Recently I knit with Skein's new base, Meadow to make my Sibella pullover. I finished the pullover last week and got the chance to wear it this week when the cool change swept in to break the first burst of summer heat in Melbourne. As this is a new base for Skein I wanted to put some thoughts out there about the yarn.
When Kristen, owner and dyer of Skein yarns announced on her FB page that she was trying out a new sport weight non-superwash merino base I jumped onto her shop straightaway and snapped up four skeins of the Meadow dyed in 'Ice on the Windowpane'.
When the yarn arrived I was in love. My first impressions were that it was soft and squishy and the yarn had a nice twist in it so I expected it to be sturdy and suitable for a sweater project. I also noticed that the colour was a softer more muted variation of the colourway and concluded that the rawness of the fibre (having not been subjected to the superwash process) meant that it wouldn't take on as much dye in the dyeing process. I was not disappointed by this fact because the muted colourway is still just as beautiful.
When I swatched with the yarn I saw that the yarn had good stitch definition - crisp and consistent stitches in both stockinette and garter stitches. Then I blocked the swatch and even with some squishing of the swatch I noticed that small sections of it remained that dry look. This meant that the yarn was still a bit water repellant, possibly due to some traces of lanolin still being in the fibre. I was falling more and more in love with this yarn with each step and I couldn't wait to actually start knitting a project with it.
When I was knitting my Sibella pullover I decided to alternate the skeins to ensure there would be no colour pooling. Kristen recently wrote a very clear blog post about why it is important to alternate skeins when knitting with hand dyed yarns. She also made an easy to follow video tutorial for alternating skeins when knitting in the round. You can find both post and video here.
Now that I have been wearing the pullover for a couple of days I have noticed a bit of pilling in the underarm area, but that is to be expected with woollen fibre that has not been superwashed. It just means that it will need an occassional brush with my lilly brush or some other depilling device. I am by no means disappointed with the yarn because it is the type of wool that deserves a little bit more TLC.
Meadow is a base that suits knitters who prefer soft merino in it's true form. It will need handwashing and the occassional depill. It will also dye up into softer tones of the luscious Skein palette. It is definitely one of my new favourite yarns.