the new knit picks essential has been around for at least a year so this little review is definitely not timely. however, i had a chance to buy and try some of the newer, softer fingering weight sock yarn when knit picks was having their summer book sale. (incidentally, i got another lace book! huzzah!).
where was i? oh….yarn, like i need more sock yarn.
still, at the prices that knit picks sells their
crack yarn, how could i not get a couple of balls to qualify for free shipping? and at the time they were also introducing a new cotton-blend sock yarn and adding colorways to their essential line…i wasn’t being irresponsible by buying all the different new yarns…so why shouldn’t i try to see if their economical yarn could become a real favorite??
i’ll stop rationalizing. but bottom line, i was just curious. so here’s my two cents:
the old essential, i believe, was manufactured in italy. i have a couple pairs worth of this thinnish and somewhat scratchy yarn. i do not enjoy knitting with it (and their simple stripes). others have said that the fabric softens with washing. but honestly, my knitting time is precious and i don’t want to waste it on yarn i could live without. i have almost one cabled sock completed with the old essential. i’ll probably keep it in my ufo pile because i’m enjoying the pattern.
the new essential, on the other hand, is manufactured in peru. it’s definitely softer with a looser twist, but has a decidedly plastic-y feel that reminds me of sometimes squeaky acrylic. i knit the yarn up with size 0 needles producing a spongy fabric that feels light. i really can’t complain; i like the feel of the yarn when i knit and the resulting fabric looks good. but will it hold up? i’m not so sure. i have a feeling it will pill in the wash. of course, i can try to avoid that by hand washing. but, who has time for that?
i picked up the ‘special’ colorway of essential that they put on sale due to a sub-par dye run. i figured i’d try out the sale colors because they were described as more muted. now the colors were not glowing neon but i would say that the colors are still saturated. i will say that i don’t care for the color combo…but that doesn’t mean that you’re limited to knit pick’s color style…they have a bare line that you can color yourself. yeah!
in conclusion, as i approach the heel of my sock on my first trial run of kp essential….essentially, i like it. the yarn has the potential to be a good staple yarn, but i’ll be waiting to buy more essential until after i see how it survives the wash. (but damn the prices are tempting!!)
as always, pictures later…still no photoshop on my ‘puter.