When the Parisien Yarn Store "La Bien Aimée" announced their line of hand-dyed yarns, I was immediately hooked. The sister store to L’OisiveThé, a yarn and tea shop (!) and one of Steven West's favourite hang outs, I knew that whatever yarns they were going produce that they were going to be of high quality.
I purchased two hanks of yarn the day of the shop update and it was not easy finding yarns in the color ways I wanted that weren't sold out! Thankfully I managed to snag a couple in a good fingering yarn base.
More detailed review is below!
Seeing the hanks in person did not disappoint. The Omma in the Dogwood is a soft, pink color way with various tones of pinks alternating through the yarn. Rainbow Graffiti is an absolute pleasure to behold: the vivid specks of color gives the yarn a playful mood, promising an entertaining knit.
The MCN base is 80% merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon. This blend results in a strong, sturdy yet soft and non-irritating* yarn. Taking a closer look at the yarn, I only noticed one small area in the Omma color way where the piles untwisted and piled up. Comparing the two yarns, it looks like Rainbow Graffiti has more of a halo than Omma does.
With prices starting at 25 euros and being only available at L’OisiveThé, this yarn can get pricey and tricky to get a hold of, since the graffiti color ways sell out fast! However, at a generous 437 yards/400m per hank, this will make for an excellent sock yarn or a lovely, draped shawl, making it worth your money.
*Testing the itchiness and irritability is the most subjective point of yarn reviews.
I knit the swatches in stockinette stitch on US size 5 needles. Knitting in both these color ways was excellent. The threads were soft on my hands, and they slid off the needles smoothly and quickly. While I was knitting with my standard metal needles, which usually helps the yarns to slide off, I've had fingering weight merino yarns that still cling to the needles and squeak. I was astounded at how remarkably smooth knitting in the Omma color way was. Knitting the Rainbow graffiti swatch was just a blast as watching the change in colors on the yarn added to the excitement of seeing how it would show up on the swatch.
There was no splitting in the stitches, no piling in the yarn and held up to my yank test.
The swatches took well to the water, as I could feel the yarns bloom and relax. No color bleeding in the water, and especially none in the Rainbow Graffiti. I blocked the yarns normally, without any stretching.
The stitch definition in the dried swatches are very good. Straight v's, clear distinction between the ridges of the garter stitch borders. This is listed as a 4ply/high twist yarn, and the results don't disappoint. This makes the yarn also ideal for textured and cabled stitches, if you are inclined to do so! The yarn is very elastic and holds memory well. I noticed more of a halo/fuzz in the Rainbow Graffiti color way than in the Omma, but that is probably from the dying process (don't quote me on that, I'm not a yarn dyer!).
Pros: These are excellent yarns: with a generous amount of yardage, very durable, exciting color ways, projects knit up in this base will last a long time.
Cons: Pricey and only available in Paris, international shipping adds an extra cost.
Final Grade: You will have to save up quite a bit but it is a high quality yarn that will produce excellent knits, making it worth every centime. Grade: A.
Have you worked with this yarn? What were your impressions of it? What did you make with it?
For the next review, what yarn would you like me to review next: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter or Plucky Knitter Bello Worsted? Leave your answers in the comments below!