Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Needle Review - Signature Needle Arts

Photo credit: Signature Needle Arts Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Signature-Needle-Arts-205933660615/)

Anyone who knows me (and/or Alisa) knows how seriously we take our knitting. So much so, we've taken these past few years to test a variety of available knitting needles. Now, with that said, we haven't gotten through ALL available needles yet, however, we have found some we are particularly partial to, those at the top of the list include the amazing Signature Needle Arts collection.

For me personally, there's a reason why I sought after specialized needles that made my life easier. Most of you are already aware, but for those that aren't, I was in a car accident December 2014 where I was hit head-on and suffered numerous injuries, one of the worst ones being a double fracture to my right wrist. Convenient right? Well it was just as horrifying as it sounds and honestly, my right hand has never been the same since. I have a lot of difficulty knitting now, my speed has been affected, tension, and consistency of my work is still a little off, so out of frustration I went looking for ways to try to help alleviate the side effects of my new disability.

Being the scientist that I am, I decided to take a systematic look at what my abilities are, and how I could improve without hurting myself. I learned quickly that my tolerance for very tiny knitted work (doll clothes, etc.) and for very large/heavy knitted work (blankets, throws, etc.) was extremely low. Fatigue and pain hit me like a brick wall (and still does), so I needed to find a way to make my life easier. This is when I started to look at my tools - mainly the needles I used.

I really didn't think much of the needles at this point, since I didn't have an issue with pain and fatigue prior to my accident, but I did learn very early in my knitting career, that there IS a noticeable difference between wooden, plastic, and metal needles. Little did I know, that this was only scratching the surface of my new needle preference exploration project.

I began my adventure in knitting needles by asking local artists what their preferences were and why. Prior to this, I knew my preference was going to be in metal needles, so that automatically removed all wooden and plastic needle options going forward, but that didn't narrow it down much. I had actually first heard about Signature Needles through online reviews when I tried to search people who had similar conditions as me (wrist fractures, arthritis issues, pain, speed issues, and other medical conditions) but when talking to locals, who had heard of Signature, nobody had ever had experience testing them out, and I quickly learned this was because of their exuberant price tag. Availability was also an issue, being that they are manufactured in the USA, not many independent knitting spots carry them for sale.

Work on a tiny baby hat with Signature dpn's several months after my accident.

Lucky for me, I found one. One vendor in all of Ontario carried the brand and could conceivably give me more information about these needles. Obviously, I wasn't about to put up $300+ USD for a set of needles I knew nothing about aside from some Canadian knitting enthusiast gossip, and online reviews. I wasn't about to drive all the way to Waterloo to visit this tiny knitting shop with no guarantee they would have any in stock, so at this point I was pretty discouraged. Until a stroke of good luck and this tiny knitting shop in Waterloo was to come to my end of town for our local annual Knitters Frolic. I was overjoyed! But that still didn't guarantee they would be bringing any signatures with them.

I went to the Frolic and made a point to look for this vendor and crossed my fingers they had something for me to look at. Sure enough, they had a few sets of corded circulars I could 'review' and immediately I fell in love. Although circulars weren't what I was after, I got a chance to observe the construction, weight, and aerodynamics of the needles and knew immediately these were the ones for me, and to my luck, all the reviews were true.

A month later, my Signature stiletto double point needle set arrived in the mail at a price I was sure I would immediately regret paying. The ordering process is very simple and straight forward. Their website is very elegant and provides adequate descriptions/photographs about all their needles and their features, as well as the customization options for each type of needle. I suggest you read reviews about the needles to determine which ones are going to be suitable for you before customizing your set/pair. I purchased the double point needle set which includes 6 sizes of 5-dpns each, you can also buy them individually if you wish. Whats unfortunate is the largest size available in dpns is US 8. I would have preferred sizes up to 10 but I guess you can't have it all. Sock knitters are in luck as they provide smaller needle sizes down to US 0. You can also select the length you wish your needles to be, I had no idea which length I would prefer, so the larger needles I got in the largest length, and some of the smaller sizes I got in a smaller length (all sizes are available from 8"-4"). To me, the length really didn't make much of a difference, but if it's an issue for you, I suggest you take that into consideration when customizing your set as well.

