I’m cracking on with work and some new design ideas to so have handed the blog reigns over to Alli today to review Eden Cottage Yarns‘ gorgeous Whitfell DK yarn. I’ve always had a special soft spot for alpaca and it was delicious to work with on my Deco Swirl design for Eden Cottage Yarns’ latest collection Drift. Read on for our full review, and a chance to win a digital copy of Drift and three balls of Whitfell DK to knit your own Deco Swirl – or other pattern from the collection!
Eden Cottage Yarns – Whitfell DK
100% baby alpaca
109 yds / 100 m per 50 g ball
3.5 mm – 4.5 mm needles
Handwash only, lay flat to dry
I first came across Eden Cottage Yarns’ Whitfell DK as they quietly launched it at the Knitting & Stitching Show at Ally Pally in 2014. I was completely captivated by these tiny treasures of colour and softness and just wanted to bundle them up as sweeties in a jar to gaze at longingly. Sadly, I didn’t have a project in mind for them but added them to my list of yarns to keep in mind for the future.
Cue almost a year later to Victoria’s launch of the Drift collection on her stand at Yarndale this past September which solved my problem of needing to find the perfect project for this year. I happily jumped off the Cold Sheep wagon I’d been on and bought both the book and the yarn – and I’ve been enjoying them ever since.
Whitfell DK is one of Eden Cottage Yarns’ four commercial lines, making it an affordable alternative to their hand-dyed range. The colours are solid and Whitfell DK has a simple palette of nine colours. The yarn makes up for it’s lack of hand-dyed subtlety with brighter colour options than one tends to see on alpaca fibres. Or at least that I’ve seen! With so many options everywhere now for hand-dyed yarn it was quite a departure for me to be working with a yarn where the colour is consistent throughout.
The great thing about consistent colour though, is how wonderful it is for stitch definition. Each individual stitch is clearly defined, making even the most ordinary stocking stitch pleasing to the eye. My project would probably be knitting up faster if I didn’t keep stopping to admire it, or petting it with it’s soft halo!
So let’s chat about the softness, shall we? It’s really, truly glorious. If I thought the baby alpaca fibres were soft in the ball, they’re even softer knit up. While they’re not quite akin to cashmere, I’d venture to say that they’re pretty close! It also doesn’t hurt that I’ve been knitting garter stitch too. The resulting fabric is cuddly and bouncy and just wants to be smooshed. My only tiny quibble is that the yarn is loosely spun and has split a couple of times when I wasn’t paying enough attention. But that’s more my fault for not following my knitting more closely – and for using very sharp needles. Like I said, it’s a tiny quibble!
Another happy thing about Whitfell DK: it comes in the ball so there’s no winding from a skein to hinder you from casting on right away. And the price point of £7 per ball means it won’t break the bank. In fact, if you haven’t knit with baby alpaca before, it’s the perfect way to try it out and give it a taste! The smallest size of the fingerless Hardcastle mittens by Louise Tilbrook in Drift can be knit from a single ball.
Which takes us nicely into chatting about Drift, a collection curated by Eden Cottage Yarns as pattern support for Whitfell DK. The book contains 12 patterns that run the gamut from accessories to garments and from a wonderful collection of well-known designers including Thea Colman, Justyna Lorkowska, Karie Westermann and Asa Tricosa, among others. Flipping through the pattern photos is like a dreamy walk in the woods and fields of Yorkshire and the location captures the understated beauty of this yarn. Whitfell DK is really best appreciated once you’ve knit and worn it.
Wrapping up – Whitfell DK is a lovely luxury yarn at an affordable price. Projects worked up in this yarn will be loved for their softness and heirloom quality. Use it to work up projects with cables, lace or other specialty stitches where you want them to be the focus and let this yarn work for you to show them off. Whitfell DK would also be lovely for special gifts – as long as the knitworthy recipient is okay with handwashing! I’m sure they’ll find it’s worth it…
How would you like to win a digital copy of Drift and three balls of Whitfell DK? This time we’re running a competition on Instagram. To enter, follow me on Instagram @Inspirationknits regram the competition image that you’ll find in my image feed and tag it with @inspirationknits #IKdecoswirl We’ll choose a regram randomly and announce the winner on Tuesday, 10th November.
And if you’d like to continue Drift-ing along – Eden Cottage Yarns have a Drift KAL happening on their board on Ravelry happening now until 18th January. Plenty of time to work up something snuggly for yourself!