If you've visited the blog or the store on a regular basis over the past 5 years, you know that it's a quest of mine to find hand dyed yarn that self stripes. But not just any stripe, but wide ones. As I've explained before, it's quite labor intensive for a dyer to dye thick stripes. Thin stripes that are just two or three rows aren't that much of an issue. But when you are trying to create stripes that are thicker than that, it becomes quite difficult to do because you have to have such a long color repeat that your skein needs to be nearly 50 feet long to dye stripes that width (don't worry, the yarn is reskeined into a normal size after it dries so that you can actually wind it at home).
Because there are so many steps involved in dyeing thicker striping yarn, it's rare to find someone who will dye in the quantities I need for the store. Afterall, you all buy a lot of yarn and I would prefer not to carry items in such small quantities that it sells out in three minutes, disappointing many a knitter. This is where Caitlin comes in. Caitlin and her husband own String Theory Colorworks and not only do dye awesome striping yarn, but I have it for you on a merino/cashmere/nylon base. It's like the holy trinity of sock yarn: hand dyed, widely striping, CASHMERE. I KNOW! Just breathe...
Now you'd think that when I received a skein of this yarn to test that I would have been selfish and knit it myself. But the store/toddler wrangling/life in general has been so crazy busy that watched it slip through my fingers an along to one of my test knitters, and lucky Laura has reviewed it for us.
As is customary with my test knitters, they each go into this not knowing what exact yarn they are knitting- they only know the gauge and fiber content. I try to keep this as unbiased as possible. But in this case, I did share with Laura that she would be knitting up a striping yarn so that she could choose a simple pattern that would look nice with a boldly self-striping yarn. She knit a 2x2 rib and cast on 64 stitches. She said she knit an extra long leg with an average sized women's foot and had "tons of yarn leftover." This is what Laura has to share about her experience knitting String Theory Colorworks' Continuum in the Dark Matter colorway:
Presentation: The yarn was a sheer joy to wind. There were no snags, breaks worn parts or knots. I just placed it on the swift and it practically wound itself.
Texture: The yarn was a pleasure to knit with. It is plied well and did not come apart at all, even when casting on the stitches. The yarn felt great to work with, soft and yummy. I put each sock on my feet as soon as they were done and kept them on for hours. In fact, I didn't see the need to block the socks at all.
Knitted Fabric: What is so unique and great about this yarn is that the stripes are so bold! In wearing the socks for several hours, I found they held their shape well and did not get baggy at all. The fiber felt warm on my feet and was much softer than the usual (without cashmere) sock yarn.
Misc: I really love this yarn and was able to knit up the pair of socks very quickly. The yarn glides on the needles and yet is not slippery at all. Even though the colors are bold, no dye came off on my hands feet or needles. I'm looking forward to seeing the other colorways offered and will definitely knit up another pair of socks.
Thank you for your review, Laura! You don't have to live vicariously through Laura's review and my pictures, as I have 10 colors in the store right now. But please do keep in mind that even while I have a lot in stock at the time of this post, it could go quickly. But I'll do my best to keep it in stock. I recommend signing up for the e-newsletter (if you aren't already receiving it) to know exactly when I get more of this and other yarns. If you are considering a particular color, make sure you read the description for that color because I have listed how many rows of each color there are in each particular colorway. For instance, if you like Magnetism (a red/white/blue combo that I asked Caitlin to dye specially for the store), then you'll see that it stripes in 8 rows of each color. Or if you want to make black and white striped knee socks for your witch costume at Halloween, then you'll see that Stardust stripes in 8-10 rows at a time. That way you don't need to see the yarn knit up to know how it will stripe.