Work on cabled hat on Signature dpn's. Yarn is Malabrigo worsted weight.

The box & tissue packaging for these needles is less than impressive, honestly when I opened it I expected something a bit more "luxe" for what I paid, but that's besides the point. The double points arrive each set in their own "test" tube packaging which I have since kept them in. I like it. It keeps all 5 needles together, and they are very easy to find in my jumbled disorganized box of needles I have at home, they stand out. If you don't like the tubes, they also come with a fabric rolled case you can put them in, personally I've never used mine. I like the tubes.

The needles themselves are colour coded, so each size comes in a different colour. You don't have the option of changing the colours, but you can get them individually monogrammed at an extra cost if you really want them to be personalized, which is a really cool feature Signature offers! Unfortunately, I didn't take advantage of it, but still, it's a great option for gift idea's or just to add a personal touch to the needles. They offer this service on all their needles as well, not just the double points. Colours are standard to I've noticed which makes it easy to see which ones are which without trying to find the number written on the side (example; all size 4's are the same colour straight, double pointed, and corded). However the colours are repeated, so your size 2's could be the same colour as your size 8's.

Another thing that's good about these needles is that they are extremely light, but very sturdy. A friend of mine in the metalworking business and I tried to analyze the material of these needles. We did some weight tests and calculations determining they're (likely) made out of an aerospace solid piece of aluminum that's been milled to shape and anodized for colour. Obviously Signature doesn't disclose the exact material they're using, nor their manufacturing techniques, but for anyone who is curious, I've had professionals in the industry analyze the needles and confirm they are impeccably made, and experts can immediately tell a lot of work went into the development of the manufacturing process. This also justifies the price as the needles are seamless, perfectly balanced, and the colours are vibrant and consistent.

Photo credit: Signature Needle Arts Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Signature-Needle-Arts-205933660615/)

But, the best part of these needles, in a practical sense, has got to be the tips. The tips I ordered are stiletto which happen to be their best seller (not hard to see why), but they do have more blunt options available if you prefer - I haven't tested them. From a structural perspective the stiletto points are smooth and consistent across all needle sizes, which I learned the hard way, is so important for speed and tension. I use them consistently and they have never worn down, chipped away, or been damaged since I've had them (3 years now) so they are very well made. The tips are not coloured, which is a smart move on Signatures part. You don't get any chipped colours or snagging yarns from worn tips. I've never tested it (nor would I want to) but I can imagine these needles can take quite a beating before these tips "wear" out.

Best of all, if you're a fast knitter like me, and tend to knit without looking at your work, (watching TV or something else) these tips are a dream come true. They always find their place even if you have tight tension, and the maneuverability is very smooth. Knitting annoying stitches like K2tg, K3tg, Kfb, P2tg, cables etc, become just as smooth as a garter stitch. This was especially noticeable for me, since prior to these needles (and post injury), I would have a very difficult time knitting some lace patterns, cables and bobbles as my wrist would cramp up very quickly with the tighter stitches. These needles help minimize the pain.

Overall, there's not many drawbacks to these needles except the price, but after looking at the manufacturing capabilities that had to have gone into making the product, the price is 100% justified. If I had to say anything negative, the needles can be "silky" with some yarns, and if you're not careful your work can slip off, but I think that goes without saying for most metal needles. If you have a huge issue with this, I would recommend switching materials to either wood, or plastic which, in my opinion, tend to hold onto the yarn much more securely. Also, if you plan on storing any WIP on these needles, think about getting needle caps, I don't know if Signature sells them, I use an old pair I found in grandma's stash just because the stiletto points can poke through anything and everything! I usually have several projects going at once, and I store my projects together most of the time (which probably isn't smart in the first place), and I've noticed these points jab into everything. If you keep them in separate project bags away from other work, they should be fine.

