Yarn Profile: Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool
Perhaps this could be a byproduct of the fiber itself, a wool from sheep raised on the vast Peruvian highlands. Does altitude impact the quality of a sheep's fiber? I don't know—but this is one clean eco-friendly yarn.
The first major difference you'll notice with Ecological Wool is that it is composed of smooth, relatively long-staple fibers that have been worsted-spun. This means you have a very smooth, "unjumbled" yarn with a flatness and drape reminiscent of alpaca.
It comes in enormous 478-yard hanks in four natural, undyed shades ranging from white to brown.
The stitch definition with this yarn is so lovely, in fact, that I was sorely tempted to stray from protocol and add cables and other embellishments to my swatches.
Blocking / Washing
Although the label advises cold water, my swatches did perfectly fine in warm water too.
With the warm water and a confident bit of thrashing, the swatches relaxed and filled out into lovely, cohesive pieces of knitted fabric without any change in gauge. Stitches were even more consistent, and the swatches formed perfect squares—there was no need for blocking.
This yarn walks the line and remains soft to the touch, with only a faint hint of scratchiness around sensitive areas such as the neck. It's no merino, but it's close.
From a durability standpoint, Ecological Wool was a trooper. Standard wear and tear produced very little visible signs of distress in the swatches.
Fibers remained intact, with only faint signs of pilling on the fabric surface. A few seemingly thinned areas popped back into perfect form with one or two tugs.
With more friction, the swatches gradually did cross the line into blurrdom, but it seemed somehow fitting with the yarn's already soft, unadorned nature.
At $15 per 478-yard yank, the yarn is an excellent value. You'll probably end up buying three hanks for any medium-sized project with stitchwork, giving yourself leftovers for a hat or mittens—all for under $50.
The only potential issue I foresee is one of color aesthetics: If you like bright purples and blues and other distinctively dyed hues, you may need to pass on Ecological Wool. But if you find creative inspiration from the natural whites, creams, and browns found in nature, you'll be well served with this yarn.
3.5 stitches per inch on US 10 needles
Average retail price
Where to buy online
One Fine Yarn
Weight/yardage per skein
250g / 478 yards
Country of origin
Manufacturer's suggested wash method
Hand wash with mild soap in cold water. Lay flat to dry, avoiding exposure to direct sunlight.
Color used in review