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knitting properties

All of our yarns are listed with their NM number to describe their yardage. This number states how many metres of yarn will come from 1 gram weight, so for example a single ply 1/28 yarn will give 28 metres per gram whilst 2/28s we will give half that (because it is twice as thick). The table below gives the yardage, needle sizes and stitches per inch. All this info came from customers (thanks to them!) and obviously there is a range depending on personal preference.

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ColourMart Weight NM (or Tex) Yards per 150g cone (approx) Needle size, stocking stitch Needle size, lace US Crochet hook size Gauge (4"/10cm) Similar yarn suggestion
lace 1/14 or 2/28 (or 70 Tex ) 2,300 Many people use several strands of this together for hand knitting US 2-5, 2.5-3.75mm, old UK 12-9 8 or 9 32 - 36 -
heavy lace 3/28 1,550 Many people use 2 or 3 strands of this together for hand knitting US 4-6, 2.75-3.25mm, old UK 10-8   30 - 34 --
4 ply 2/14 (or 140 Tex ) 1,150 US 0-1, 2-2.75mm, old UK 14-12 US 5-7, 3.75-4.5mm, old UK 9-7 B/1 28 - 32 -
fingering 3/14 (or 50/140 Tex) 770 US 3-5, 3-3.75mm, old UK 11-9 US 8-9, 5.5-6mm, old UK 6-4 C/2 24 - 28 -
doubleknit (dk) 4/14 (or 140/140 Tex) 570 US 5-6, 3.75-4mm, old UK 9-8 - D/3 20 - 24 -
aran 8/14 285 US 7-8, 4.5-5mm, old UK 7-6 - - - -
chunky 12/14 190 US 8-10, 5-6mm, old UK 6-4 - - - -

Roughly, 300-350g of the laceweight or 4ply should make a pullover and 700g should be enough for a twinset - thicker yarns will need extra weight for the same garment so for example a dk weight pullover might need 500g. Amounts below 200g are better for scarves, gloves, baby clothes etc.

We would always suggest experimenting with a swatch first. In particular this yarn is made up for industrial knitting, which means it is still lightly oiled as sold so it fluffs up considerably after a gentle hand or machien wash. Normally you would wash the garment after completion but the difference this makes means it is also a good idea to wash your test swatch in the same manner you plan for the garment to see the final effect. Another reason for trying a swatch is if you are knitting the singles yarns (eg 1/14 Nm as opposed to 2/28Nm, same thickness but first is a singles yarn) you should expect some bias effects from the unbalanced twist. These yarns are produced for knitting, even the singles, so the effect is mild but should be checked.

Most customers use the 1/14s or 2/28s for machine knitting, hand-knitters either buy the thicker yarns or wind strands of 2/28s together themselves.

This yarn is stronger than most cashmere and does not have a great deal of elasticity, so it is recommended that all ribs are knitted tightly or they will stretch in wear.


swatching 15/44 merino

Richard and Sue graciously granted my request for some samples of the 15/44 Extrafine Merino DK so I could verify the colors I was interested in and knit some swatches before deciding what to order. I'm venturing out from the skinny stuff and lace and planning to knit a nice sweater for the winter--a scary thing for me. My samples arrived yesterday and I immediately started swatching. I hope sharing my results will be helpful to others.

I received three 7g/~20 yd samples to evaluate: Tartan Rose, Tartan Green, and Geranium. I measured the yarn at ~13 wpi. Each swatch was knit using a different needle size. They were subsequently measured at three intervals: A) immed. after knitting, B) after handwashing in very warm water with shampoo and towel dried, but still damp, & C) after tumble drying for 15 minutes at the low/knit heat setting. My 1st swatch was knit from the Tartan Rose color - a rich blue red that leans towards an almost cranberry color, but is more muted than a cranberry would be. I used US 5/3.75mm Addi-Lace needles and cast-on 30 sts. My second swatch, the Tartan Green (deep blue green), was knit on US 6/4.0mm Addi-turbo needles over 30 sts. For the Geranium (bright pinky orange) sample I used US 7/4.5mm Add-Turbo needles and cast-on only 26 sts. Here are my gauge measurements:

Tartan Rose (US 5): A) 24sts x 32r/4" sq or 6st x 8r/" B) 26sts x 32r/4"sq or 6.5sts x 8r/" C) 24sts x 36r/4"sq or 6st x 9r/"
Tartan Green (US 6): A) 22sts x 30r/4"sq or 5.5sts x 7.5r/" B) 24sts x 30r/4"sq or 6sts x 7.5r/" C) 22sts x 34r/4"sq or 5.5sts x 8.5r/"
Geranium (US 7): A) 20sts x 28r/4"sq or 5sts x 7r/" B) 21sts x 28r/4"sq or 5.25sts x 7r/" C) 20sts x 34r/4"sq or 5sts x 8.5r/"

Note: While I no longer consider myself to be a "loose" knitter, I do knit with a relaxed hand and usually find I need to go down a needle size to get gauge when knitting with dk or larger yarns on US7 or larger needles.

