Yarn review: Hayfield bonus super chunky

I bought my first skein of this yarn online, so I didn’t know just how thick it was until it arrived.

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I was a bit wary (it’s so big!) until I realised how quickly you can make something when each sc stitch is a 2cm tall. It’s like magic.

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Each skein is 100g of 100% acrylic, but being so chunky that only gets you 82m of yarn to play with.

It’s unbelievably soft and so squishable (technical term); every time I work with it I just have to give it a wee squeeze before I do anything else. If I’m never able to have a cat I can just make do with a skein of this for my fix of fuzzy things to cuddle.

The recommended hook size is 10mm, although I haven’t used that size for either of my makes with this yarn. I used a 6mm hook to make a pair of fingerless gloves for a charity raffle and it made nice, close stitches with no gaps to let the cold air sneak through. Then some muppet put them on bottles of wine and stretched them out of shape, but that’s another story.

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I did try a 10mm for my supersized baby blanket, but it came out a bit too solid and not drapey enough for my liking so I switched to 12mm. As always, hook size really depends on what you want to make.

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There are pretty limited colour options available, but the colours they do have are so rich and vibrant. Perfect for people like me who want their colour visible half a mile away! There are also a couple of pastel shades for those who prefer a more subtle effect.

I’m pretty much in love with this stuff, it’s gorgeous and soft and quick to make things with – everything I want from a yarn!

Stats

  • 100% Acrylic
  • Super chunky weight
  • 82m
  • 100g
  • Suggested hook size 10mm

Has anyone else had a go with super chunky yarn? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

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Yarn review: Caron Cupcake

When my brother sent me this photo while on holiday in America,

I messaged him back saying PLEASE BUY SOME IMMEDIATELY!!! I’d seen Cupcakes on Instagram and Facebook for months, but never managed to get hold of any, so you can understand my excitement.

Suitcase limitations meant he could only bring back one for me (and one for mum because he’s smart), but that’s one more than I had to start with so I was happy!

It’s a 100% acrylic DK yarn that comes in a cake with a pompom. The colourway I got is called Peach Sorbet.

I’ve mentioned before that I thought the whole point of these Cupcakes is to have just enough yarn to make one hat, which you can then top with the pompom. But I managed to get two whole hats out of my cake. Two whole adult hats at that.

It seems strange to be disappointed with MORE yarn than expected, but I do so love the idea of essentially buying a deconstructed hat and making it up with no (or at least very few) scraps.

The ball band includes a pattern for various hat sizes, although they’re all children’s sizes, which I now find a bit odd considering how much yarn there is to play with. “You can make hats for all three of your children, and we take no responsibility for the ensuing battle over the single pompom!”.

I followed the instructions up to a point, but then carried on increasing to make both hats adult sized. In the first one I also went with back loop only stitches because I really like that line they make.

I’ve used a lot of Caron Cakes over the last couple of years so I thought I knew what to expect from the yarn itself, but this stuff is unlike any Caron I’ve ever used.

It’s really, REALLY scratchy. Like, making-the-skin-of-my-tensioning-finger-sore kind of scratchy.

I blocked the first hat with some Eucalan and that helped a bit. I’m going to try putting the second through the washing machine to see if that has better results. Either way, it’s really not much fun to play with pre-blocking. Unless you like scratchy yarn of course. To each their own.

On the plus side it frogs really easily and the colours are all super pretty.

So overall my first encounter with Caron Cupcakes was a fairly disappointing one. It’s possible that this was just an off batch with the scratchiness so I am willing to give them a second chance, if I ever manage to get my hands on some more. I am prepared to be pleasantly surprised.

Stats

  • 100% Acrylic
  • DK weight
  • 223m
  • 85g
  • Suggested hook size 4mm (although I used 4.5mm)

Have you used a cupcake before? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

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Yarn review: Red Heart Unforgettable

My brother went to America a couple of months ago to visit some friends, and they sent him back with three balls of Red Heart Unforgettable to pass on to me. I’ve always said he has excellent taste in friends!

