The swatch review

After last weekend, when we got our free yarn and divyed it up to swatch, I took home my three skeins and over the course of the next few days I sat down to swatch. Since I picked three varieties I hadn’t tried before, I decided to give my (unprofessional) review of the yarns now that I’ve had the chance to play with them. Bear in mind that since we were swatching for a store to display I didn’t get to wash them and see how they stand up to that, but I at least got a feel for how they were to knit.

The yarns I took were the Aurora 8 in a deep chocolate brown, the pale blue feathery Esprit, and the Katia Idea Jeans. Here’s a picture of the yarns and their respective swatches.

I started with the Katia, since I’ve been intrigued by the idea of ribbon yarn since I first saw it, and I actually picked this one off the shelf because the color was just so pretty. It’s definitely a lovely color, and has a nice sheen to it, but I wasn’t too crazy about how it knit. First of all, the ribbon was kind of a pain to work with – my needle kept wanting to go through the flat surface instead of around. I use Denise needles, which don’t usually have enough of a sharp point to be a problem. I figure it’s likely the type of issue that if I really loved the ribbon yarn I’d find a way around it and keep on going. But unfortunately, I do not love the ribbon yarn. I didn’t feel as if I could knit it evenly (again – something I am sure that would come with practice, if someone so desired), and the selvedge edges were lumpy and looked messier than I’m used to. Plus I wasn’t all that crazy about how it looked once knit.

Next I moved on to the Aurora 8, and oh my but it is divine. Not only is it a soft and beautiful yarn, but it is an absolute dream to knit with. Not once in the entire swatch did I catch loose strands, or feel like I ran into any problems. I would glady knit an entire sweater out of this stuff (assuming I could afford to fork over the dough for as many skeins of this yarn as I’d need – ouch). I reached the six inch limit for the skein far too quickly and it was almost a disappointment to have to bind it off and move on to the next one.

The third yarn I snagged for my swatch assignment was the Espirt. I wasn’t sure how this would be since I’m not normally a fan of the fun fur type yarns, but it was so fluffy and soft I figured I should give it a try. I’m glad I did. This yarn is like knitting cotton balls. There is no weight at all in the strand, yet despite the fact that it’s lined with feathery bits it knit up almost as easily as the Aurora 8. I can see that there would be no point whatsoever in doing anything but garter stitch in this, since the fluff covers up the stitches completely. And I did find myself counting the number of stitches in each row because it is so fluffy and fine I was afraid I’d accidently drop a stitch and never be able to find it again. Plus, at 50 grams, the skein probably has enough fluff to knit up a decent length scarf for some lucky little kid to use for dress-up purposes.

We don’t know yet whether we’ll be able to keep the remnants (we’re assuming right now we’re to return all unused yarn), and we also don’t know if this was a one time deal, or if the manager is interested in letting us dive into another pile of yarn to play….um…I mean swatch it up for her. But even if it’s just a one time thing it was great fun to do. I got to play with three yarns that were new to me. Plus I’ve seen a few of the others over the past few days and we’re all starting a list of the ones we’d like to work with again, and the ones which might be pretty in concept, but we’d much rather leave on the shelf.

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