YARN REVIEW OF APPLEDORE LACEWEIGHT by JOHN ARBON TEXTILES
About a 3 minute read
John Arbon Textiles have released a heavy laceweight version of Appledore. Having worked with the Appledore DK to make the Bushel Blanket and Cushion pattern, I was keen to give the laceweight a whirl.
The yarn launch coincided with me self-publishing my Drucilla Shawl. It’s an open textured crochet shawl that can be made as a triangle or corner to corner (C2C) and doubles over for extra warmth.
There was a little nugget of yarn leftover from making the C2C Drucilla Shawl and I used that to work up a quick knitted lace and cable swatch.
So, the following review is based on having knitted and crocheted with Appledore Laceweight yarn.
This is the Drucilla Shawl in Appledore Laceweight and shade Hangy Down. Shown as a 200g C2C shawl, it can also be made with 100g as an even lighter triangular shawl. The pattern also covers making a 4ply and DK version.
- It comes in a whopping 20 shades!
- Available in 50g/275m/301yds skeins £10 per 50g and a triangular Drucilla Shawl can be made with 100g and 200g for an extra squishy C2C version. I used the colour ‘Hangy Down’.
- Blend of 40% Devon Closewool, 40% Romney and 20% Exmoor Blueface with all of the wool being sourced from the West Country of England.
Devon Closewool – wool that has a bit of crunch to it and lots of body. The fleece is very white.
Romney – gorgeous locks that can be white, silver, brown or black (I suspect Appledore uses the white fleeces only). The resulting wool is soft and lustrous.
Exmoor Blueface - crossbreed of Exmoor Horn and Bluefaced Leicester (BFL). The Horn gives crisp white wool (think amazing cables and texture) and the BFL brings a soft white wool with lustre.
Most shades are shown on the left in the Appledore Laceweight. On the right is the crocheted Bushel Blanket uses all 20 shades in the DK weight.
WORKING WITH THE YARN
For both crochet and knitting, the wool was evenly spun and didn’t split when being worked up. I find that splitting is usually worse for crochet (because I am right-handed and most yarns are S twist, so untwist as you crochet with them). Appledore laceweight (and DK), didn’t present me with any problems on that front.
The yarn is worsted spun, so as you make a crocheted or knitted stitch, it presents really well with just a smidge of fibre halo. This isn’t a plump yarn, so again, when you create a stitch, you really see the stitch definition. For this reason, I think it is particularly suitable for lace, cables and open, lacey crocheted textured fabrics.
The single strand of laceweight shows the even twist, slight fibre halo and melange of colours in 'Hangy Down'.
SWATCHING & BLOCKING
I recommend swatching with this yarn before you embark on a large project with it. The nature of the blend and spinning process means that it doesn’t have a lot of spring to it. If your gauge is off, even an aggressive wet block may not save you.
When I wet blocked my Drucilla shawl, the gauge only went from 8 to 7.5 V stitches and 11 to 11.5 rows over 10cm/4”.
With the knitted sample, you can see the difference that wet blocking and pinning to dry made to the texture and pattern of the knitted lace and cables.
Of the 20 shades of Appledore, 13 of them have an obvious melange effect. The other seven either show a blend of shades or tones of the same colour (Hoary Morning, Dabinett, Payhembury, Tom Putt, Golden Knob, Billy Down Pippin), or are self-coloured (Fair Made – which is the undyed wool blend).
The thirteen melange options are particularly beautiful and when worked up, have a hand-carded and spun quality to them.
Having a range of 20 shades to go at makes it very easy to find winning contrast colour combinations or clusters of warm, cool or natural tones.
OTHERS PROS OF APPLEDORE LACEWEIGHT
- Easy to frog and pull back
- Spit splices very quickly and creates a stable join.
IN FIVE WORDS
The five words I would use to describe Appledore Laceweight are:
Pretty much anything where a light and warm yarn is required. I would happily crochet and knit with this wool to make accessories (shawls, hats, mittens), garments for layering up and I would particularly like to see a crocheted blanket from it.
Whatever is made with it, you can guarantee it will be warm, lightweight and a delight to work with.
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About Fay Dashper-Hughes
My name is Fay and I design crochet and knitwear patterns. I love proper woolly wool and showing crochet off for the beautiful, versatile craft that it actually is. Inspired by nature, architecture, Scottish landscapes and British wool.
Generally found in my happy place, my craft studio, affectionately known as The Hive.