sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Henry's Attic Kona Superwash lightweight fingering specs

Henry's Attic Kona Superwash fingering lightweight
(new weight!)
2,240 yd/lb -- 100% merino superwash

Pics of yarn are of 8 oz hanks, *unscoured*



I recieved my kona superwash lightweight order from wool2dye4 and am pleasantly surprised :) First, wool2dye4 is really a good seller-- couldn't be happier with communication, product, shipping, service. Even sent me a free magnet! I'm such a sucker, really.

The kona lightweight does have a somewhat looser twist at first glance, but I remembered how much the original henry's attic kona superwash (dk weight) changed once it was washed-- it bloomed quite a bit in the wash. (It doesn't have that super twist of koigu/cherry tree hill). The cone is usually much "thinner" feeling than the hanks, but even the dk yarn on the hanks have bloomed for me-- so I figured I'd swatch and block...

Please excuse weird foggy text!

Before (about 3am under floros, after watching Iron Chef Michiba retirement battle) :

unblocked all


blocked all

Blocked, US 1 on left US 0 on right:

Blocked, US 2 on left US 1 on right:

My gauge was as follows, both blocked and unblocked:

US 0 = 9 sts/inch, 12 sts/column inch
US 1 = 8.25 sts/inch, 11 sts/column inch
US 2 = 7.5 sts/inch, 10 sts/column inch

This is my back & forth gauge, not in the round. Yours may be different, esp. in the round!! Mine is generally the same (round/back & forth)... I don't consider myself a loose or a tight knitter, fwiw.

Though the gauge didn't change, you can see how the yarn filled out after a quick rinse in kookaburra and being laid flat to dry. I admit I was a little hard on the swatch when washing (just to see)-- I rubbed the fabric on itself, and also squeezed it unceremonially dry a few times. The regular kona hasn't felted on me, but does get this fuzzy halo-- same with this yarn. I think it will probably be similar in the wash (a good thing in my book, I enjoy putting my kona superwash socks in the dryer as they always come out puffy and soft and halo-y.)

I only pressed the swatch flat to dry, I didn't pin/block/stretch it. There is quite a difference after blocking though, all my stitches evened up nicely and I can't "see thru" the fabric the same way I did when it was unblocked. (I put it on the black background to try and accentuate how unblocked you can see thru it...)

IMO, I'd use a US 1 with this yarn to be middle of the road... the US 2 is too loose for my taste. The US 0 is also quite nice as well, it may be too tight for some people though (I like it and would use it). As a middle of the road though, I'd prolly reach for my US 1's when using this yarn or thinking about subbing it in a pattern. I imagine using a US 1.5 (2.5mm) would render a gauge of 8.5 8 sts/inch, just a guess though! It may also been too loose for my taste, not certain. I'll take a closeup once I've dyed the yarn, I'd expect to see a change in the look of the yarn once washed/dyed as I did when it was knitted & blocked. My gauge stated above may also change once the yarn's dyed... I'll let yall know.

I like it, definitely. It's a heck of a deal too-- $11/8 oz from wool2dye4 (they have the best price on this right now). So, $5.50 for 4 oz of superwash merino-- 560 yards. I think that kicks Knit Picks dye-your-own yarn's arse ($4 for 440 yd/100gm of merino, but not superwash).

A little comparison interlude, for my math geeks out there...
100 gm of the Kona lightweight fingering would be about 460yd, comparation-shopper wise, a bit more but not much.
100 gm of the Kona lightweight works out to be about $4.68 $4.58 (good reason I was an english major)... so you're paying an extra .68 .58/100 grams for the kona lightweight fingering versus the knit picks color your own 100% merino wool. *And* the kona price is from wool2dye4... if you were say, a business and could buy direct from Henry's Attic instead, it'd be even cheaper (for most of us, the wool2dye4 price is cheap enough and/or we don't have a tax id to buy from HA.) This doesn't figure in the shipping cost (free for +$40 from knitpicks) to the cost, to be fair.

I don't just enjoy the superwash for the machine washability, but also when dying it I don't have to fear felting or shrinkage. I'm not as detail oriented as I should be. I can see myself dying a big batch of this lighweight to make some of the Nancy Bush patterns that usually call for 3 skeins of a premium yarn (when I'm used to 2)... I've been holding off on several of her patterns since the yarn requirements are generally 1.5x what I have in my stash/can justify buying for a project :)

(edit, 5/28: You can see my dying of the kona superwash lightweight using easter egg dyes in this post.)

