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

Yarn Profile: Dalegarn Hauk

First Impressions
If you thought Teflon was just for cookwear, think again. Dale of Norway—known for its detailed, colorful outdoor knitwear—has just begun applying this same material to its yarns.

The goal is to create an even more weather-friendly fiber than wool already is.

Dale's new Teflon-treated yarn is called Hauk. It's so new, in fact, that most stores won't be getting their order for a few weeks yet. Be patient, and read on so you'll know what to expect.

Hauk is totally interchangeable with Dale's non-Teflon, pure-wool counterpart, Heilo, which means you'll have plenty of patterns at your disposal. Heilo is also the oldest yarn from Dale, having been produced since 1938.

For the sake of this review, I also swatched Heilo so I could get a clearer comparison of where the Teflon came in handy and where it wasn't noticeable.

Knitting Up
A standard four-ply yarn, Hauk gave me few troubles while knitting. The four plies looked occasionally loose and snag-prone, but when held under tension, the yarn behaved itself nicely. As with other similar yarns, the plies tended to undo themselves on the last stitch of each row.

The yarn has a dry feel to it, rugged but not scratchy. The fibers have a long staple of five inches or so, with some crimp but not as much as the super-soft, shorter-staple Merino. The longer staple means greater durability.

My stitches were even, and the edges of my swatches curled in on themselves tightly—something I hoped blocking would fix.

Blocking / Washing
I was curious to see if the fibers would even allow water, being coated with Teflon and all. They did, but not before showing a curious phenomenon: the water lodged itself in the pockets of each stitch, making hundreds of tiny diamond-like bubbles all over the fabric surface.

Even during the wash, when I'd pull my swatches out and squeeze them partly dry, I could see hundreds of tiny sparkles. The color didn't bleed a bit, and the swatches dried perfectly flat and smooth.

The fiber bloomed slightly, giving the fabric a more even cohesive and even surface. There was absolutely no change in gauge.

Wearing
Again, Hauk is interesting in that it's definitely not a plush super-soft merino, but it's not really scratchy either. Just rough. Especially after washing, it became smoother.

Because of the long staple length of each fiber that composes Hauk, the yarn will survive a great deal of wear and tear before showing any signs of fatigue. Even pills took a long, long time to appear.

Of course the real story here is the Teflon. I wasn't sure what to expect, and it took several tests to see what the real value is.

While the water didn't form distinct beads when it hit the surface of the swatches, it did sit on the top of the fabric and not sink in, at least not quickly. Moreover, when I gave my swatches a quick shake, the water seemed to fly off much more easily than in the non-Teflon Heilo.

I moistened the top of one swatch, set it on a piece of paper, and came back several minutes later—the water was still on top, and the paper was still dry. By comparison, the water passed through my Heilo swatches and onto the paper below.

This works in the opposite direction, too, which you may or may not want: The yarn won't absorb perspiration. If you're exercising outdoors, you're advised to wear a moisture-wicking undershirt to you'll stay warm and dry.

Conclusion
Dale is known for beautiful, intricate, and rugged outdoor wear. Dale is also known for adorable colorful children's patterns.

In both cases, Hauk is a brilliant addition. It's not an end-all solution to getting wet, but it will give you a little added protection.

From a wearability standpoint, it is highly durable and entirely appropriate for all everyday garb. Normally I joke about yarns not being suitable for teenage soccer teams, but in this case, Hauk would be perfect. Likewise, it'd make any sweater-wearing person (or pooch) extremely happy.

 
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