Candied

This is the Candied colourway. It looks and feels very much like Lion Brand Landscapes, with a fluffy-but-silky texture and a slight sheen to the beautiful colours.

As soon as I saw it I knew I was going to make something for my friend’s baby with it, and I’d been eyeing up the Leafy Baby Blanket pattern for a week or two, so the minute my circular needles were free I cast on.

It’s lovely to work with, all smooth and glide-y over my needles, but it’s also really variable when it comes to thickness. There are sections where it hardly seems spun at all it’s so loose and chunky, and then some where it’s twisted right down to what seems like sock weight. Which is not so bad as long as you’re working on a project that doesn’t rely on yarn being uniform all the way through.

It worked out pretty well with my blanket.

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It’s also one of those yarns that requires very careful frogging. All those lovely fluffy little hairs can really stick to each other if you try to pull things apart too quickly. Not that I would ever do such a thing….

Stats

  • 100% Acrylic
  • Aran weight
  • 250m
  • 100g
  • Suggested hook size 5mm

Overall it’s a pretty good yarn to work with, and definitely good to look at; I’m itching to use the remaining 2 balls for some matching baby accessories.

Hannah

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Yarn review: Cotton Kings Twirl

Apologies for being so quiet the last couple of weeks. I’ve been moved to a new position at work, which feels kind of like being dropped headfirst into the deep end of a pool, having never even come across the concept of swimming.

I’m beginning to get the hang of it so hopefully normal service can resume soon. And now, on with the post:

In the greatest feat of restraint ever shown, I only bought one item during Hobbii‘s grand opening sale!

(A wee side review of Hobbii itself: I ordered on a Thursday, got notification the next day that my order had been dispatched, and the box arrived on Tuesday. Pretty darn good, coming all the way from Denmark. Plus all their emails and newsletters are super friendly and personable. I think they could become a favourite of mine.)

This is a Twirl from Cotton Kings. They contain about 800 metres of 100% cotton yarn in a gradual gradient cake, coming in at £11.90 per cake. It’s described as “4 thin unspun threads” on Hobbii’s website, and the pencil test puts it at fingering/sport weight.

There are a few…interesting colour options to choose from, but most of them are beautiful. (Since starting this draft they’ve added 12 new colourways, most of which I love). I spent a good 10 minutes swithering between Emerald, Amethyst, and Rhodolite, wishing that payday were closer so I could just buy all of them. In the end Amethyst won.

When the yarn arrived, the inner end had been pulled out about 5cm and laid across the top so there was none of the usual digging around and yarn vomit trying to find it; I just cast on and started knitting away, and so far it’s been a perfectly smooth centre-pull cake.

The site description also includes the tip “Before you start working the Twirl cake, run all 4 threads through a small bead to help the threads stay together throughout the project“, which made me a bit wary. More than one ball of cotton has been ejected from my stash because of disobedient strands!

However, I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Somehow these unspun strands just stick together, and the only splitting has been my fault for poking the needle in the wrong place during particularly tense moments of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..

The colour changes happen one strand at a time, with the new colour being tied to the old, so there are teeny tiny knots at those points. I’ve been giving them a good tug and wiggle around, and so far they’ve all held up really well so I don’t think you’d need to worry about the knots coming undone.

Of course I only bought the one cake so I can’t comment on how consistent a brand this is (yet. There will be more Twirls in my future), but if the rest are like this one then I’m totally sold. It’s lovely smooth, non-splitty cotton in some gorgeous colours, all set up for a centre-pull, with enough in this dinky little cake to make a whole scarf/shawl. Plus from Hobbii it’s excellent value for money. The only thing I would change is a few more colour options.

Stats

  • 100% cotton
  • Fingering weight
  • 800m
  • 200g
  • Suggested hook size 2.5mm

Would definitely use again!

Hannah

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