Speaking of dying, my swap pal said s/he would dig either variegated or self striping yarn... what do you think? I think I'd rather do stripes (I have a fun idea for colors), but I don't know, maybe s/he won't really like stripes? Would you want stripes or variegated yarn? Thick stripes? Thin stripes? (How thick? how thin? I'm in a quandry!) If variegated, I'm going to *try* and work short blips of color instead of longer stretches of yarn...

Oh! Dye pal stuff... I swapped with trek for one of her sock bags for my sock pal, s/he likes knitting socks too and I think this is kinda a cool idea...


Looks good! Exactly what I wanted... I saw the stars print trek made for stariel and thought it would suit... and red stars on the inside :) My kid thinks it makes a great hat.

As for in progress stuff...


I'm working on a few blue squares for Cynthia (from the warming grace project)... she is asking for blue squares for a sweet boy who needs a blue blankie *asap*. Heartbreaking story, and I had to set down my other projects to start on some squares when I read it.

I was working on Hedera (looks the same! so no pics) and...


Dream Swatch headwrap redux in koigu premium painters palette merino, color p326. It'll look better blocked.

I think this is my favorite color of koigu... weird since its not really anything that I typically like-- its just the mix of colors-- teal/blue, black, pink, gold. I'm so not a pink girl, but this one really gets me. I just found out patternworks carries this color and I've been trying to avoid thinking about buying 2-3 hanks there :) This was one of those mini skeins I bought from foxyknits at Stitches West, and the thing wrapped around my shrinking ball? Hoopty diy chinatown yarnbra-- the stretchy buffers they wrap around asian pears to avoid bruising.

Just a few more pics and I'll be out of your hair...

Wool2dye4 also sent their sample card to me; the henry's attic kona superwash fingering lightweight isn't represented-- too new...


A closeup...


left to right,
Wool2dye4 supersock
monty 3/9
silk & ivory (merino/silk)
kona superwash (dk, regular weight)

I am lusting over the silk & merino. Like, trying to justify a $60/lb cone lust. Check out Grumperina's Leaf Lace shawl in it... Merino and silk socks!!! That'd be, 4 oz/$15... hm. Maybe I'll go with a 1/3 lb skein and make some super long Nancy Bush socks, you know-- to try it out first :)

Ergh, enough rambling!! :)


sheep#100 said...

Wow what a post. I liked reading about the Kona - since I have some that I am going to dye.

Jenny Raye said...

Wowser!!! Quite a post! I'll have to go back and re-read to help digest the info. Love the bag Trek made!

Thanks for the encouragement on my lace project~~gotta admit I'm having a ball. Don't tell anyone...but the lace has almost replaced socks as my main knitting love. Quit laughing! Hey, it could happen!

HPNY KNITS said...

wow is right!! you been busy girl!
you are so brave to go for dyeing. I'd go with variegated. I find most stripes too predictable.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the great review! I've got some Kona fingering weight shipping to me right now, great to see some pics of it knitted up. Sounds like a winner!
As to what method to dye, I always vote for stripes, more work, but more rewarding results!

Stacey said...

I really like how the HA bloomed up after I just have to contain my credit card! I'd gladly pay more for a superwash anyday!

(go stripey for the dye-o-rama!!)

Stacey said...

The wool2dye4 supersock looks pretty good too - tighter twist than the HA?

Anonymous said...

Wow! What a wonderfully informative post!! I'm really glad you "rambled :) Thanks for writing this. Terry

Chris said...

Thank you SO MUCH for the Kona review - I was wondering about it, and you provided everything I needed to know!

I love wide stipes, like the Regia Nation Colors...

Heide said...

Hey there Aija, thank you very much for the lovely Lisa Souza sock yarn, I LOVE IT! I just dyed some Kona superwash and it is very soft and nice to work with. Happy knitting!

soapy said...

WOW! I really need to try some of that Kona!

Susan said...

Okay if they give awards for helpful and informative blogs, you have my vote. The review was super helpful and I bet it took a lot of time. Thanks!

Freecia said...

Thanks for this post. I sent off some dye-o-rama yarn in the Kona Superwash lightweight fingering (which is definitely lightweight fingering, not middle-of-the-road fingering) and was wondering how it'd knit up.

I'm lusting after that silk and merino, too.

-freecia @

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