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Yarn Review: Zealana Kiwi Fingering

Posted on November 20, 2014 by Tash | 5 comments

It's that time again! We go through the hardship of knitting with a particular yarn, and share our thoughts with you!

 

 

Zealana Kiwi Fingering

40% merino | 30% possum | 30% organic cotton

Structure: two ply, with each ply made up 4 x 2 ply singles

Weight: 4ply / fingering

Presented in: 40g / 124m balls

Recommended needle size: 3mm

Colour: Fern 07

 

 Disclaimer: I started this review already loving this yarn, so there is a substantial bias present.

First things first: Kiwi Fingering is a little different to its sibling, the lace weight. It has a much more ropey appearance than the lighter weight, with a very distinct twist. Lovely and rounded, it makes for a bouncy fabric. The twist doesn't make for a nubbly look, though, it all smooths out for a nice even surface. 

The cotton content gives an interesting difference in feel to the rest of Zealana range - it adds a robustness that makes it wear a little harder than those with predominantly wool content. But the cotton, oh the cotton! While it may be a surprising thing to throw in the mix with merino and possum fibres, it works brilliantly. It helps contain the fluffy possum-ness so it doesn't get quite so lofty over time. It also breathes when the weather is a bit warmer, so you can continue wearing it through the summer months as well as in winter. 

 

I honestly don't think you can get any better when it comes to a 4ply yarn. It has everything: excellent stitch definition, great drape, it feels amazing, and it wears well. I used a 3.75mm needle for my swatch, and it makes my heart sing at the looser gauge. While it is labelled a 4ply, it tends to the heavier side and could even be substituted in projects calling for sport weight yarn (be sure to swatch!). 

 

One thing I do recommend: rewind your balls before you start work. Kiwi is notorious for falling out of the ball it is presented in, and turning into a horrific tangle. So rewind by hand (or with a ball winder) to save yourself some stress later.

 

Spot the little stitches that are sitting higher than their counterparts above and below.

If you look closely at the swatch, you can see something odd happening in the middle. I was knitting it at Knit Night and got bored (as you do, I was having a serious lack of focus that evening) and passed it on to Hannah, one of our regulars, to have a go. Which turned up something fascinating - it shows really clearly how Hannah's tension is different between the right and wrong side. Even after blocking, the slight difference in stitch size is still there. 

 

 

So, how to figure out if this is something that affects you? Do up a gauge swatch using a yarn with good stitch definition (like Zealana Kiwi). Start off with two needles the same size, and see if it works out to be even. You're looking for little ridges between the rows, to see if your knit and purl stitches come out different sizes. If they do, play around with a smaller or bigger needle size for the needle which does all the work on the wrong side. 

Obviously this isn't a problem with knitting in the round, as you're always knitting on the outside. I have had some conversations recently with people who have discovered their gauge changes between knitting in the round and then switching to do magic loop or use double pointed needles. It's really worth taking the time to sit down and figure out if you are one of those knitters - it'll make a small but important difference in your finished objects. 

 

To follow: Shelley's review, an interview (and giveaway!) with Mary-Anne Mace, and some pattern suggestions. Hooray!

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Comments

  • Jibril

    I’m with Patti and I don’t have a fear of clowns (I wachetd Killer Clowns from Outer Space way too many times with my dad), but something about that clown just feels creepy!

  • Kenna Levendosky

    I REALLY like what I have seen of your yarns! and would like to see more.

  • Chris

    Your comments and suggestions about gauge and tension are really interesting. I have come recently (very late in life) to circular knitting and have adopted the needles for straight knitting too. I love the convenience when carrying my work around. But I have noticed a very distinct difference in my tension compared to straight needles – mine was always quite tight – I think it’s to do with the way the needles move and take the weight as I knit. Always something new to ponder and learn…

  • Hannah

    It was news to me that my gauge was so noticibly different but seeing it sitting next door to Tash’s beautiful even rows has made me think I’ll need to do some swatching to sort out my tension issues!

  • Shelley

    Review en route…

 

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