Mostly Merino
Mostly Merino

Yarn Profile: Mostly Merino 2-Ply Worsted

First Impressions
If you like the look of "old-fashioned" wool yarn but don't like anything scratchy, this yarn is for you. It is light, warm, and best of all, unbelievably soft.

Mostly Merino is professionally spun at the Green Mountain Spinnery (from where my favorite Mountain Mohair comes) in Putney, Vermont. It is then expertly hand-dyed by Mostly Merino owner Margaret Klein Wilson.

Her colors (currently 29) are classy, earthy hues of purple, green, blue, and orange -- including the most striking, reddish pumpkin color I've seen before only in nature.

Click here for pictures and a brief interview with Margaret, whom I met recently at the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival.

Knitting Up
This yarn has a velvety soft, almost buttery texture. The fiber is deliciously saturated with dye, giving it an added dimension of depth, especially in direct sunshine.

It slid smoothly through my fingers, knitting up quickly and without any problems. I found only a few traces of organic matter.

Blocking / Washing
There was slight bleeding when I washed the swatches in lukewarm water (approx. 60 degrees) using a mild soap. The fiber relaxed into its knitted form beautifully, with a slight fuzzy sheen and very, very slight fading.

With the softening of the yarn came slight expansion in the washed swatches. My pre-washed gauge of 18 stitches per inch on 5mm needles became 17 stitches once washed.

This expansion happened after drying and being poked around quite a lot, so it's possible that I could've molded it more closely into the original size. I just wanted to see what happened without any interference. Remember to keep in mind that your garment may expand by a factor of 5.9%.

There was no pilling or fiber degradation whatsoever beyond the softening and slight fuzz that I mentioned before. Margaret Klein Wilson sleeps in her Merino sweaters, and I can understand why. Her yarns are wonderfully soft.

There are plenty of commercial yarns out there that I adore. But there's a certain something special—spirit? soul? karma?—that you can only get from a yarn that's been tenderly handled by a real human being. This is one such yarn.

It's soft, easy to handle, and knits up quickly. I'd recommend this yarn for any type of project. I particularly recommend it for those knitters who've never experienced hand-dyed, non-commercial yarns. You'll be hooked.

Previous Reader Comments
"I think that Margaret's yarn is the best. I have treated myself to her yarn on a yearly basis. Her colors are great and her sheep are nice too."  M. Conlon, 10/19/00

"I'm currently working with Margaret's new line - SAM - which is 85% merino, 15% mohair, angora, silk. This is a DK weight (2 oz approx. 160 yards) and everything Clara says in her review seems to apply to this lighter weight as well. The stiches show up nicely, not as precisely as with Jo Sharp for instance, but the result has much more personality. My swatches did expand a bit and became even softer. I can't wait to finish this sweater and I'll definitely get more yarn from Margaret."  F., 03/08/01

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