Independent Yarn Review: Venezia Worsted - Cascade Yarns
70% Merino Wool
30% Mulberry Silk
Weight: 100 grams (3.5 oz)
Yardage: 219 Yds (199 m)
Recommended Needle Size:
US 7 (4.5 mm)
Gauge: 5 stitches per 1 inch
Color Palate: 42 colors
This hub is in no way intended to promote or dissuade. It is intended to share my experience using a particular yarn and hopefully provide useful feedback.
The moment Venezia Worsted landed in my hands I wanted to work with it. This yarn sits in your hand and whispers "Knit me, knit me" (or Crochet me, crochet me) while the sheen hypnotizes you. This was irresistible to me so out came my Nostepinne and I began to wind. Simply winding it into a center pull was a treat. It wound easily and moved beautifully. Like any yarn where you wind by hand make certain to wind on the loose side. If you wind it too tight you can break/stretch/weaken the plies and/or ruin the natural loft of the yarn.
The next thing was to make a swatch so I could see just what it would (and would not) do. I must admit, this yarn moves like a dream. It simply glides through the fingers and over the needles. The yarn itself has virtually no grab so it makes knitting fast and simple. I worked the yarn with both stainless steel and bamboo and even with bamboo needles the yarn is fast. The stitch definition is incredible lending itself to any stitch you wish to use from simple knit purl to cables. I was also pleasantly surprised that despite the number of plies (16) there was no splitting of the plies when knitting. Heavily plied yarns and I have a love-hate relationship. They love to hate me and I love to hate them right back. I often find when I use highly plied yarns I am constantly swearing at having split the plies. This did not happen to me once.
The next thing I like to do is make a teeny tiny swatch (2x2) that I can put through the Abuse Olympics where I will frog and re-knit, frog and re-knit. This gives me an idea of the level of abuse the yarn can take. It tells me how quickly do the plies begin to fray/break, does it stick to itself/felt to itself, does it get fuzzy quickly. I like to know just how exact I need to be when working with a fiber. As any crafter knows not all yarns are kind. Nothing is worse than knowing you have just enough to make something and then you rip back a row or two and find out that bit of yarn is unusable because of these issues. On some counts it passed with flying colors on others it did OK. When it came to tinking (un-knitting) there were absolutely zero issues. The yarn did not stick to itself in any way shape or form. It came apart just as easily as it went together. Definitely, a major plus! The level of fuzziness repeated frogging caused was minimal as well. Don't get me wrong there was some fuzzing going on after the third and fourth frog but nothing extreme that a good soak after working wouldn't make disappear so another plus there. When it came to fraying/breaking due to repeated frogging the yarn did exactly what I expected it to do. After two to three frogs you could see little areas that were wearing thin. By four and five frogs there was breaking of plies happening. Because this yarn is made of sixteen individual plies that is not surprising. Do keep in mind I am putting the yarn through the Abuse Olympics. Let's face it most are not going to frog the same bit of yarn five+ times and if they are it should be expected that a ply will end up breaking.
Making a Project
Next I decided to make the Venezia Worsted Beret so I could work with it on an actual project. The project takes one skein so I figured it would be a good choice for what the swatch didn't use. The pattern is quick and simple so I was able to watch some TV and work it at the same time. There is an omission within the pattern. Rounds 24 to 26 are not included so I looked at the picture on the pattern and winged it. Even with making my swatch and the hat I still had some of the Venezia left over to add to my worsted scraps. Once the hat was done I soaked it overnight, gave it a quick hand wash in cold water with some mild detergent and a rinse with fabric softener and let it dry. Once more the yarn passed with flying colors.
Overall, I truly enjoyed working with this yarn. Pattern support for it is available through the Cascade website; 22 free patterns ranging from one skein hats to sweaters which use nine skeins for the largest size. Pricing for this yarn when searched on-line ranged anywhere between $14 to $17 per skein. If you catch a good sale don't hesitate to treat yourself. For the yardage and how well it works up it is well worth the price in my opinion.
Copyright William Souza 2014