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A skein of Roulette
Skacel Roulette once knitted up
click each image to enlarge

Yarn Profile: Skacel Roulette

First Impressions
Captivatingly original, Skacel Roulette has a complex composition made up of one strand of multicolored ladder yarn and one strand of slubby yarn that has been plied with a thin strand of silver material around a white core.

The ladder and slub combination are, in turn, plied together with the help of a superfine single-ply strand of fiber. (View a close-up of a Roulette strand.)

The result is a shimmering, sparkling material that looks like it has fine seed beads embedded in it. Roulette reminds me of the kind of vibrant, elegant material you'd see used on the bodice of a Renaissance-era gown.

Knitting Up
Despite its complex composition, Roulette was relatively easy to knit. My only problem was that my needle kept missing the superfine thread used to bind everything together, resulting in loose loops and snags that were difficult to see against my Inox needles.

These loops and snags were easy to fix, and a few times I didn't even bother -- they ended up being fairly well hidden by the yarn's wild texture. But they did have the same distracting effect as a hovering mosquito that never bites.

When I switched from Inox Express to bamboo needles, I was able to gain some greater control, but I was never able to knit by touch alone without encountering snags.

Pesky binder strands aside, my swatches knit up quickly and evenly. The yarn's slubby texture helped conceal any potential variance in stitch form, and the color changes in the ladder yarn didn't produce any stripes or odd spotting.

Blocking / Washing
Roulette performed admirably in cold water, retaining perfect shape and losing none of its color.

When subject to a warmer bath, the swatches held up equally well, with no bleeding or gauge change to be found. They dried into perfect form without any extra blocking necessary.

I had given my swatches a modest amount of agitation in the wash, and once they'd dried I could see hairs of the superfine binder fibers protruding from the swatch surface.

To preserve your garment's perfect, just-like-new form, I'd recommend a very gentle wash with very little "swishing" or rubbing in the water.

Even while knitting up my swatches, I could tell that Roulette would be a bit more susceptible to snags against everything from rough doorways to dry skin.

Because it's prime gardening season right now, my hands had a few more rough spots than normal, and Roulette found them all. And because Roulette is a firm yarn with very little elasticity, I couldn't hide the snags with a simple tug -- they were permanent.

From a touch perspective, Roulette feels cool and refreshing against the skin. It looks heavier than it actually is, providing decent drape while lending some loft and breathability to the finished fabric.

Roulette is a striking, "adult" yarn for special occasions. As such, it should be used for maximum impact -- i.e., not for that warm and durable ski sweater, not for a welcome-to-the-world baby blanket, and most certainly not for any high-wear pair of socks.

While I was working with my swatches, I kept envisioning Roulette knit into a short-sleeve, scoop-necked form-fitting summer top (covered with a slinky cardigan if you're modest).

It'd also produce an eye-catching shawl or tank top. I don't see long sleeves as a necessity, especially since Roulette retails for $9 per 60-yard skein.

But on the positive side, if you're wearing a Roulette garment you don't need to invest in jewelry -- the yarn does it for you.

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