Yarn Profile: Polar
Rowan has added an unusual twist, however, in giving the yarn a touch of alpaca and acrylic. The result is a buttery softness, slightly heathered effect, nice weight, and just the right amount of loft.
Rowan's new yarn is available in 10 colors, with pattern support beginning with the recently released Rowan Knitting Magazine #30 (Fall 2001).
One word of warning: As with any single-ply, loosely spun yarn, you'll need to pay attention while you knit. I used Addi Turbos with a slightly dull tip that helped me avoid any significant snags or splits.
Eventually, I was able to knit by touch alone, with only a few pauses to make sure everything was intact.
Blocking / Washing
Washed, however, they became loose, relaxed, and unbelievably soft. The surface texture became a gentle fuzz after just a moderate amount of agitation in the wash, replacing the sharp stitch definition with a soft, cloudy look. The swatches themselves took on an exquisite drape that you normally don't see in this gauge yarn.
Even more surprising, however, was the fact that all this happened without any real change in gauge. Three stitches to the inch, right on the mark.
The average fiber staple length was five inches or more. If you unravel a six-inch section and pull, you'll be able to break a strand. Otherwise, while spun, it's surprisingly hefty.
As I already mentioned, the swatches developed a surface fuzz after a very basic wash. I happen to like this effect because it produces a cohesive piece of fabric.
Beyond this surface fuzz, however, Polar kept its strength through several thrashings. Finally the surface began to adopt small clumps that were -- for the most part -- easy to remove.
Sure, it has its limits. You get a slightly fuzzy look instead of crisp, clear stitch definition. You can't toss it in the washing machine. And it's only available in 10 colors.
Whether these sacrifices are worth it is up to you. For me, they are.
3 sts per inch on 8mm (US 11) needles
Average retail price
$11.95 / skein
Where to Buy Online
The Handworks Gallery
Weight/Yardage per Skein
100g. / 109 yards
Country of Origin
Manufacturer's suggested wash method
Hand wash only, cool iron, do not bleach. Dry cleanable in certain solvents, consult cleaner. Dry flat, out of direct heat and sunlight. Do not tumble dry.