Some fingerless glove work on Signature dpn's. Yarn is Caren Simply Soft.

Thankfully, I've never had to deal with the customer service at Signature (because my order went perfectly and was delivered on-time) therefore I can't comment on that. I've since had a few friends (including Alisa) order from their website and haven't had any experience with customer service since it was not necessary. I will update this blog if I have any customer service comments in the future as I plan on ordering their complete straight needle set, and some circulars I need.

To conclude, if you're thinking about ordering these, I highly recommend it. If you've been through a terrible injury, or if knitting causes you pain and problems, I also highly recommend these. They worked for me, and helped me to enjoy knitting again! But I understand they may not work for everyone's ailment. My tension is a bit on the "looser" side, and I tend to use very unique fibres and these needles have been an absolute dream.

- Jenna.

Disclaimer: I have not been paid to promote Signature Needle Arts. I have not been in contact with any representatives at the company nor have I received any  free product or incentives to post this blog. My thoughts about this product are sincere and truthful. I suffered an injury and thought I would never be able to knit again, and these needles inspired me to keep doing what I love so I felt the need to share with anyone else who suffers wrist pain or sudden injury and loves knitting! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Yarn Review - Malabrigo Merino Wool

Brand: Malabrigo Yarn

Blend: 100% kettle dyed pure merino wool
Made in Uruguay - Weight: worsted
Colour: Sauterne (MM022)
Care Instructions: Hand wash, dry flat.
Skein Size: 100g / 210y
Cost: Approx. $20.00 (CAD)

Review: This is not the first time I've worked with the Malabrigo worsted before and I have yet to be disappointed by this yarn. I've mostly used this yarn to knit hats in the round because it has such a lovely hand, it's thick, but soft, and it sticks together perfectly on DPN's and these cables were no exception.

Malabrigo tag and remainder of the skein (yes just a string).

One of my favorite things about this yarn is indeed the thickness. It fluffs up nicely to give you a full warm fuzzy feeling to the piece, without being classified as a "bulky" or "super bulk" weight. It gives you the best of both worlds with whatever you are knitting. It's also the perfect yarn I would recommend for any beginner knitting in the round on circular needles and/or double points. Most of the hats I have constructed on circular needles however finished with double points.

Finished piece. Cable hat.

Be advised! The colours offered in the Malabrigo kettle dyed collections are [slightly] inconsistent. All the skein's I've had have been from different dye lots, and I've noticed a difference so if you're a person who is particular about this, make sure you get skeins from the same dye lot!! With that being said though, the differences in colour are more about the textures of the fiber which make the yarn that much more charming. Even from these pictures you can see the subtle differences in colour intensity within the yarn, personally I love it! This is noticeable with most hand-dyed yarns I've worked with, but the Malabrigo worsted is done so beautifully that it adds a wonderful uniqueness to any piece you choose to construct.

Close up of cable detail and yarn colouring.

As I mentioned before, this yarn sticks together very well! Almost too well. I've knitted this piece with bamboo circulars (not my needles of choice, but it was the only one I had in the proper size) so the bamboo gave me a much tighter tension that I probably would've gotten with a steel needle. It worked in my favour though with this piece since the cables came out quite consistently, but the piece is tight in general. The size I knitted was supposed to be adult, but it would be much better suited for a child because of my tension.

I was able to use the whole skein on this hat. I was also able to get a slouchy flat (no cables) hat in a much bigger size so the skein does go a long way. Overall it's hands down one of my favourite worsted yarns to work with. I've recommended this one to my fellow knitting friends in the past. It will give you that special merino edge of luxury but is also very easy to work with for any in-the-round-beginner knitter.

Finished hat.

I'd recommend this yarn for any hat projects knitted in the round or any project that requires a tighter tension. However, I feel this yarn would be suitable for just about any project! I will warn to purchase yarn in the same skein if doing larger projects that require more yardage as you will have some colour inconsistencies (I find these inconsistencies charming, but I understand other's may not).

