April 24, 2015 7 min read 0 Comments
This weeks yarn is really interesting and incredibly versatile. Cheeky Merino Joy is a sport weight 100% Merino, machine washable yarn produced in the UK from Patagonian Merino.
Knowing where your yarn comes from …
Many knitters are becoming keenly aware of where the fibre they work with comes from and the journey it takes to get to them. The owners of Rosy Green Wool are as passionate about the source of their fibre as they are about the processing it receives, meaning you really can trace the journey of your yarn. They have lots of great information on their website if you are interested.
Most importantly the wool is Global Organic Textile Standard approved meaning:
(Details taken from www.rosygreenwool.com)
The wool is spun and dyed in the UK by small business that are fully Global Organic Textile Standard compliant.
If sport weight is not your thing, the yarn is also available in Big Merino Hug (Aran weight) and once a year limited edition yarns featuring rare breed yarns are released.
I was really excited to try this yarn, especially considering it is a sport weight yarn. This weight is less common in the UK and sits neatly between a 4ply and a double knit weight. Sport weight is far more common in the USA and there are lots of patterns out there calling for this yarn weight. I often find myself longing for a great sportweight yarn that I can source in the UK without having to ship it half way across the world.
My take on the yarn
This yarn is soft, bouncy and utterly delightful. Rachel kindly sent me a skein in the Rose Garden colourway to try. I have thoroughly enjoyed swatching with it and I think it might be the perfect yarn for a cardigan I have had in my sights for a while (more about that later).
As soon as I touched the yarn I knew it would be the ideal yarn to knit for little ones; the fine soft wool is great for delicate skin. It would also make an excellent choice for those who are not fond of wool because they find it a little itchy and works well for garments and accessories to be worn next to the skin.
320m / 350 yds per 100g skein
100% Organic Merino
Suggested gauge 24sts and 34 rows to 10cm square
There are sixteen glorious shades available including brilliant brights, marvelous muted shades and a superb range of neutrals. I have it on good authority though that new colours are planned for the autumn! They also offer limited edition colourways so keep your eye out for these fabulous shades too.
Looking for some pattern inspiration?
Here is a selection of my favourite knits that would be fabulous choices for this yarn.
Wee Envelope by Ysolda Teague
Although the original yarn Jill Draper Makes Stuff Mohonk is slightly different in character to this smooth Merino I do think Cheeky Merino Joy would make a brilliant Wee Envelope. In fact I am going to use my skein to make a lovely red Wee Envelope for a friends brand new baby.
Sizes available: Seven sizes from 0-3 months – 4 years
Little Oak by Alana Dakos
This beautiful cardigan comes in a wide range of sizes and features the stunning details we have come to expect from Alana Dakos. The stitch definition of Rosy Green Wool Cheeky Merino Joy would be perfect for the details on the yoke, and the beautiful soft fibre would mean this cute cardigan could be worn next to the skin too.
Sizes available: Ten sizes from 6 months to 14 years
Dunes by Justyna Lorkowska
I love the cable details in this pullover and think the stitch pattern would work wonderfully with the crisp stitches from this wool. Choosing one of the lighter shades would mean the cables really pop, and I love the cute short sleeve version – perfect for the warmer months and a great option for autumn too.
Sizes available: Six sizes from 12 months to 10 years
Seedling Shrug by Monika Sirda
As the weather warms little shoulders often need a pretty extra layer to throw over summer dresses and tee-shirts. The Seedling Shrug by Monika Sirda is a fantastic option for when you need an extra touch of warmth. You only need a single skein for all but the largest sizes too so it’s a great quick knit and a lovely way to add a pop of colour this summer.
Sizes available: Nine sizes from 6 months to 14 years
Ravi Junior by Carol Feller
Ravi Junior by Carol Feller
Carol Feller has so many amazing designs and Ravi is no exception. Ravi is an interesting, but very manageable knit, worked in two directions with a short rows yoke and a pretty A-line shaped body knit downwards. This is a great project to develop your knitting skills and create a fantastic cardigan for the little one in your life. Carol also has an adult version – perfect for matching cardigan sets.
