Louise is on Easter holidays with her kids at the moment so this is Allison stepping in to introduce today’s yarn review.
Last year Louise was blown away by a gorgeous version of Knit Night by Clare Devine of Yarn and Pointy Sticks (who hosted yesterday’s stop on the Palette blog tour!). Clare had knit it in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock – a yarn that Louise wasn’t familiar with but that gave amazing results!
Clare also mentioned that the yarn was really lovely to work with (which gave Louise a good excuse to try it out knitting up a sample of Painted) so I thought she’d be the perfect person to ask to review the yarn. Over to you Clare!
Introduction Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight, is the fingering weight version of the Blue Moon Fibre Arts signature sock yarn. The fibre is 100% sperwash Merino. The skein I worked with was ‘vintage’ colourway and a smaller skein size 130g (329m/360yds). This yarn now comes in a bumper size skein weighing 5.15oz/146g with a generous yardage of 370m/405yds. This yarn is a true 3-ply and tightly plied, the rounded yarn gives great stitch definition and it has bounce. Lots and lots of bounce! The yarn is superwash but the dyer recommends you hand wash and dry flat. I agree whole-heartedly with this sentiment and think your gorgeous hand knits deserve special treatment when it comes to washing. About the yarn producer Blue Moon Fibre Arts was founded by Tina Newman and are based in Scappoose, a city in Columbia County, Oregon, USA. The business has grown from humble beginnings into an impressive enterprise employing eight staff and creating a huge range of hand painted yarns. Currently in their shop they have 31 bases to choose from; wool ranging from Blue Faced Leicester and Merino to Polwarth and other fibres like Angora, Mohair and bamboo. Also available are some more unusual breed-specific yarns like Targhee, one of the younger American breeds.
Interestingly they offer a great range of skein sizes, including some hulking 250g skeins. Looking back, they have produced a huge range of yarns in the past; Ravelry has 92 different bases listed for this producer – that is an incredible range of yarn. Keep your eyes peeled for new bases, or have a hunt through the stashes of other Ravelers for some of the older (or more unusual) bases.
Want to get your hands on some of this yarn? Fortunately it is readily available directly from BMFA. Each skein is hand painted to order, meaning you can always get what you want; it is a fantastic custom dye option. The range of colours is amazing, currently 192 shades in total (excluding club yarns). They have six different colourway families including Multicolour Wave (31 colours), Raven Clan (22) , Shaded Solids (122), Spirits (10) and Tipsy Clan (7). In addition they have a mill-dyed cotton sock yarn in six shades.
I love how readily available this yarn is, making it accessible on a large scale is great for knitters. Repeatable colourways, loads of commercial stockists, skeins dyed to order through custom order slots, they really have all the bases covered. If you still want something unique or limited edition they also have a range of clubs for those of you searching for something out of the ordinary.
Finally there is a huge range of patterns available for this yarn – and Ravelry activity. For example, Socks that Rock Lightweight has over 28,888 projects on Ravelry. They also have a great Rav group that is very active and supportive.
Yarn Review I loved working with this yarn. The merino was soft and bouncy, and resulted in a crisp stitch definition. Great for garter stitch (my all time favourite) but it would also be beautiful for twisted stitches and cables. The colours are beautifully matched and work really well together, hand painting at it’s best. The knitting experience was fantastic from start to finish. The skein was easy to wind, the handle of the yarn meant the stitches just flew of my needles and the yarn washed and blocked beautifully. After blocking the yarn structure improved and each strand plumped up even more (given the level of bounce in this yarn I was not sure that was even possible, but it was). Finally, it washes and wears really well.
Overall Impressions A great all-rounder with a fantastic range of colours. The bounce in this yarn would put “Tigger” to shame!
Applications and Recommendations I think this yarn would be great for accessories and garments. I am not a 100% merino fan for socks anymore, however this high twist would be the best merino option for socks if that is what you were looking for. Children’s garments and baby knits would benefit from the softness of this yarn and the superwash qualities would help in keeping precious knits easy to care for. The stitch definition lends itself perfectly to stocking stitch, cables and textures. The bounce makes it the perfect match for garter stitch. The variegated skein is perfect for projects like Knit Night where the ever increasing rows allow for a wonderful blending of colours.
Many thanks to Clare for such an in-depth review! And happily, Clare is doing another yarn review for us which you’ll see up on the blog soon. Clare Devine is a writer and designer. Originally from South Africa she has nomadic tendencies and is currently knitting her way around the UK. She is passionate about all things fibre related (especially if it’s grey), knitting, travel and sunshine in equal measures. She regularly blogs at Yarn and Pointy Sticks and you can find her on Ravelry as Knitsforklipskaap, Twitter as @_ClareDevine and Instagram as @Clare.Devine.