Pattern(s) used in this post:
Travelling Cable Hat by Purl Soho (The Purl Bee) free pattern available at:

Knitting Classes!!

Yes! I teach at Michaels!

As most of you may be aware of, I am currently a knitting instructor at my local Michaels store location here in Scarborough, Ontario and I've had a few people inquire about the classes I teach! So I decided to post all my information here.

At any given time, you can lookup the class schedule for any Michaels location at: Michaels Classes when searching locations, please search Ontario, Toronto, and William's Kitchen Rd. location for my scheduled classes. Each store features a different class schedule according to their teacher's individual availability.

Since I work during the day, most of my classes are evenings and weekends. Currently my June schedule can be found here. My July schedule has yet to be updated on the website but should be completed sometime this week.

An overview of some of the classes I teach is also listed on this PDF but in case you're interested I currently teach; arm knitting, knitting beginner 1, knitting beginner 2, and loom knitting. My most popular class is my arm knitting class probably because it takes the least amount of knowledge, the least amount of materials, and is the quickest/cheapest class I offer (1hr class for $10). I usually teach this one Thursday nights at 7pm at my Michael's location!

How do you sign up?
You can pass by the Michael's store anytime and purchase your class. Prices range from $10-25 per class. On promotional days, some classes may be offered at a discount. Details of these event's can also be found on the Michael's website! My classes are available to everyone, all ages who can hold a pair of knitting needles! The most popular class I teach for children is currently loom knitting.

Once you sign up, you will receive a syllabus of information regarding the projects I will be teaching in the class. For each class there's a range of 2-4 project's you can choose. Upon choosing a project you will be given a list of materials you need to bring to the class. If you have the materials at home, you may bring them, or Michael's offers a 10% discount on any materials you purchase for my class. ALL OF MY CLASSES REQUIRE YOU TO BRING YOUR OWN MATERIALS! I will not be supplying any for you.

One of the pretty cowl's I taught in my arm knitting class!

What do you do if you can't make a class?
In the event where you cannot make the class you have signed up for, you may transfer your class fee to any other scheduled class and we can make the arrangements to switch dates/times for you. You also may receive a refund for the class fee.

Cancelled classes
Unfortunately, Michael's has a policy that I cannot teach any classes that have less than 2 people signed up. In the event that I need to cancel a class, I will personally give you a call 24/hours before the class begins, and let you know that the class has been cancelled. In any event you may transfer your class to another date/time or you may get your money back.

I make my own schedule, and I've been collecting feedback from the previous knitting instructor as to which days tend to work better for most people. However if you wish to take a class, and it is not offered on the day/time you wish to take it, I can definitely make the arrangements to have a class on your preferred day/time. Luckily, Michael's give's me extraordinary flexibility to accommodate to everyone's schedule, so if you let me know which day's can work better for you, we can make something work.

I do not teach at any other Michael's locations at the moment, however I will consider coming to the Michael's in Belleville should there be enough interest in my classes! These classes will be restricted to weekends only. Michael's also gives us teacher's the flexibility to teach at various locations as well. If there is enough interest, I will consider picking up a class or two at the Belleville location!

If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to e-mail me or send me a message on facebook! Happy knitting everyone!!!!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Yarn Review - Rhichard Devrieze

Brand: The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze

Blend: 100% hand-painted merino
Made in Canada - Weight: fingering
Colour: Playground
Care Instructions: Superwash yarn, but recommended hand-washing and lay flat to dry.
Skein Size: 65g / 2.3oz.  206m / 225y
Cost: $17.00 (CAD)

Review: This yarn is not something I would normally buy myself, although the colours are very attractive and vibrant (the photo's don't really do it justice) but this yarn was a gift from one of my close friends. She's not a yarn expert by any means, but she was very attracted to the colour and thought I could make something out of it, and if you take a moment to surf through the website of the yarn-tistic arts of Mr. Rhichard Devrieze himself you can tell he really is an artist. The colours featured are all very unique and [appear] to be very vibrant! Either that or he has an excellent yarn-photographer on his side. But I don't doubt after working with this yarn myself, the quality and the richness of the colours are definitely there, and will make all of your creations with this yarn pop!

