Superwash vs. Untreated Yarn
Superwash yarn has been treated with a coating to prevent it from felting. What this means is that unlike untreated wool, it is machine washable. However, excess heat can still damage superwashed yarn. Untreated yarn is just that – it has not been treated once it is washed and spun. It requires more care when blocking and washing. It is environmentally friendly as no chemicals are used, and had a much lower carbon footprint as less transportation is required. Untreated yarn takes dye differently, and often requires more time in the dye pot.
Superwash Merino (Mixtape)
Merino wool is regarded as having some of the finest and softest wool of any sheep [mic drop]. Seriously though, this particular base is a joy to work with. Bouncy, light, ridiculously soft and a dream to dye, it's a classic. We use only the softest 100% superwash merino wool sourced from New Zealand and spun in Ontario, Canada or the UK. Okay, there are likely softer yarns, but this one is pretty cozy.
Eco-Processed Merino (Mixtape)
A certified organic base that is environmentally friendly and makes you feel the warm fuzzies inside! Instead of being superwashed, it has been eco-processed - in other words, treated with a non-chlorinated anti-shrink treatment - making it more environmentally friendly than the typical superwash method. A bread and butter base, this yarn is good for making all the things.
Handspun Spiral-plied Merino
This yarn is lovingly handspun by me using superwash merino combed top sourced from New Zealand and combed in Ontario, Canada. The resulting thick and thin yarn is then lovingly (it's all about the love) spiral plied by me using lace weight merino wool. It is a jumbo, saturated, super soft yarn that works up very quickly and is fantastic for chunky hats and scarves. You could add a section of it as an embellishment to a project using my Jumbo Merino. It is also a lovely addition to weaving projects also.
Aran Tweed Merino
Tweed yarn is a type of yarn that features contrasting flecks of colour mixed (either rainbow or black/brown) in to the yarn. The flecks of color are often small pieces of short fibre leftover from carding spun together with plies of another fibre. It makes for an interesting yarn with a pop of extra colour! This superwash merino yarn also comes to us via a mill in the United Kingdom.
Superwash Merino/Nylon Blend (Boom Box Blends)
This yarn is a blend of 80% superwash merino wool sourced from New Zealand and 20% nylon, and is spun in Ontario, Canada. It is fantastic for chunky hats, scarves and mittens. The nylon makes it durable and surprisingly lightweight, making it useful for blankets and snuggling also.
Superfine Alpaca (untreated)
The first great thing about this base is that it is non-superwash, and so has a smaller carbon footprint. Despite the fact that it is untreated, it takes the dye like butter, and it looks and feels like you would expect a luxury yarn to - warm, durable, silky and light. Alpaca is a shorter staple yarn, and so it has a halo, somewhat reminiscent of the mohair halo effect. Fun fact: alpacas originate from the Andes of Southern Peru, Western Bolivia, Ecuador, and Northern Chile. They are considerably smaller than llamas, and unlike llamas, they were not bred to be working animals but were bred specifically for their fibre.
This yarn sparkles. Truly - is a gorgeous luxury cotton. Why? Because pima cotton has a longer staple length than conventional cotton, resulting in an ultra-smooth (shiny!) fabric that is soft to the touch. And breathable. And durable. And moisture-wicking. Sigh. I just love this yarn for weaving, but I've noticed more cotton and linen patterns for crocheters and knitters out there, and if you are allergic to wool (which one of my good friends is), this is a great alternative to wool yarn. Just note that it lacks the elasticity of wool, so be prepared for a different experience when knitting or crocheting with it. You may have to go down a needle/hook size or two, and prepare for it to stretch when wearing.
Zebra yarn is a fun yarn that plies two contrasting colours together (in this case, black and white). Also known as "barber pole yarn," this yarn ends up looking like a barber pole due to the dark fleece. What I love about this yarn is the pop created by the black ply, and how ridiculously soft it is. It is made using superwash merino milled in the United Kingdom.
This yarn is so. Incredibly. Fun. One ply of sproingy superwash merino wool is spiral-plied with one ply of nylon to create a gorgeous, textured yarn with fun little fuzzy bits. This yarn is milled in the United Kingdom.
Superwash & Cotton wool/scarf/wrap
Although superwash yarns and cotton are, in theory, washing-machine safe, I still suggest you hand wash in cold water and lay flat or rinse and spin and then lay flat/block to dry. A wool soak like Eucalan is highly recommended.
If exposed to heat and agitation, your wool/scarf/wrap will felt, so be sure to hand wash gently in cold water (a wool soak like Eucalan is recommended) and dry flat.
Although all of the yarn is washed, and then rinsed and soaked in Eucalan after it is dyed, it is recommended that you wash the yarn/finished product separately, as colours may still bleed on first wash.
Neatnik Yarns are dyed in a cat-loving home, smoke-free home. For care instructions and tips on working with hand dyed yarn visit my FAQ section.