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Old 02-14-2007, 06:09 PM   #1
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100% MERINO WOOL pulled the wool over on me!
I purchased 41 skeins of 100% dk Merino Wool, in three different colors, from KnitPicks late last year.

I will use it, but, I am sadly disappointed that it is not as soft as I expected. It is obvious that Merino is not Merino is not Merino. The name "Merino" is not a guarantee for the level of softness which is what Merino is supposed to be 'all about'. Right? Like cashmere is all about softness!

My question: What should I look for to get the BEST QUALITY 100% Merino Wool?? Is there a STANDARD, besides the label "100%"?

At my LYS the other day, I "felt-up and squeezed" a skein of Merino yarn that was utterly DIVINE! So, that was a clue to the puzzlement I am feeling about the Knit Picks purchase!

Can anyone help me, or steer me towards a divinely luscious 100% Merino Wool????

Forever in your debt!!!
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Old 02-14-2007, 06:15 PM   #2
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Was it Merino Style that you bought? If so...it does get softer and softer as you wear and wash it
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Old 02-14-2007, 06:30 PM   #3
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Hi Julie,

Buggers! You are right...it is MERINO STYLE 100% Merino DK Wool.
http://www.knitpicks.com/yarns/itemi...n_display.aspx

Well, I guess that explains the modest pricing???

Well, that is a lesson learned! MERINO STYLE is code for "not really merino'????

Why then does the label say 100% merino wool...and right under the words MERINO STYLE!

So "recommended for felting' on the label...is code for "it is not as soft as you would want for a sweater".

I will eventually knit one of the reds for myself, and will handwash the finished garment, maybe add a teensy bit of Downy to the rinse water...

Thanks for the info!
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Old 02-14-2007, 06:31 PM   #4
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I have found that trying some out is about my best bet along with reading reviews.

Karabella Aurora 8 had fabulous reviews, both for softness and for how it holds up. I bought a few skeins on sale on ebay to try out for myself, and once I knew I loved it I watched for a sale and bought up a bunch when the sale finally came. One of my very favorite to knit with! I have only just started working with it, so I can't say how it will hold up to washing, but reviews are good. It says handwash but all the reviews say it's superwash. If I could only have one merino for garments (not socks) this would be it of the ones I have tried so far.

Washing can help a lot of yarns. I have some Jaeger Matchmaker 100% merino superwash and I didn't think that much of it. I finally used it for something and it softens up very nicely when washed. Not as soft as the Karabella, but still nice.

For socks, I really like Pat Fly's yarn from Angora Valley. It blooms so nicely when washed without pilling. I toss in the washer and dryer with no problems. It's similar to Socks that Rock.

I bought some Debblie Bliss 100% Superwash Merino from littleknits sale (at $24 a bag of 10 how could I resist?). It feels soft, but I haven't tried it yet. No idea how it holds up.

Baby Ull feels very nice and has a great reputation for holding up well. But again, I don't have a lot of experience with washing it myself.

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Old 02-14-2007, 06:53 PM   #5
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Merino is the type of sheep that the wool comes from...it is usually softer than other types of wool, but not always.
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Old 02-14-2007, 06:57 PM   #6
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it's the microns - hair width - that tell you how soft it is.
but I'm not sure that's on every label.

here are the grades:

* < 17.5 - Ultrafine merino
* 17.6-18.5 - Superfine merino
* < 19.5 - Fine merino
* 19.6-20.5 - Fine medium merino
* 20.6-22.5 - Medium merino
* 22.6 < - Strong merino [4]

or

* < 24.5 - Fine
* 24.531.4 - Medium
* 31.5-35.4 - Fine crossbred
* 35.5 < - coarse crossbred[6]

so I guess if it said on the label ultrafine or superfine that would be best.
but those are also the ones that pill most, I heard.
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Old 02-14-2007, 08:29 PM   #7
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I think that KnitPicks yarns are priced the way they are because they aren't of the same quality as other yarns. They're not bad, but you do get what you pay for.

Debbie Bliss Merino is heavenly to knit with. I just started with Morehouse Merino that didn't feel as soft to me as the Bliss (which is superwash) on the skein, but now that it's on the needles, it feels soft and springy and lovely.
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Old 02-14-2007, 08:40 PM   #8
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Thanks everyone! This info is just what I needed! I am doing copy/paste onto WORD right now, and printing the doc for my WALLET!

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Old 02-14-2007, 09:03 PM   #9
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I bought some 100% Merino Superwash Wool, Kraemer Yarns, Summit Hill for an afghan and it is soft and lovely. If you want I can send you a piece so you can see the difference for yourself.

The afghan isn't finished yet so I haven't been able to wash it, but it it knitting up just divinely and I am so happy with my purchase.
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Old 02-14-2007, 10:07 PM   #10
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I'll also have some leftover Malabrigo if you want if for comparing other yarns as you shop.
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