Tag and remainder of the yarn after mittens and hat.
However, the reason I say I would not normally purchase this yarn for my personal collection is that it is a fingering weight. As another bias I've always had towards fingering weight yarns, I assumed all you could use this for are socks... and I am not a big sock knitter. So I surfed around looking for different patterns I could potentially use to test this yarn out. Along with several shawl patterns (which I didn't feel this colour was suitable for), I stumbled across some baby mittens and a simple hat pattern (linked below) that called for a fingering weight. So I decided to give it a go and, have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with the workability of this yarn despite it's weight.

Hat and mittens both knitted in the round, no seam.
I knitted both pieces in the round using double pointed needles from sizes US#1 to US#4 and construction went much smoother than I expected. The hand of this yarn is fine, but it's twisted very nicely and sticks together well with loads of stretch where and when you need it! This can be well demonstrated in the cuffs of the mittens which stretch almost 1.5 inches in width!

Close up of yarn colour and stitch details.
The other thing I loved about this yarn was that it was very "exciting" to knit with. Because my rounds were so small each row was a different colour! Sometimes I would get turquoise, followed by a vibrant orange, then purple, or yellow. It sounds like an irrelevant detail, but it did make construction exciting, and quick! Obviously because I wanted to see what my combination looked like in the end! Each piece you make with this yarn will definitely be unique, and that's one thing I love about these types of artistic dyes.

Close up of hat.
Not many downfalls to mention with respect to this yarn, only that be careful when working with such fine rounds that the yarn doesn't twist. Letting it "unwind" once in a while when working for several hours in a row is definitely recommended as the yarn tends to twist up on itself and can knot. However it bounces back even quicker than it twists, so this was only a minor inconvenience.

Photo of hat and mittens with remaining yarn and skein tag.
Another problem with type of yarn is that it's very "flat" in that mean that it doesn't have much of a "fuzzy" yarn filling when working with it (i.e. it's wound together quite tightly, it's not likely to fray). This was only a problem when closing the thumb gussets on the mittens. My spacing was very large and obvious. I solved this problem by double stitching the thumb connection closed and reinforcing with some extra "weaved" in ends.

Hat shown from the side, slouchy fit with plenty of stretch around the ribbed band.

Overall, I did enjoy working with this yarn, and after a baby slouchy hat and a pair of mittens, it feels like I have a lot left of the skein which always pleases me. I wouldn't recommend this for anything with large seaming "gusset" area connections, or be prepared to reinforce these area's if your tension isn't naturally super tight. I would also not recommend this yarn for any garments that do not require excessive amounts of stretching as this is a very stretchable fiber. This yarn is perfect for slouchy hats, or socks! I would not recommend for sweaters, coasters or cozy's (that don't stretch).

Purchase this hat at Yarnhardts Etsy store!!

Purchase these mittens at Yarnhardts Etsy store!!

Pattern(s) used in this post:
(Mittens) Heart Strings Mittens by Crystal Guistinello free pattern available for download on Ravelry at:

(Hat) Bonnet Islande by Anna et les Petites Choses free pattern available (in French and English) at: 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Yarn Review - Origin Bergere de France (Lait)

Brand: Bergere de France (Origin - Lait)

Blend: 100% casein of milk
Made in France - Weight: None specified
Colour: Gris Nuage #250.92
Care Instructions: Hand wash cold, no dry clean, light iron.
Skein Size: 50g / 1oz.  3.4 - 105m / 115y
Cost: $16.00 (CAD)

Review: First of all, the material this yarn is made out of is what first caught my eye. I had never seen a milk yarn before so I had to purchase one ball to see what it would be like. I purchased this yarn from a small shop in Stoney Creek, Ontario which the sales woman mention to me that Bergere de France had actually discontinued their "Origin" line so unfortunately you will not see it available for purchase on the website. A quick google search will give you some similar information on the yarn, but I haven't seen any specific area that you can purchase it. At the time I did purchase this yarn, the store had very few left so you may get lucky and find this little gem in a yarn store "clearance" section or something of that sort.

