I’ve long been lusting after the gorgeous colours produced by Jess of Ginger Twist Studio. She’s collaborated with Clare many a time so I thought she’d be the perfect person to tell us all about this yarn. Over to you Clare!
Ginger’s Hand Dyed is the exquisite range of hand dyed yarn from Jessica James of Ginger Twist Studio in Edinburgh. I have been lucky enough to work extensively with this yarn range and my review today looks at her stunning, luxurious blend of silk and merino, Ginger’s Hand Dyed Splendor, a 50% superwash Merino and 50% silk blend. Each soft, shiny skein weighs 100g (3.53oz) and contains 400m (437yds) of silky delicious yarn.
Ginger Twist Studio is a boutique yarn shop in Edinburgh, Scotland owned by Jessica James. Jess is from Oregon on the west coast of the USA but has made Scotland her home. In addition to her yarn shop she has an ever-growing range of hand dyed yarns. She is the sole stockist of these yarns and sells them from her bricks and mortar shop in Edinburgh and through her online shop (she ships worldwide and offers flat rate shipping).
Jess started hand dyeing in 2006 and the Ginger’s Hand Dyed range currently contains 20 bases, ranging from very fine lace to a lovely selection of chunky yarns. She carries a wide range of fibre types, including luxurious cashmere and silk blends, bouncy merino and Blue Faced Leicester and “sheepier” pure wool, meaning there is something for everyone.
Yarns are all hand dyed in small batches and all colourways are repeatable. Currently the range contains over 50 glorious shades, from Jess’ signature bold colours through to more muted pastel and neutral shades. Jess also takes custom orders for larger quantities of yarn from those wanting to knit sweaters or other larger projects.
Many of the bases are available in multiple weights meaning there is maximum flexibility when choosing projects. The yarn reviewed for this piece, Splendor, is available in a 4ply and DK weight and its sister yarn Sturdy Splendor (75% Merino and 25% Silk) is available in 4ply, DK and Aran.
Jess has built an active online presence with a friendly Ravelry group and growing pattern support line. She has an active blog and monthly newsletter.
Splendor is a 50/50 Merino/Silk blend meaning it is soft and shiny. The silk gives the yarn a fabulous lustre and the knitted fabric a beautiful drape. The colours are rich and vibrant and the skein really does scream ‘knit me’ as soon as you set eyes on it. Getting set up is pretty easy going, the yarn is not a tricky character to wind and the skeins are easy to work with.
Knitting with this yarn is an absolute delight. It is soft, smooth and shiny and runs through your fingers and across the needles like a dream. It can be a little slippy, and at a loose gauge is sometimes prone to slipping off the needles if you are not careful. Bamboo needles will help if you find your usual metal tips are too slippery with this yarn.
This yarn works well at both a loose and slightly tighter gauge. That said it really grows when it blocks so beware if you plan on knitting a loose gauge garment. Be sure to block your swatch so you have a better understanding of how the fabric will behave.
The sheen on this yarn is magical and really brings the colours to life and the stitch definition is beautiful, it would not really work for cables but lace blocks out a treat. It washes and wears well but super soft merino and silk are not known for their hard wearing qualities so this yarn is best suited to accessories or garments, certainly not a yarn for socks!
A beautiful soft and luxurious yarn, I would definitely recommend trying this yarn, especially if you like soft shiny yarn running through your fingers as you knit (or purl) each stitch.
Applications and Recommendations
This yarn is definitely well suited to shawls and accessories. While it would make stunning garments I would definitely recommend careful consideration of the pattern and fit before starting on your “Splendor garment” quest, factoring in the drape is crucial to getting a fabulous finished object.
This yarn would be suitable for many of Inspiration Knits designs. Shawls, scarves and cowls like Song of the Sea, Siren Song, Knit Night and Knit Me would work really well in a skein or two of this yarn.
Many thanks for the review Clare, I can’t wait to see some of this gorgeous yarn in person! And if you’re in the London area and would like to get your hands on some Ginger’s Hand Dyed for yourself, Jess will be bringing her yarns to the Yarn in the City Pop-Up Marketplace that is happening on 5th September.
About Clare Devine
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 http://www.yarnandpointysticks.com. You can find her on Ravlery as Knitsforklipskaap, Twitter as @_ClareDevine and Instagram as @Clare.Devine