Yarn review and a giveaway: Eden Cottage Yarns Whitfell DK and Drift collection

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!

Deco Swirl - part of the Drift collection curated by Eden Cottage Yarns

Deco Swirl – part of the Drift collection curated by Eden Cottage Yarns. Photo courtesy of Eden Cottage Yarns.

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.

Seven of the nine colours of Whitfell DK.

Seven of the nine colours of Whitfell DK. Photo courtesy of Eden Cottage Yarns.

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.

Deco Swirl - close up

Just look at that stitch definition! Photo courtesy of Eden Cottage Yarns.

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!

My own WIP from the Drift collection. I am in love with this colour!

My own WIP from the Drift collection. I am in love with this colour!

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.

A selection of patterns from Drift. Clockwise from top left: Hardcastle by Louise Tilbrook, Pimm's Cup by Thea Colman, Swale by Karie Westermann and Turbine by Justyna Lorkowska.

A selection of patterns from Drift. Clockwise from top left: Hardcastle by Louise Tilbrook, Pimm’s Cup by Thea Colman, Swale by Karie Westermann and Turbine by Justyna Lorkowska. Photos courtesy of Eden Cottage Yarns.

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!

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

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Wollmeise: yarn review

After the appearance of the elusive Wollmeise at the recent I Knit Fandango this past spring, it seemed like a good time to review this yarn on the blog. Wollmeise isn’t as hard to come by as you might think – although because it is mostly only available online, hopefully this review by Robynn will let you know a little more about it.

L-R: Gluckstag, Amazonas, Franz with Chickenpox, Flohmarkt

Louise’s I Knit Fandango acquisitions from Wollmeise, L-R: Gluckstag, Amazonas, Franz with Chickenpox, Flohmarkt

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Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock: yarn review

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! 

Socks that Rock in Titiana - a more muted option

Painted knit up in Socks that Rock in Titiana

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!

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Siren Song

Siren Song

Siren Song

This elegant shawl develops in beautiful Art Deco waves. Yes, Siren Song is the long-awaited shawl version of Song of the Sea cowl. Continue reading

Trios of Summer Colour

Stay Awhile

Stay Awhile in Mink, Peony and Birch

I promised some ideas for colour combinations for a 3-colour Stay Awhile Shawl (see previous post), and here they are. I used Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Cotton colours because I just love this palette. There are so many gorgeous colours, waiting to be combined! Continue reading

Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply

Spiced Plum

Vivacious 4ply Spiced Plum (image copyright Fyberspates, used with permission)

Today is the first in what will be a regular feature on the Inspiration Knits blog: yarn reviews. I am delighted to welcome our APlayfulDay, our first guest reviewer:

I’m thrilled to be the first guest to share my thoughts on some of the yarns that Louise features in her designs. When Louise and I first discussed the idea of yarn reviews and looked at the many lush and varied yarns she’s worked with, she suggested I take the lead with Fyberspates as I’m lucky enough to have worked with my fair share. First up on this list is Vivacious 4ply and one of my favourites in the Fyberspates range. Continue reading

Inspiration Knits visits The Knitting Hut

Samples & yarn

Samples, Silkie & Sokkusu O

Thank you to Sue Stratford at The Knitting Hut for welcoming me to her wonderful yarn store for a trunk show on Saturday. The new Whimzy Sokkusu O colours I brought with me went down a storm, as did the Silkie Merino.

Sue selflessly chose some gorgeous Sokkusu O before I had even got it unpacked, just so she could get it wound immediately. She wanted to get Stay Awhile on the needles to “show customers”, you understand. Well, that was her story…. Continue reading