Friday, April 29, 2011

Susan's first review!

Today I have a special treat for you, dear readers. Susan, one of our newest Loops Troops, recently volunteered to start reviewing yarns for us. Actually, it was more of a very nice command, as in "I'm so in love with yarn that I'm going to start working my way through the store, swatching and reviewing all the yarns, whether you want to use the reviews or not!"

Susan's ability to command might have something to do with the fact that she's a former Weapons Technician for the US Navy. Although you would never, ever guess this from her sweet, patient demeanor. And just look at this friendly face:

Anyway, Susan has many talents, including great improvisational knitting skills and, it turns out, a nice writing style! So without further ado...take it away, Susan!

Lang Sol Dégradé Review by Susan N.
Overall Rating: 4.75 of 5 Stars

I've knit with flat "shoelace" yarns before. It was a lot like knitting with a shoelace. Well, yards and yards of it. Who in the world wants to knit with a shoelace? Not me, ladies and gents, not me, and take my word for it, you don't want to either. But, Lang's Sol Dégradé is not a typical shoelace yarn.

For starters, the Sol Dégradé is 100% of the the softest cotton I've had the privilege of working with. To top that off, it's also saturated in gorgeously intense colors that gently fade from one shade to the next.

The first shipment to arrive was one lonely bag that made the trek all the way from Italy. It sat on the back shelf in the Utica store for what seemed like an eternity while I gave it googly eyes and snuck in to caress it at every opportunity. I had a really hard time not sneaking some home so I could make a surprise sample in time for it to be released. Oh, just kidding, Shelley. Kind of. On a very cold and snowy winter's day I finally had the official go ahead to make a project with the Sol for the upcoming Hot Loops wall. Woo-hooo! Within a few days, that entire bag was at home with me. I could get started as soon as I had the pattern!

Ah, the pattern. It had not yet arrived with the yarn. So I waited. And waited. Sol was forced to sit in my stash and be admired from afar like a long-lost high-school sweetheart that married the other girl instead. Sigh.

Eventually, the pattern books arrived - stacks and stacks of them - full of beautiful Italian clothes. (You really do need this book.) The pattern arrived just in time for me to work furiously and intensely to finish it in time which was a joy to do with the Sol. It's as soft to knit with as it is to caress and was immediately upgraded from "shoelace" to "pressed Italian cotton". The speed at which I was able to knit this was impressive. It's just slippery enough to fly through the fingers without being...well, slippery. The color changes were fun to watch and occurred often enough that it was no problem at all to knit just one more row so many times that an hour flew by in the blink of an eye. I also like that the color changes softly giving a fading effect without striping or pooling. Dropped stitches were a non-issue because this yarn doesn't run.

I finished my cardigan at the very last minute - I was sewing on the button as I drove it to the photo shoot!

I loved this yarn so much, I immediately cast on for another project - the Destroyed Cowl, a free pattern on Ravelry. Since I usually think I can get away with knitting a pattern my own way - the way of "close enough" - I've already finished, completely frogged it, and re-knit it. All for the greater good, because now I can tell you the very best trait of Lang's Sol de Grade: frogability. Pressed Italian Cotton is hands-down the easiest yarn to frog and re-knit and I bet if you frogged it half a dozen times you wouldn't be able to tell. It doesn't stick, it doesn't pill and it only takes a second to rip a row.

So here's my twice-Destroyed Cowl, modeled by new knitter, Sue.

Sol Dégradé is a great, lightweight summer yarn that knits up fast on size 7 to 10 needles, perfect for trying out your own design or a pattern involving techniques that are new to you. Or, your first (or fifteenth) cardigan. - Susan

To shop Lang Sol Dégradé, go here.

- Shelley
shop online at


Blogger Ms Blondie Knits said...

Shelley, were you posting INSTEAD of or IN ADDITION to watching the wedding this morning? Nice review, Susan. Makes me want to go buy some right now, and I DID get paid today! :-)

April 29, 2011 at 8:07 AM  
Blogger binkwaffle (Holly) said...

Good review, Miss Susan!

April 29, 2011 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger loretta said...

A spot-on review Miss Susan! I knit 2 Effin scarves with this yarn and it was heavenly knitting. Looks like we'll both be adding this to our stash boxes.

May 1, 2011 at 5:46 AM  
Blogger Estela said...

Thanks for the review Susan, I'm new to knitting and I think this will be a great help for me.

May 6, 2011 at 12:17 PM  

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