YarnSub News: December 2014

We're out of beta testing! Thank you for your patience as we've worked on making improvements and fine-tuning the substitution algorithm. We'd love it if you would tweet and blog to tell other knitters and crocheters that we're live!

Focus on Fiber: Silk

Jaeger Silk 4-ply (© YarnSub)

Pilling and loose shaping on my silk jumper

Years ago, I chose some 100% silk as the yarn for the first garment that I'd ever designed myself. It had a soft sheen and was smooth to the touch and I had in mind a long-sleeved top, fitted at the waist and body hugging.

I found out too late that there's a reason '100% silk' and 'body-hugging' aren't often used together in the same sentence.

The finished fabric stretched, both sideways and lengthways, and there was no elasticity to pick up any of the slack. My imagined figure-hugging top hung from my body, while the waist-shaping flaired out unattractively somewhere around the mid-hip level!

How did it go so wrong? Silk fibers are long, smooth and there's no crimp in the fibers to give spring or elasticity. And, unlike wool, there no scales even to provide friction against their neighboring fibers. When you knit with silk you have to take into account that it will drape and stretch with gravity, and stay stretched.

I had also hoped that it would be a garment that I could wear regularly, but I didn't know that although silk is strong - in that you can't easily break it - it is not very durable, in that it can snag and pill easily (take a look at the picture).

It was an expensive way to learn that I had to know my fiber to know how best to design with it.

Read the full article to find how to get the best out of silk...

New Yarn Review: Artesano Yarns Alpaca Silk 4-ply

Artesano Yarns Alpaca Silk 4-ply

Artesano Alpaca Silk 4-ply

Artesano Yarns Alpaca Silk has an attractive sheen and its soft feel doesn't disappoint either. The knitted fabric is fine and drapey, while the alpaca/silk combination produces a warm, insulating fabric. Simple cables look elegant, lace patterns show off the delicate haze, but knit and purl texture patterns are lost as the purl stitches relax back into the fabric, due to the lack of elasticity and bounce in the alpaca and silk fibers.

The yarn is soft and not prickly against the skin and would make a graceful shawl or cardigan to layer on as the colder weather arrives.

Read the full review...

November's New and Discontinued Yarns

Yarn Stories Fine Merino and Baby Alpaca DK

Yarn Stories: Fine Merino and Baby Alpaca DK(Image © Yarn Stories)


Kimera - 100% Cotton - Sportweight

Berg�re de France
Miroir - 41% Acrylic, 41% Superwash Wool, 18% Polyester - Worsted - Sequinned

Fleece Artist
Coraline - 100% Corriedale Wool - Bulky/Chunky

Knit Picks
Main Line - 75% Cotton, 25% Merino Wool - Aran weight

Knitting Fever
KFI Indulgence Cashmere - 70% Merino, 25% Nylon, 5% Cashmere - Sportweight

Lion Brand
Ice Cream - 100% Acrylic - Sportweight

Phil Nounours - 100% Nylon - Super bulky/Super chunky - Faux fur

Plymouth Yarn
Galway Roving - 100% Galway Wool - Super Bulky/Super Chunky - Single Ply
Galway Sport - 100% Galway Wool - Sportweight - 2 plies
Toybox - 100% Acrylic - Worsted

Sublime Yarns
Natural Aran - 100% Wool - Aran weight - Singly ply
Superfine Alpaca DK - 100% Superfine Alpaca - DK

Valley Yarns
Brimfield - 70% Merino Wool, 30% Silk - Worsted

Yarn Stories
Fine Merino and Baby Alpaca Aran - 70% Merino Superwash Wool, 30% Baby Alpaca - Aran
Fine Merino and Baby Alpaca DK - 70% Merino Superwash Wool, 30% Baby Alpaca - DK (See picture above)


Mosaic - 100% Acrylic - Aran

Knit Picks
Andes del Campo - 100% Wool - Aran
Full Circle Bulky - 100% Wool - Bulky/Chunky - Single ply
Full Circle Worsted - 100 Wool % - Aran - Single ply

Lang Yarns
Arenas - 53% Superwash Wool, 47% Acrylic - Super Bulky/Super Chunky - Thick and Thin
Astrakan - 46% Superwash Wool, 54% Acrylic - Super Bulky/Super Chunky - Fuzzy
Kaya - 67% Merino Superwash Wool, 33% Alpaca - Aran

Taiyo Lace - 50% Cotton, 17% Wool, 17% Nylon, 16% Silk - Laceweight - Single ply

Boa - 84% Polyester, 16% Nylon - Heavy Worsted - Faux Fur
Koala - 45% Superwash Wool, 20% Mohair, 35% Nylon - Bulky/Chunky - Boucl�

Plymouth Yarn
Europa Tweed - 70% Wool, 20% Acrylic, 10% Rayon - Bulky/Chunky - Nubby/Tweedy
Marley - 100% Wool - Super Bulky/Super Chunky - Plied with a fine thread

Disclaimer: YarnSub provides information for guidance only and disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy of the information provided. Please let us know if there are any issues. (hello@yarnsub.com)

If this article was your cup of tea...

Subscribe to our Yarn Geeks newsletter!

We will never share your e-mail address and you can unsubscribe at any time.

About YarnSub

Search for a yarn on YarnSub

YarnSub lets you find substitutes for yarns you can't get hold of.

Explore >