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Thursday, May 31, 2007

vintage hues yarn review

Yarn: Vintage Hues
Manufacturer: Cleckheaton (ACS)
Composition: 100% wool
Tension: 16stitches/21rows per 10cm
Needle size: 6.5mm/10.5US
Yardage:83m per 50gm
Made in: Turkey
Supporting patterns: Cleckheaton book 952
Price: from $4.75 to $6.00 per ball, depending on where you buy.

What Cleckheaton says... (from book 952)

Vintage Hue is innovative, cleverly coloured and spun pure wool with a very classy ball shape to enhance the colour effect.

This collection of handknits is designed to complement this unique yarn, dominating with clever colour. The shapes are wearably simple except for the entrelac design (pictured right)... a project for challenge seekers - just dream of responding 'Yes, knitted by me'.

Whichever design you choose, enjoy the experience of creation and we just know you will be up staying up late to see the effect of the next colour. Knitting with Vintage Hues is addictive.

Please read prior to commencing your Cleckheaton Vintage Hues Handknit

The colouring is irregular and no 2 garments will be the same. Please compare design 8 with the front and sleeves of an un-sewn version of the same design on page 39 (comparaison shown left)

It is not possible to identically match the pieces of a jumper or cardigan, however, by beginning with the same section of colour for the cast on of the back, front/s and sleeves it is possible to obtain an order of balanced tone... see design 2 page 3 circular yoke cardigan. (pictured right) We recommend purchasing an extra 2-3 balls to achieve this.

Be naturally Cleckheaton warm this winter

What I say...
Vintage Hues is a loosely spun 2-ply wool yarn. The variations in colour are created by each ply changing colour independently of the other - this creates a lovely tweedy effect between bold colours, however, makes it extremely difficult, nigh impossible, to match colour repeats.
In the colourway I chose to use for my garment (shade 1269), there are three distinct colours that 'barber-pole' around each other - purple, green and grey. This results in a colour repeat somewhat of the following :- purple, purple/green, green, green/grey, grey/purple, purple etc - however to get an exact colour repeat you need each ply to be at the exact same point in each ball at the time it was spun. If one of those plys is out, you get a slightly different colour repeat, which is what I found when I tried to join balls - the dye lot was exactly the same, and there was no variation in the tones of colour, just in the effect created by the two plys spun together. If you want to try to match your colour repeats you could buy the extra 2-3 repeats (what - a company suggest a customer buy more of a product??) , but I suggest you tell your inner anal-retentive to suck it up and just go with the Hues - your likely to drive yourself mad if you do it any other way due to the variations just mentioned.

VintageHues is an extremely lofty yarn - it traps air between the fibres and therefore compresses quite a bit (making it a 'cushy' yarn). When pulled tight over the needles it appears to be a 12ply (aran) weight yarn, but worked as a bulky on larger needles the stitches 'bloom' to create a lightweight fabric. This loft means you get quite a lot of yardage out of a single ball - I managed to make a size 12 cardigan with approximately eight 50gm balls of yarn, not a bad feat. And considering, if worn under a jacket the air trapped by this yarn will insulate you quite effectively!

But beware - this loft can cause some problems for you if you try to substitute this yarn in other patterns. It has a similar gauge to other bulky weight yarn, but has neither the weight nor drape that other patterns may require to work. After a wash, Vintage Hues did acquire a some drape, but I suggest you take this into consideration when substituting it in other patterns. I made the lace trim cardigan from the book, and even after a wash had to sew down the lace at the 'hemline' so it did not foolishly stick out at the back of the garment.

Also, I am not sure whether or not this felts well, but I would suggest if you are trying to felt vintage hues you allow for a lot of shrinkage - remember - the yarn compresses well. The reason I would suggest it might not felt well it because whilst I was knitting with the yarn it felt like it had been subjected to a superwash treatment. This may just be a remnant of the dying process, so if anyone has any success (or disaster) with felting, let me know. This feel also suggest to me that I wouldn't want to wear Vintage hues directly against sensitive skin - but I have only washed it once, perhaps after a few more washes it will get a softer.

The only issue I feel I should mention is to make sure you wash your Vintage Hues separate from other garments. I turned all the water in the sink a lovely deep burgundy/pink when I washed my cardi the other day!

Below are pictures of my cardi after I washed it. It dried rather quickly after I used the old 'wring it by rolling between two towels' trick. Less than 12 hours on a clothes rack in a lovely gas-heated room. Just a few ends to weave in and tidy up and I should have the FO report ready in a day or so!


Bells said...

ooh! that's pretty! So beautiful. Well done Meg. You do great stuff.

And thanks for the review. So comprehensive!

Kate said...

Looking forward to reading your FO report. I'll show you mine if you show me yours:-)

Jejune said...

Excellent review as usual! I like the way the colours blend and fade into one another. I'll have to give this yarn a try sometime soon. And the cardigan is just stunning!

Donyale said...

It's a great review - wish I had read it yesterday when finishing off a 2 ball project - and tried to match the hues.....I now have a ball almost split into 5 different "hues" in my attempt to match.

Rose Red said...

Thanks for the review - I bought some to make a felted bag - so hope it works!!

Anonymous said...

It felts like a dream!!

Anonymous said...

i had the exact same problem with the yarn... i had so much trouble matching the colours between the balls... found myself with a lot of wastage... i also found mine had alot of knots in it joining two completely random colours together (not even close to the colour it was being joined to)... it took loads of extra balls to make my garment and while the yarn is extremely pretty i probably wouldn't knit with it again be because of these issues...