Info card included with the yarn pictured with the leftover ball.

The packaging of this yarn also caught my eye. Unfortunately I did not take a photo before diving into it so to give you the gist, each ball is packaged separately in a small bag with an info card (pictured above) to give you some details on the yarn. While the packaging is nonetheless attractive and eye-catching, one yarn connoisseur such as myself would question the motives behind packaging such a unique fibre in a fully enclosed baggy? Fortunately for me, the store I bought it from had a few open sample bags so I could feel the yarn and do a quick once-over in my brain on what I could use it for. I would have second guessed such an expensive purchase had I not been able to touch it first.

Side view - baby bonnet knitted with button detail.

I decided to knit a simple elegant baby bonnet design I've been dying to try, with this yarn. This particular colour is absolutely stunning for the modern baby and the yarn feel I would drastically compare to cool-to-touch pima cotton or silk blend with the stretch and elasticity of a DK merino. Due to the slippery nature of the yarn, it is a challenge to work with if you favour metal needles like I do. The yarn will slip off your needles several times if you do not keep a tight tension. Luckily for me, this bonnet was knitted flat. Otherwise I would NOT test this yarn with anything knitted in the round unless you have exceptionally tight tension.

Baby bonnet front with button detail.

Another drawback to the slippery-ness of this yarn is that the fibres themselves seem to have a hard time staying together. This yarn tends to fray quite a bit more than your average silk or bamboo (or something of equally 'slippery' hand). This drawback makes any seaming you need to do an absolute nightmare! With that being said though, all my ends did weave in nicer than I expected and seem to have held together nicely (so far!!)

Close up of button detail and stitch detailing.

Overall, not my favorite yarn. Luckily I only purchased one ball although I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with the remainder. The milk is an interesting feature but you MUST have the patience for this yarn. I think I lucked out and chose the absolutely correct pattern for this yarn. I would not recommend knitting anything in the round, or anything with excessive seaming.

Purchase this baby bonnet at Yarnhardts Etsy store!!

Pattern(s) used in this post:
Modern Baby Bonnet by Hadley Fierlinger free pattern available at:

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Yarn Review - Drew Emborsky Pima Cotton

Brand: Drew Emborsky Decades (luxury hand dyed in the U.S.A)

Purchase this Yarn Here!

Blend: 50% Peruvian Pima Cotton - 50% Tencel
Made in USA - Weight: 1950's Sarcastic DK (double knitting)
Colour: Tiki Torch
Care Instructions: Hand wash cold, lay flat to dry OR dry clean
Skein Size: 220y or 4oz.
Cost: $18.00 (USD)

Review: I've always been skeptical of cotton yarns, partially because I was raised in a household where cotton is exclusively used for dishcloths and nothing more! This yarn is very interesting though, it feels like a cotton, but with a much softer hand. It still has the slight rigidity of the cotton used in your mom's handmade dishcloths, however there's a very soft edge to this yarn which makes it drape absolutely beautifully therefore I selected a simple baby sweater as my test subject for this yarn. I know a lot of mothers would LOVE a cotton baby sweater considering the care is so effortless with cotton, and this yarn gives you the best of both worlds; ease and simplicity of cotton with the luxurious softness and feel that baby can be cozy in.

Label and remainder of one skein used after knitting pieces in this post.
Again the value for this ball I feel was excellent. I was skeptical I could get a sweater out of it, but indeed I did and had enough left over for the matching booties as well. I think with this small ball left I still might get a granny square or a coaster out of it so I'm going to hold onto it for sure!

