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A skein of Heirloom Breeze
Breeze once knitted up
click each image to enlarge

Yarn Profile: Heirloom Breeze

First Impressions
I knew lycra did miracles for workout clothes, but who knew it could do so much for yarn, too?

Soft and warm with a rippled look and stretchy feel, Breeze is predominantly cotton with 30% wool and a mere 0.4% lycra for elasticity. It is manufactured in Australia and, thanks to the Internet, is easily available the world over for less than $4 per skein.

Although I've been known to hesitate where cotton yarns are concerned, Breeze left me pleasantly surprised. It's available in 14 cheerful colors, and for this review I used Red (008).

Knitting Up
Breeze is spun under extra tension so that once it's allowed to relax, the lycra causes the yarn's three two-ply plies to contract on themselves. The result is a marvelous rippled, crepelike yarn that -- when pulled taut -- is perfectly smooth.

Because it evens out under tension, Breeze gave me few if any challenges while knitting. I only had one snag, and that was in my first few rows while I was getting used to the yarn.

Although maintaining an even tension was a bit tricky because of the yarn's elasticity, my knitted fabric looked perfectly even and steady.

Blocking / Washing
My intense red swatches bled faintly in the wash, but I couldn't detect any bleeding or change in gauge. They required no blocking, drying flat and square with minimal effort on my part.

Once dry (which took quite a while), I could see that the rippled surface of my swatches had relaxed slightly, creating a more cohesive fabric with a softer look and feel

Here's where the elasticity in Breeze is especially welcome. Because cotton has very little bounce or fiber memory, pure cotton garments tend to stretch out of shape quickly and require extra washing and blocking.

But with its wool and lycra, Breeze bounces back time after time beautifully. In addition, the wool content adds a reasonable (but not overbearing) degree of warmth without a hint of scratchiness.

If you find yourself between seasons and in need of a transitional garment, you may enjoy the relatively thin, textured, and stretchy fabric of Breeze. The yarn made me a cotton convert, or at least a conditional one -- the condition being I get to use this yarn.

Depending on the color yarn and style garment you choose, Breeze will work equally well for babies, children, teens, and adults.

The yarn's crinkled texture makes even standard stockinette look lovely, although it'd support a medium degree of knitted embellishments without looking too cluttered.

I should note that Breeze is also distributed to shops in the U.S. through Russi Sales, where the retail price runs between $6 and $6.50 per skein. If you're weary about buying yarn sight unseen, you can find a shop nearby and check it out for yourself before you buy.

With the Australian prices, a medium-sized woman's jacket will only run you US$69, while a short-sleeved shell barely scratches the US$30 mark. This leaves plenty of money to cover the modest international shipping costs.

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