The great thing about Instagram is that South African crafters love it, and share the beautiful yarns they’re using. There are two enthusiastic Sally’s I’m following – wooldiaries, and PinkHairGirlKnits – and they started posting pics of the stunning sock yarn they were using from a shop called Electric Carnation.
After the great posts and seeing gorgeous photos of Electric Carnation’s various yarns online, I contacted Em (Maritali) through Hello Pretty to feature it as the Yarn of the Month for Your Family magazine. We had a little chat and I decided to go with an ombre yarn as they’re so much harder to find in South Africa, and I am in love with a gentle gradient. Em asked what colour I’d like and I thought some aqua shades would be lovely – so I was beyond pleased when she shipped two gorgeous, squishy, merino 4-ply 100g balls of yarn to my office named ‘Samantha’s Aqua’. She doesn’t have stock on hand and dyes for each order, and makes balls from 100g to 400g – perfect for an effortless, perfect shawl. She says, ‘I have always loved complex, rich colours, and an ombre is colour in motion. It also makes for such striking knitted items. This specific colourway was inspired by the colour of clear pools on a sunny day.’
This Twinkle Sock had a gorgeous silver glimmer and I decided a yarn of this caliber deserved to be knitted up for a yarn review and not just photographed all wound up. ‘This particular yarn base, my “Twinkle sock” has silver-coloured sparkles,’ says Em, ‘In the aqua yarn I dyed for this article the sparkles add a “sunlight on water” effect. The way the ombre is dyed also means that each dye-lot is unique, and many of the yarns I dye are custom colours, whether inspired by a client’s photo, a phrase or colour request.’ The yarn is soft, and gets softer as you knit. It also comes with lovely touches, like beads on each yarn end so they can be easily found (I love that! Isn’t it a pain to try fish out the end of the yarn??)
I found the perfect pattern on Ravelry – Song of the Sea. The wave like pattern worked perfectly with the aqua shades of the yarn and it was quite a fun knit. I don’t work a lot with 4-ply yarns as I find them fiddly, but this was a dream and I LOVED watching how the yarn gradually changed colour as I knitted.
I extended the pattern to try use up all the yarn, and must confess I am not great with lace either and was not fantastic with the fiddly small waves, but I still think it turned out beautifully. The pattern warned of curling, and did curl where I started so I decided to end the pattern with a 2×2 rib instead of a 1×1 twisted rib. If you do this pattern, I would recommend doing both borders in a 2×2 rib; this way you don’t need to block.
THIS IS AN AMAZING YARN.