Turns out, there are four different classifications of merino fiber, sorted by micron count range. At the bottom of the spectrum is Strong Merino, which ranges from 26-22.9 microns; above that is Fine Merino, which ranges from 20.1-23 microns; next up is Extra Fine Merino, which ranges from 20-15.6 microns; and at the very top of the heap is Superfine Merino Wool, with a micron range of 18.5-15.6. If you're into numbers and wondering how these four classes stack up against other fibers you may be familiar with, here are a few for comparison's sake: BFL (Blue-Faced Leicester) has a micron range of 24-28, Cashmere goat down has a range of 14-19 microns, and Angora down has a micron range of 8-15 microns.
|Merino Ram - image © Cleckheaton|
At this point, you might be worried that this yarn feels delicate or would have a tendency to pill, but here's where things get interesting: the yarn has a very crisp feel to it, with a great deal of twist which gives a bouncy, almost elastic feel, both to the yarn itself and the resulting fabric. If you untwist the yarn a bit, you'll discover that it is created from several two-ply singles which are extremely thin - almost threadlike. Plied together, the yarn feels quite strong, and I am quite convinced that it will not pill very much due to the high twist.
You would think that a highly twisted yarn would feel heavy or inelastic, but as previously stated, that's not the case at all. For my project, I knit the Two Colour Beanie (sans pom pom at the top), a free pattern available here on the Cleckheaton website. The resulting hat is soft, stretchy, squishy and airy. Yes, four adjectives were necessary just then!
The yarn has rather nice stitch definition in stockinette and a basic rib, and I think it would be an excellent option for colorwork, especially since they offer such a nice spectrum of color options. I'd love to see how it knits up into a more complex stitch pattern, perhaps even some cables.
As for the other specs, the yarn is a DK weight which comes in a range of 30 colors; each ball is 130m, which is approximately 142 yards. It's also really thoughtfully packaged: the label is on very heavy card stock , and it includes a fabric label which you can use for your finished garment. Additionally, there are a ton of great patterns designed especially for the yarn - everything from accessories to garments for babies, kids and adults.
It's definitely worth checking out for yourself, and you can order this yarn here in the Cleckheaton online store. One note: the store is located in Australia, so your order will be shipping from there and the prices are in Australian currency (here is a handy converter from AUD to USD). Last I checked, the conversion rate was definitely in our favor - one ball of yarn was approximately $7.75 USD.
The folks at Patons have donated a Two Colour Beanie project kit (which includes two skein of yarn, a pattern, and a project bag) for one lucky blog reader to win this month! To be eligible, simply leave a comment on this blog post telling me why you'd like to give this yarn a try. Be sure to also mention your Ravelry ID or email address so that I can contact you if you win.
If you would like a bonus entry, please like my Facebook Page or follow me on Instagram, then leave another comment on this blog post telling me you did so - just be sure to mention your Facebook or Instagram name so that I can verify everything!
I also recommend following Cleckheaton on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.
I will randomly-select one lucky winner to be announced next Monday, May 18 here on this blog. Good luck!