talking about Viviacious 4ply a little while ago and Louise invited me to review another of Fyberspates yarn range as I’ve worked with a fair few!
Today it’s the turn of Twizzle Silk, Jeni’s 70% Merino, 30% Silk Singles fingering weight yarn that retails for £15. This light and airy yarn comes in 100 grams (3.53 ounces) of 400 yards (366 metres). With its single structure this is a delicately constructed yarn that needs a gentle hand wash only, but that delicateness is just the ticket for fine, floaty accessories that shine in my experience.
Twizzle Silk is the luxurious sibling to Jeni’s Twizzle base, another singles fingering yarn but this time with Superwash Merino only. Sadly though, Jeni has announced that she is taking a pause from dyeing as she moves and further establishes her global empire business. If you want some Twizzle Silk, you’re going to need to jump on over to buy it direct from Fyberspates or attend the Pop Up Wool Show on Saturday as it’s the last outing of her hand dyes for a while.
Looking at Twizzle Silk you’re always struck by the brightness of the colour because thanks to Merino AND Silk together, it has a fibre content that takes bright coloured dyes beautifully with great lustre and sheen. Merino and Silk are a good combination as Merino has a relatively short staple length which can make it a little prone to piling but the silk, with its’ longer staple length helps add strength to this base. In the skein it looks a little…. Messy? The Silk likes to move around in that slippery way silk does and so this is a skein that doesn’t sit tightly once skeined. I love the texture and when I first saw it in the flesh, instantly wanted to touch it because of those little bumps and twists. Also, I think we can all be sure that the shine on this yarn meant it was coming home with me!
I’ll admit I wound this yarn very gingerly. I don’t necessarily think that’s a reflection on the yarn to be fair, I think it’s that I was nervous of the singles element. With no extra ply, I was convinced I’d be too heavy handed and tangle, or worse, rip it. Not at all. The cake that resulted was as beautifully bumpy as the skein and held its shape despite being tossed around in my project bag. (Apparently, having wound it, I got a bit slapdash and care free!)
On the needles this is a slippy yarn. I work predominantly with metal needles but I think wood might have helped me drop fewer stitches. I think I was torn between having a point to pick up those textured singles with their non-uniform nature and wooden needles that would grip better but inevitably be duller. Without a ply, this yarn has a sort-of haloed, textured look to it that takes a little concentration or it’s easy to miss and drop a stitch if you’re powering along in plain stockinette. I probably wouldn’t recommend this yarn for a complete beginner but I would recommend it to a new knitter looking to learn about how ply and different fibre content dictate how a fabric behaves. Let me explain that…
The singles have a delicate ethereal quality that worked into a fabric look quite airy as there’s not much to fill in the space between stitches like some plump yarns with denser content. However, put fabric knit with this yarn into water and fun things start to happen. The singles fluff up nicely without the plies to constrain them and the resulting material looks more uniform but maintains its light ethereal quality. Add the shine and drape of silk and you’ve got a truly decadent knit. This is not a skein to be used for hardworking day to day things, save it for special gift knits or better yet, completely shameless selfish knitting.
I love this yarn best for garter stitch as its squooshy appearance creates soft undulating waves at a nice loose gauge. This isn’t a yarn to use for intricate cables that need a stronger stitch definition. Knitting it at a tighter gauge would certainly increase its’ strength but I think it kind of needs to be loose and floaty to make best of the softness of stitches. With that in mind, this is not going to be a hardwearing yarn despite the silk content so I’d plump for shawls, stoles and wraps on this one.
This is a soft and luxury yarn that isn’t going to work for socks but sings for simple, feminine accessories. Work this into your knitting rotation for a treat to work with as the stitches and interest and dynamics to your knitting but use caution if you’re a novice or fan of super slick needles.
I’ve used this base to work up one of Louise’s designs, Knit Night last Christmas as a special gift for someone. I quickly became obsessed with the garter as it was just so squishy in this base. I took A LOT of pictures…
Knit Night worked particularly well as it’s such a simple but effective pattern, designed to show off hand dyes. It meant that I could still use my much loved super slick metal needles and only had to dive in once or twice with a crochet hook to retrieve an escaped stitch. Word of caution there- once the stitch slips it RUNS thanks to the slipperiness of this yarn so grab it quick!
I loved the end result so much and so did the recipient. The bumpy garter stitch really suited the texture of Twizzle Silk and thanks to the clever way this pattern is worked, I used up every.last.drop. of that skein. Thanks Louise!
In terms of suitable substitutions, a commercial option for this kind of blend is Manos del Uruguay’s Fino. The fact that it is available in both 50g and 100g put ups makes this a good budget option if you just wanted a little stash enhancement. It retails for somewhere in the region of £8-9 and is hand dyed by the women’s cooperative so has a good karma feel about it.
I’m jumping back in with a postscript. Given the impending scarcity of Twizzle Silk, plus the fact I love my new Knit Me, I’ll suggest two other alternatives. I love Juno Fibre Arts Milly Sleek, which is the identical base but in Asti’s softer colour palette. For stronger colours, but on a different (non-singles but gently twisted) base, I’d look to Miss Babs Shiruku.