Dapple is our newest yarn and it’s a cushy, cozy delight. Filling a gap in our Super Bulky selection, it’s the only yarn Merino yarn we carry in that weight, and also adds a novel spray effect to the solids that make up most of the yarns in that weight. Make that wool Superwash for added convenience, and you’ve got a yarn that fills all the right niches for something you’ll really want to get your hands on. Literally. It feels amazing.
First of all, the fiber. Color might be what catches our eye, drawing us in like bright flowers luring bumbling bees, but any knitter knows that the fiber is the sweet nectar that we’re really after. Few things are more disappointing than an alluring hue or dye effect attached to a skin-crawlingly scratchy fiber. The Extra Fine Merino of Dapple will fulfill all of your expectations and then some. Buttery-soft and squishy as you could want, the gentle twist of the single-ply really lets this softest of wool shine. You won’t just tolerate this against your neck; you might end up compulsively cuddling with it before it even gets out of the ball.
Not to say that the color is anything to complain about. After the plain white fiber is carefully spun to that maximum squish twist, the dye is sprayed onto the yarn in sporadic and whimsical bursts. This results not only in idiosyncratic runs and streaks and spots of color, but also a spectrum of shades, depending on how heavily any particular bit is sprayed and how deeply the color takes. So while the whole line comes in a select choice of hues covering the whole rainbow, each individual colorway is a microcosm of color.
My inspiration for the Entrilac Scarf, a free pattern made with Dapple, was this incredible shifting variety of color even within each colorway. Everyone around the office thought that a scarf would be a perfect project for the yarn, with how soft and cuddly it is. When I knit up my initial swatch, I loved the way the colors transitioned and pooled, so I thought it would be fun to try it in a stitch that had many changes in direction that would break up the pooling and highlight the changing colors. I’ve always had a soft spot for unusual techniques, so entrelac was the obvious choice.
Just as a reminder, you can definitely throw Superwash wool in the washer and it won’t felt, but it still requires a bit of a delicate touch to keep it looking its best as long as possible. There are a couple of things you can do to greatly extend the life of your Superwash knits. In a podcast segment our easy care yarns, we mentioned that knitting at a tighter gauge is sometimes a good idea if you plan to machine wash. This makes for a sturdier fabric that is more resistant to pilling, which is often a problem when you throw knits into the washing machine (especially with super fine fibers like Merino). We did swatches of Dapple on size 13 (9 mm) needles that came out every bit as soft, with a bit more firmness that should wear better over time (and also make for more structured garments!). This blogpost also suggests using a garment bag, in addition to ensuring you’re using cool water on the gentle cycle. And you can never go wrong with skipping the dryer and drying flat, to be certain your project won’t accidentally felt.
We get in new yarns all the time here. Not just the carefully selected products that we bring to you, but a whole host of additional prospects: samples and fiber tests and dye tests. In the face of such a constant parade of fiber novelty, you might think it would get boring, getting a box bursting with the latest yarn. I can tell you that it never really does. And even amongst that ever-changing array, Dapple is a bit of an outlier. We hope you enjoy it even more than we have!