Observations: The sample knit with US 5 needles had a firm, slightly dense feel to the fabric after knitting, but this firmness disappeared after washing and tumble drying. The final swatch was soft, with excellent stitch definition and would be perfect for cabled knitting or Aran style sweaters. The yarn itself is gently twisted, which contributes to the softness of the fabric, but was also more susceptible to splitting, esp. when using the pointy tipped Addi-Lace needles. I had no problems with splitting once I switched to the blunter tipped Addi-Turbo needles for the size 6 & 7 needles. All the swatches bloomed beautifully after tumble drying, but there was no evidence of felting despite the torture tugging and rubbing I gave each swatch during washing and after towel-drying. The sample knit on US 7 needles was clearly more open and stretchy after knitting and washing. The fabric at that point was more suitable for lace than something work in stockinette stitch. All the swatches pretty much maintained their stitch gauge after washing and drying, but they definitely decreased in height/increased row gauge. To compensate while knitting one might consider increasing the number of rows knit say, before decreasing for armholes or whatever.

Final thought: This yarn is simply scrumptious to knit with and deliciously soft after washing and a light tumble dry. It would make for wonderful garments, blankets, or baby things. Now I just have to dig in the corners of my budget and come up with the resources to order more cones than I originally planned on. It's that good !

Note this comment is also posted in the made iwth colourmart yarns forum, with pictures of the swatches..

Different yarn properties collected from the web

Llama fleece. Alpaca is very warm and soft and has a slight sheen. Alpaca doesn´t contain any lanolin, so it often suits even people allergic to wool. Some alpaca yarns even claim to be water repellant. May drop hair when knitted.
fur spun from fur of angora rabbits. Angora is fluffy, fine and soft and sheds like moulting fur. It is often mixed with nylon. The synthetic mixture produces a fabric that is not as fluffy and soft as pure angora but the yarn will not shed hairs as much. Used for delicate knitwear but not suitable for babies. Tends to break easily, needs careful washing.
a fairly new plant fibre, relatively expensive. Generally lightweight, absorbent and has been said to have antibacterial properties. Has a nive sheen and is very soft. Should be knit with blunt needles, splits easily. Needs careful washing, weak when wet.
a very soft and expensive luxury wool from a goat. It is very soft and fine to the touch. Very little elasticity or fibre memory. Does not suit well to patterns with ribbing or cables, will flatten out.
from the fibres from seed pods of cotton plants. It is non-allergenic, light, absorbent and less elastic than wool. The finest and smoothes cotton is referred as Egyptian cotton. Often used for light weight summer knits as well as accessories. It is hard wearing and washes well.
flax plant fibres obtained from inside the woody stem of the flax plant are used. to produce linen. Linen fibres are much stronger and more lustrous than cotton and give a stiffer fabric. Linen fabrics are very cool and absorbent, nice to wear in heat. Woven linen wrinkles very easily, unless blended with manufactured fibres. Knitted linen has good elasticity.
fleece from pure bred merino sheep are considered to be the finest of all sheep’s wool. It is spun from the super fine fleece of Merino Sheep, originally from Spain, and is very soft. It is also very strong and resilient and takes dye well. Also known as botany wool, it is suitable for a wide range of knitwear.
obtained from the angora goat, this is one of the oldest textile fibres. It is both durable and resilient. soft, warm, featherlight with a lustre and a fluffy appearance. The value of mohair is determined by its lustre, rather than by it's softness. It is usually blended e.g. with wool or cotton, but if not blended it can be knit together with another yarn to get more density. Not suitable for babies' knitwear. Tends to pill.
The ”queen of fibres”. A natural filament fibre produced by the silkworm. All silk comes from Asia, primarily China. Silk fibres are light and absorbent and have a lustre. Feels cool against skin. Poor elasticity. It is expensive and is often mixed with other fibres.
usually associated with the fleece of sheep or lambs. Isolates both from warm and cold, but its other properties vary according to the breed of sheep. Crossbred wool is very strong and coarse so has a harder wearing quality. Needs careful washing or will felt and shrink. Superwash wool is washable. Wool has a good elasticity and stitch definition.
Rather expensive yarn, very soft and warm. Knits and behaves like cashmere.

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