Baby sweater with ducky button detail along entire right side.
I knitted this sweater with a circular needle, and the only complaint I would have would be the armhole areas. As anyone knows when working with cotton, it does not have the elasticity to properly bounce back in area's needing proper knitting flexibility and this yarn is no exception. The armhole's gapped quite a bit when I tried to complete the arms with dpn's (however sometimes my tension isn't the tightest so perhaps a tighter knitter won't have this problem). Luckily I was aware of this problem early in construction and left a long tail when casting on so I could fill in the armpit holes with a few stitches. The stickiness of this yarn works in favour for this method and it stuck quite well. I'm not worried about baby wiggling out of this one or causing damage to the armholes.
Sweater and matching booties with ducky button details.

As with most cottons , I found this yarn shows your stitch details very clearly (this includes mistakes). So if you're not the strongest knitter, this yarn, especially in this colour, will show ALL of your missed stitches and errors including inconsistent tension, purl/knit errors, and make one/decrease errors. This yarn is definitely meant for advanced knitters and I wouldn't recommend to anyone starting out, especially on a garment like this!

Open baby sweater with ducky buttons unbuttoned for easy dressing.
All in all, this is one of my favourite cotton's I've worked with so far and is definitely an upgraded yarn from those old dishcloth versions! I would recommend this one for baby bibs, or pants or knitted flat sweaters with simple embellishments. I wouldn't recommend this one for anything requiring excessive seaming, fine details, or hats.  
Baby sweater and booties front view. One skein used.
Pattern(s) used in this post:
Puerperium Cardigan by Kelly Brooker free pattern available on Ravelry at:
Kimono T Booties by Hennies Nimbleneedles free pattern available on Ravelry at:

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Yarn Review - Viking Alpaca Silk

So as part of my blog posts, I've decided I'm going to provide reviews for yarns I've worked with, and happen to enjoy (and some maybe not so enjoy). I've searched the web for yarn reviews but they fail to provide all the information I require in a very succinct manner that's easy for knitters to understand. Also most of the yarns I've worked with, I haven't found reviews for. So I hope the knitters out there who have been in the same predicament as me, will find these little review's helpful. Disclaimer: I am in no way endorsing any particular yarns or am I a paid spokesperson for any of these companies. All costs are in Canadian dollars from either web or local resources (Toronto, Ontario) unless otherwise specified.

Remainder of the ball after constructing a pair of baby socks and fingerless mittens.

Brand: Viking Alpaca Silk / Viking of Norway
Blend: 50% alpaca - 50% silk
Made in Peru - No weight specified
Colour: #445
Care Instructions: Hand wash, light iron
Skein Size: 50gr/1.76oz or 133m / 147.7y
Cost: $8-11.00/ball

Review: Initially the hand of this yarn is much more rough/scratchy than I figured it would be since it is 50% silk, however this yarn was a pleasure to work with. The rich consistent colour caught my eye, and I saw it as a hip baby colour for the fall season, and as it turns out, it works very well with some small baby items I was able to quickly knit up.

One pair child size fingerless gloves and socks.
I find it worked better for the fingerless mittens then it did for the socks however since it didn't have the elasticity naturally required for knitting socks. But I had never tried these before so I thought this was a great little test subject. I adore the fingerless mittens for babies and I think one lucky baby will be very happy with these for fall.
One thing that was very good about this ball is the value. 133m goes a long way when knitting tiny baby items. I feel I could easily get another pair of mittens or socks out of what is left from this single ball. This yarn also knits up very easily on steel/metal/aluminum needles but not as well on bamboo or wooden hardware as I feel sticking and snagging could be a problem.
Recommendations: I would recommend using this yarn for fall/winter based garments such as shawls, mittens, or boot toppers. I would NOT recommend this for scarves, sweaters, or hats as the hand of the yarn is just a bit scratchy for these items and could potentially irritate sensitive bare skin.
Pattern(s) used in this post:
Half-Pint Fingerless Gloves by Théa Rosenburg free pattern available on Ravelry at:
Super Quick Baby Socks by Dilys Sutherland free pattern available: