Thoughts on yarn for the Uniform Makealong
The Uniform Makealong is well underway, and we know many of you have likely already made your yarn choices. If you're still considering which yarn to use, I'd love to talk through some of my favorites, and why I decided to use Biches & Bûches Le Petit held double.
The image of yarn above shows everything I considered using for my UNIFORM cardigan (I know that's a pretty large stack!). Clearly, I was quite interested in something in a neutral hue—that's a lot of beiges and browns. The Uniform book gives ample yarn recommendations, and you can check out the Ravelry page for the pattern, worsted and light, to see what Carrie suggested in pattern. If you're looking to knit with something new, here are some options I feel knitters could safely interchange.
I know this isn't a groundbreaking suggestion, but I always tie knots in my swatch ends to remind myself what needle size I used. I'm a looser knitter, so for me it's not always a guarantee that I'm using the suggested needle size in pattern. If anyone has another favorite method for needle size reminder, I'm always looking for new suggestions.
This was my first time using a Moeke yarn, and I've never had a yarn behave so differently in the skein than in the swatch, and I mean that in the best way. This yarn is spun from a mix of undyed Transylvania Merino wool and undyed black Elena yarn, a colorway special to Making, and the variegation in the swatch was far more subtle than it appears in skein. I decided to knit this swatch in the round using long floats in the back to try and mirror what the variegation might look like in a larger piece of fabric. If I hadn't done this, the swatch would likely be a singular color, because the length between the color transition is so long. Truthfully, I'm not terribly crazy about a high amount of yarn variegation, and I think the length between transition explains why I'm loving this yarn so much.
Moeke heritage is a fairly tightly spun single ply, which creates these little nubbly bits as the yarn twists back on itself. In the yarn manufacturing and handspinning world, we'd call this a slightly "energized" yarn, meaning the finished yarn isn't perfectly balanced. The energized way the yarn is spun was actually one of my favorite parts of knitting with it, which I wasn't expecting. The swatch off my needles had much more visible inconsistency than the final wet-blocked version shown above, but it still retains a nice little texture.
YOTH's Daughter yarn is technically a DK weight, but I was able to get gauge using the suggested needle size for the worsted version. It creates a surprisingly drapey fabric with the most wonderful nubs of domestic Rambouillet & Merino wool interspersed throughout. If I decided to knit my cardigan with garter stitch bands (more on that in an upcoming post!) I think I would've chosen this yarn. I wanted something a little cleaner for the hem treatment on my version, but I truly think this yarn would shine in an all-stockinette project like the Uniform cardigan.
Le Gros is listed as an aran weight yarn on its label, but after knitting a swatch I almost feel like this is a "light aran" or heavy worsted. My row gauge was slightly larger than the patterns called-for gauge, but only by one row over a 4" swatch. This yarn is a subtly tweedy, spongey yarn, and I was surprised how much the knitting experience reminded me of Quince's Owl. If you love that yarn but have an alpaca sensitivity, I might suggest trying Le Gros out. It is a little heavier weight than Owl, so like I mentioned above, the gauge may need some finagling depending on your natural tension.
And now to the yarn I decided to use for my Uniform cardigan, Le Petit. This was my first time using this yarn, and it was another one of those surprising skein to swatch yarns. I am living for a toothier yarn spun woolen style lately, and this yarn held double hit every single thing I was hoping to find in my Uniform cardigan. As I've found with many other yarns spun from non-finewool fiber, I do find the finished knitting is always softer than the fiber feels in skein. I actually think this phenomenon is why many knitters have a predilection for picking exclusively marshmallowy Merino yarns for their projects, so if you're reading this, never trust the skein!
Maybe it's because springtime finally feels like its arrived in Maine, but I found myself only drawn to swatches which produced a light, airy fabric, and this was the airiest of them all. This yarn is spun intentionally quite loose, and the resulting fabric has about as much air as you could possibly pack in between the wool fibers. The marl I achieved using both of these colorways was what truly pushed me over the edge to pick this yarn combination; full transparency, I am a semi-slob when it comes to coffee intake (I drink a lot of coffee), and I want this cardigan to be something I don't have to be precious with. That's possibly the silliest reason for a yarn selection, but what can I say, the swatch just felt right!