As part of The Crochet Circle Podcast I buy, crochet (and knit) with different yarns and then provide feedback on them. Here's my review of Regia's - Arne & Carlos Design Line sock yarn.
Back in February 2016, I went to a workshop with Arne and Carlos at Black Sheep Wools in Culcheth, near Warrington. It is fair to say that they are great fun and have fabulous personalities which really came across during the workshop that we had in the morning and presentation in the afternoon.
We even managed to squeeze in a quick interview with them for The Crochet Circle Podcast, which you can hear at http://thecrochetcircle.podbean.com/
Add into the mix that I started to learn how to knit socks in January. So, when I saw that Arne and Carlos had teamed up with Regia to create their Design Line sock yarn, I felt that I really had to give it a go.
I chose the shade Summer Night (03657) (http://us.schachenmayr.com/yarns/regia-4-ply-design-line-arne-carlos)
This is an engineered yarn that is specifically designed for sock knitting. Given that our podcast is about crochet, I thought I would test it out to see whether it was suitable for crochet projects also.
I started out by testing double crochet, half treble and treble stitches and quickly came to the conclusion that the colour pooling wasn't great and needed to find a different stitch. I then saw a friend's tweed/linen stitch crochet project and thought it would be perfect for the yarn (you can see the outcome of all of these stitches to the left and the Tweed/Linen stitch is at the top of the sample).
Having photographed the initial stitch sample, I unraveled the yarn and decided to see how it would fare as a crocheted sock. Given that I wanted a 50g ball to go quite far, I opted for a pair of baby booties/socks (6-9 months for my friend's baby 'The Duke') and a pair of knitted socks to fit her other four year old son, 'Winkie'. I still had a little yarn left over, even though I had pattern matched both pairs and therefore created a little wastage.
The baby booties were crocheted up using a 4mm hook and the yarn only split a little which may have been exacerbated by my having already crocheted the yarn once and then unraveled and rewound it. The yarn wasn't prone to splitting the first time around. This link will take you to my Ravelry project page for the booties: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/MaDashper/crocheted-baby-socks
Given that the yarn has really been created for sock knitting, I thought I should do that too. You can see my results by going to the following Ravelry project page: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/MaDashper/basic-socks-2 Again, there were no real issues in using this yarn, it only split a little but probably wouldn't of had I not already used it once. I knitted the socks with 2.5mm DPNs and there was just the right amount of stickiness between the yarn and the Symfonie needles.
There was no discernible difference in the feel of the yarn, whether crocheting or knitting with it. What I would say is that is that there is a slight amount of crunch with it which means that it isn't as soft a other yarns (like Socks Yeah!). You can almost feel a starchiness within the yarn as it runs through your fingers which is okay but not ideal for me.
Where this yarn wins out is that the engineered pattern is absolutely fabulous and I have been asked time and time again whether it is Fair Isle. I really do wish I was that good at Fair Isle!
I guess that the big question is - will I ever use this yarn again?
Yes - I would knit a pair of socks for somebody else using this yarn (somebody less fussy than I am about what is on my feet).
Possibly - I would use the yarn to crochet a project using tweed/linen stitch.
No - I wouldn't use the yarn to crochet more socks/booties, but I wouldn't do this with any patterned yarn having done this yarn review.
It is worth conducting a search on Ravelry for crocheted projects using this yarn. There are some other socks and I suspect that the yarn looks better crocheted for bigger socks. It still isn't for me, but may be right up someone else's street.
The couple of small niggles that I have are that:
- The yarn is 75% wool but is a bit lacking in softness.
- I suppose that the wool used is a blend - nothing the matter with that, but I would like more detail. A blend of what?
- There is no information on the ball band about where the yarn is manufactured. I think this is essential information in this day and age.
On the upside:
- The patterning when knitted looks amazing.
- For engineered sock yarn this is in a comparable price range with others.
- The combination of colours (across the range) is very well thought out and complimentary.
- Regia yarns come with a 10 year guarantee, with faulty yarns being replaced.