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A skein of Fee
Fee once knitted up
click each image to enlarge

Yarn Profile: GGH Fee

First Impressions
What happens when you blend a cuddly fluff with a crisp, shiny fiber? Many of us have already tried this ourselves by blending various yarns together, but now GGH Fee does it for us.

GGH took one strand of fluffy yarn (almost identical to Great Adirondack Fluff) and spun it with a strand of firmer nylon that's threaded with a shiny material.

Every four inches or so, the sparkle is clustered closer together for a thicker, boucle-like effect. Meanwhile, the fluffy portion has subtle color changes that produce a gently marbled look.

Together, they are a harmonious lesson in contrasts: cuddly yet crisp, come hither yet go away, hug me yet stand and admire me from afar. I've seen it described as techno fur, but to me it resembles a figure skater's costume: flowing fabric with form-fitting sparkle.

Knitting Up
Gee was surprisingly easy to work after a bit of practice. Occasionally the tip of my needle would catch one of the loops of ruffled sparkle, other times it would catch only one strand instead of both.

Because the fluff obscures almost all stitch detail, it's slightly tricky to keep track of knit and purl rows in stockinette. For relative beginners, garter stitch would be a better option.

Likewise, because it requires the ability to "read" your stitches, Fee isn't for rank beginners. Even experienced knitters will be in deep doo doo if they drop a stitch -- you're almost better off letting the stitch go and claiming that it was intentional.

Blocking / Washing
My swatches maintained their bright color even in warm water, not fading or bleeding one bit. They quickly relaxed in the wash, emerging like unhappy cats that got caught in a rainstorm.

I blotted them dry in a towel and then gave them a vigorous shake from each edge. Much to my surprise, the result was almost identical to their un-washed form. The fluff hadn't matted down or lost its sheen at all.

Fee has no elasticity or fiber memory to speak of. The fabric widened in the wash and needed to be tugged back into its original shape while wet.

Wearing
I've already mentioned that sparkly yarns -- by virtue of their special treatment -- tend to have a shorter lifespan. The shiny elements can lose their reflective coating over time. If dropped in a hot dryer, you'll end up with a miserable, melted mess.

Fee emerged from its first wash in perfect shape, even better than its fluffy counterpart, Great Adirondack Fluff. Over time, however, the furry ends will adopt a bedraggled, almost matted look like that of an old mutt.

The sparkle helps tone down any matting by giving the illusion of a crisp core from which somehow, as if by magic, the fluff emerges.

From a touch perspective, Fee is indeed warm, soft, and cuddly. If you run your fingers along the yarn, you'll feel a slight hint of scratch from the sparkle. Yet once it's knit up, the fluff obscures much of the roughness. My scarf didn't irritate my neck one bit.

Conclusion
I so enjoyed working with Fee that I decided to keep knitting my last swatch until I'd used up the skein. In no time I had a short, narrow scarf that looked almost like a fur boa with rhinestones.

If the scarf-in-an-hour trend is nearing its end, which many hope is the case, let Fee be the last hurrah. Despite the shorter lifespan and high pricetag, I'd also love to see Fee worked into a sweater either on its own or as detailing for collar and cuff (which would require less yarn and a lower pricetag).

Knit in stockinette, Fee has exceptional drape -- possibly too much for a sweater, because there's no elasticity to hold the fabric in place. Garter stitch produces a firmer fabric that can better hold the sweater's shape and support its weight.

 
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