Ravi by Carol Feller
Ravi Junior | sizes available: Seven sizes from 6 months to 10 years
Ravi | sizes available: Seven sizes from 31.25” / 79.5cm to 54.75” / 139cm
New to short rows? Why not try knitting the baby version first to get to grips with all the techniques and then transfer these to an adult garment for yourself? Carol Feller has two excellent Craftsy classes too covering short rows in exceptional detail. The shorter class is completely free and I highly recommend the slightly longer version, it represents excellent value and understanding short rows will revolutionise your knitting!
CraftsyKnitting Short Rows 101 (FREE CLASS)
Craftsy Essential Short Techniques (PAID CLASS)
Pomme de Pin by Amy Christoffers
This is the cardigan of my dreams and as soon as I saw the Cheeky Merino Joy skein I knew it would be the perfect match for this cardigan. The all over lace pattern and relaxed fit are exactly what I look for in a cardigan, matched with the beautiful shawl collar, this is a stand out garment. I think it would an excellent addition to my autumn wardrobe, now to decide which colour to knit with.
Vitamin D by Heidi Kirrmaier
This beautifully shaped cardigan would be an ideal companion to the soft drape of Cheeky Merino Joy. This relaxed open fronted cardigan has a very flattering shape and lovely little details like the eyelets cascading along the body. The perfect cover up for cooler spring and summer evenings.
If you are looking for something a little quicker to knit or want to update your accessories collection, here are some great pattern options to pair with this exceptional yarn. The added bonus of such soft merino means it is ideal for hats and shawls, lovely and soft against the skin.
We might be moving into summer but a hat is always a great project whatever the season, and if you knit one now you will be warm and cosy come autumn. This is my favourite trio of hats for sport weight yarn.
Ivy Trellis Hat by Alana Dakos
Another beauty from Alana Dakos taken from her second nature inspired book, Botanical Knits 2. Ivy Trellis features meandering cables and delicate leaf details, covering this stylish tam shaped hat, striking but super stylish.
It comes in one size that will fit a 20 – 22” head and you could easily knit this from a single skein. I think it would look really beautiful in the current limited edition Cinnamon, or equally beautiful in Lucky Clover or Wild Mallow.
Encircle by Woolly Wormhead
A brilliant hat design by the talented design Woolly Wormhead. Interesting construction, delicate cables and a great cloche shape make this an interesting knit and flattering hat.
Sizes available: Five sizes from 16” / 40.5cm to 24” / 61cm
Loch by Emily Wessel
This hat and mitten set is from the Handmade in the UK book by Emily Wessel (half of the design duo). Both the book and the single pattern are available from Tangled Yarn.
Loch by Emily Wessel
I love the simplicity and detail of this hat. It also comes in a wide range of sizes meaning you can knit one for you and the little ones in your life. You could easily get a matching hat and mitten set for a child from a single skein too!
Sizes available: Hat, five sizes from baby to adult large.
Sizes available: Mittens, four sizes from toddler to adult large.
Want to experiment with colour?
Finally the perfect summer project, a shawl with infinite colour opportunities! Melanie Berg creates fantastic shawl patterns and her design Drachenfels is no exception.
Knitted using three colours of Cheeky Merino Joy, this three-colour shawl is the perfect canvas to explore the gorgeous shades available in the Rosy Green Wool Cheeky Merino Joy. I am instantly drawn to the gorgeous neutral palette but you could also opt for a selection of soft pastels or a combination of bright colours. Let your imagination run wild.
There are also lots of beautiful (and colourful) examples of this shawl on Ravelry if you are looking for inspiration.
I hope you have enjoyed this selection of inspiring patterns; I can highly recommend this yarn, it knits up a dream!
Clare Devine is a writer and designer. Originally from South Africa she has nomadic tendencies and is currently knitting her way around the UK. She is passionate about all things fibre related (especially if it’s grey), knitting, travel and sunshine in equal measures.
She regularly blogs at www.yarnandpointysticks.com. You can find her on Ravelry as Knitsforklipskaap, Twitter as @_ClareDevine and Instagram as @Clare.Devine.
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