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A skein of fluff
A strand of fluff

Yarn Profile: Great Adirondack Fluff

First Impressions
If you're allergic to cats or live in an apartment that won't allow them, let me make a suggestion: Get a skein of Fluff instead. This marvelous rayon concoction from Great Adirondack Yarn Co. has the weight and softness of a cat, with none of the mess.

Fluff is hand-dyed with rich, deep colors that flow seamlessly from one to another with no "whoops" spots of undyed yarn or overdyed bloches. The color saturation is full, and the subtleties are truly eye-catching.

The yarn is composed of a silky core with strands of "fluff" protruding at even intervals. The rayon core provides strength and a heavy, relaxed drape, while the strands conceal this core and give the illusion of fluff. The yarn feels soft and cool against skin.

Knitting Up
Fluff is surprisingly easy to knit up, in spite of the relative chaos in each strand. Rayon tends to slide much more effortlessly than wool fibers. So although the fluff strands did wrap around my needles when they shouldn't have, I could just keep knitting and they'd pop out by themselves. In this way, it's easier to knit than even your basic brushed mohair.

Although the fluff strands look like they're precariously attached to the yarn, I didn't lose a single one during the course of the review. There was no shedding whatsoever.

One caveat: As you may guess from the above photos, it's extremely difficult to track your stitches once you've made them. Keep your work loose, stay at a medium pace, and you'll stand a chance of avoiding dropped stitches and/or figuring out where they went.

Blocking / Washing
The yarn bled significantly during the wash, but this didn't result in any fading of the dried garment.

When I removed the swatches from the water, they looked like drowned rats. I seriously doubted they'd ever recover.

The swatches took a long time to dry. When they did, they looked surprisingly similar to the unwashed swatches. All I noticed was a subtle loss in sheen.

Fluff is exquisite, but it isn't a high-wear yarn. With just a minimum amount of rubbing, the previously silky strands of fluff became fuzzy and matted. With more rubbing, all the beauty of this yarn was entirely lost.

I guess my recommendation would be to go as long as you possibly can without washing Fluff. When you do, use only the smallest amount of soap, keep agitation to a minimum, and remember the fabric softener.

Despite the wearability shortcomings, Fluff is still on my short list for last-minute gift yarns. One skein made me a sizeable scarf, using US 11 needles and knitting 13 stitches of stockinette until I ran out of yarn.

You can knit up an entire scarf in just a few hours, with exquisite results that conceal the underlying simplicity of the project.

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Previous Reader Comments
"I have made 7 fluff scarfs for Christmas presents. It is fun yarn to work with and the compliments have been many. Very difficult to find in retail stores." mmcsoley, 2/14/2002

"Thanks for the recommendation! Since trying Fluff, I have gone back to my local shop for more scarf-type yarns and I've rediscovered my love of knitting." cterrone, 8/3/2001

"I'd like to know exactly the size of the scarf that one skein of Fluff made. It looks like fun yarn but at that price, I'mabit cautious!" acdavis, 7/9/2001

Excellent question! My scarf measured approximately 3 1/2" wide by 50" long. Because the fluff adds even more volume than this, if the scarf were any wider or longer it would almost be too much around your neck. - Clara

"Looking forward to trying this idea with some unusual yarns already in my stash. Could also make an interesting triangle-shaped scarf I would suppose." jfagan, 7/8/2001

"I recently bought some Fluff when I was in Chicago--it is the MOST sensuous yarn I have knitted with. The color I used was Cancun--simply gorgeous in a very long scarf. I can't wait to wear it with my eggplant wool coat this winter." zknits, 7/7/2001

"I bought some fluff when i first got back into knitting. I knit pretty much in a vacuum - at least, I did back when I bought this stuff. No advice, no idea what size needles or how many stitches to begin a scarf with so (who would believe 13 would make a perfect width scarf)I raveled that scarff 2 times before it was finished and it made the lovely long silky hairs look curly instead of lying flat. I actually liked the curly look, though it was not quite as fabulously silky as before the kinks. It's a great winter scarf and has held up well for 2 winters. I haven't washed it yet because it hasn't really gotten dirty." Bess, 7/07/2001