SweetGeorgia Yarns Superwash DK: yarn review

One the best things about writing Knit Play Colour has been getting to work with my favourite yarns. Many are luxurious and some are hardier, and then there’s the SweetGeorgia Superwash DK. As Robynn notes in her review below, it’s a “workhorse yarn”, but of the very highest quality! I first used the SweetGeorgia Superwash DK on a sample for the Inked In hat last year and returned to it for the extensive colour palette for the pattern Flight of Colour from the book. I love stripes, and the squooshiness of the yarn coupled with the infinite colour combinations with stripes is a match made in heaven for me!

A cheeky tease of Flight of Colour - shown in SweetGeorgia Superwash DK in Bison, Tumbled Stone and Cayenne

A cheeky tease of Flight of Colour – shown in SweetGeorgia Superwash DK in Bison, Tumbled Stone and Cayenne

Sweet Georgia Yarns – Superwash DK
100% superwash merino
256yards/234m per 115g skein
Gentle machine wash

I think I’m getting a little spoilt. Well, more than a little. I was about to describe SweetGeorgia’s DK offering, Superwash DK, as a “workhorse yarn”. Then I gave myself a mental slap. Even in a product line that’s dangerously weighted to the cashmere and silk end of the spectrum, there’s nothing workaday about hand-dyed merino. I’ve maybe been a tad overexposed to the luxury yarn market.

Just look at that stitch definition! Photo: Budding Garden Pullover from SweetGeorgia Yarns

Just look at that stitch definition! Photo: Budding Garden Pullover from SweetGeorgia Yarns

That said: “workhorse” yarn, to me, is a great compliment. Knitting is a practical art. We knit things to wear, things to make us (and maybe a deserving few loved ones) feel beautiful and warm and joyful, things to use. Featherweight cashmere is a treat indeed, and an heirloom shawl may be treasured for generations, but what are you going to pull off the shelf for a stomp in the autumn woods? What are you going to reach for when you want to make something for your fast-growing child? What’s going to reliably deliver the mysterious alchemy, transforming fibre into love and happiness, that is at the heart of why we knit?

Washable merino inhabits that sweet spot, the balance point between reality and luxury. It feels gorgeous. It adapts to pretty much any knitting need, equally at home with cables, lace, or classic stocking stitch. And treated right, it will last well, working that practical magic for years to come, even with regular wear.

A long Pen & Ink cowl is the perfect way to play with colour and uses two full skeins of SweetGeorgia Superwash DK

I have previously mentioned that I’m not entirely convinced by superwash merino, as a concept. I don’t like the limpness that can come with the benefit. But not all superwash is created equal. SweetGeorgia seems to have the knack of making or finding base yarns that transcend their raw ingredients, and their Superwash DK delivers. It’s not as sensuous or sproingy as, say, Trinity Worsted, but it’s a more than acceptable knitting experience, and makes for a fine fabric, with good definition and even stitches. The two-ply construction is balanced and relaxed, without being floppy. There’s good knitting in this stuff.

Something about the simplicity of this yarn makes me want to knit it in plain stocking stitch, focusing on the shifting magic of SweetGeorgia colours. Louise’s beautiful Seawall scarf offers the perfect opportunity – though I’d probably cut the contrast colours down to just two; perhaps Bison and Tumbled Stone against Mink for the main colour. Maybe I could even get a Pen & Ink cowl out of the leftovers!

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