So you know how I am always talking about how much I love cotton yarn? (well I still do) I thought the day would never come, but I finally found a non cotton yarn that I love just as much! The biggest shocker ladies and gentleman, IT IS WOOL BASED.
What is this magical yarn that you speak of, you may ask? Well it is none other than the newly launched Whims Merino by Furls Crochet! There are a lot of exciting things about this yarn that we are going to unpack today, but first let’s talk a little bit about Furls.
Furls is probably a name you have happened upon at least once if you are active in the Crochet Community, and if you haven’t heard their name, you have undoubtedly seen their hooks (you know the really gorgeous hand carved wood hooks that make you drool a little bit? Yep that is most likely a Furls hook!)
The company was started by Harrison Richards, who started making crochet hooks in his garage in the hopes of creating a business out of the hobby. I think it goes without saying, he turned that dream into a reality. The idea behind Furls was to create ergonomic crochet hooks that were better for the makers hand health, and if you have ever made the transition from a plain hook to an ergonomic hook, you know just how BIG of a difference it makes for your hands.
If you want to learn more about the company, head over to any of their social media profiles for more information!
Luckily for us, Furls didn’t stop at designing better hooks, they have just recently released an actually yarn that is better for us crocheters too! You may be asking yourself, how could they make a yarn that is better for a crocheter, isn’t all yarn just….yarn?
I definitely thought the same for my whole life, until the idea of The Z Twist Yarn was pitched to me. Let’s dive into the construction of this new and exciting yarn as well as a review on the actual product in action!
Whims Merino Z Twist Construction
There are many things that I think makes Whims Merino distinct from other yarns, but one of the most obvious differences is its Z Twist Construction! If you have zero idea what I am talking about don’t worry, this definitely isn’t common knowledge (yet).
When deciding on what yarn to use for a project we often consider things like weight, fiber content, and color, but one thing that I never thought of was how the yarn was twisted. It just didn’t seem important I suppose? Turns out it IS very important!
Up to this point, almost all yarn is created with an S Twist, which is really just referring to the direction the yarn is spun in. Over the past few years makers have been noticing that specifically when crocheting, because of the way and direction the yarn is wrapped around the hook, the natural motion is consequently unraveling the fiber as it is being worked. This leads to the fiber splitting, causing the finished product to lose its integrity and stitch definition.
The special thing about Whims Merino is that it is spun in a Z Twist, so that the motion of wrapping the yarn around the hook actually strengthens the twist of the fibers making it so the fiber strands don’t split and your stitches can look nice and even without random strands sticking out!
This is a more simplified explanation of what is happening between your hook and the yarn, but if you want a more detailed example, be sure to check out their website to read more on the construction of Whims Merino.
I have seen a few people that are reluctant to give Whims Merino a try until they hear back from others on what they think about it. In my personal opinion, there are a lot of things to love about it that set it apart from other yarns on the market, all of which we will get into below!
Colors Available: Purple, Red, Blue, Light Grey, and Undyed (White)
Material: 50% Superwash Merino Wool/ 50% Nylon
Length: 1 Hank = Approximately 196 Yards (180 Meters)
Recommended Hook Size: 4-5.5mm
Gauge: 20 Rows of 16 Stitches = 4in X 4in Square
Furls will be sending you your yarn in a eco friendly sized box (I’m looking at you amazon, no one needs a 18X18X16 box for a pack of hair ties), so yay for not using excessive packaging. Rather, Furls puts their packaging efforts where it really counts! Each hank of yarn comes in a little black silk pouch that says “FURLS”, which makes the whole unpacking experience feel that much lore luxurious and exciting. As of now, each hank is individually packaged in a silk bag, perhaps in the future, they will have different sized pouches for different sized orders of yarn, but I think it is a super cute addition to your purchase and show cases the little extra touches that Furls aims to add to their products.
I find the texture of Whims Merino to be very unique (in a good way). When most people think of Wool, they think of itchy (although us fiber enthusiasts know how lovely wool can be). If there is one thing this yarn isn’t, it’s itchy.
After doing some research I found that there really aren’t many yarns out there that have a 50% Merino and 50% Nylon blend which is why I think this yarn feels so unique. You get the warmth and softness of the wool, combined with the smoothness and bounce of the nylon, making for a very pleasant texture.
The presence of the Nylon also always the worked up piece to have a lovely stretch to it. Nothing feels quite as heartbreaking as finishing a sweater only to have your piece not be able to stretch over your head, right?
Im not 100% sure this falls into the category of texture, but one of my favorite things about this yarn is that it is cool to the touch. Scientifically, I am not sure just why that is, but I will explain a little bit later why this fact is so cool to me.
Whims Merino comes in 5 different colors that are currently only available online. I have a hank of each color and can attest to the fact that the color you see on their website will be the same color that you receive in person. The Red and Blue are just as vibrant as they are depicted on screen, the Purple is a sophisticated dark and muted shade, and the Light Grey is also very subtle and pleasant.
Considering the whole point of this yarn is that it will be easier for crocheters to use, you would hope that I would only have good things to say here and I do!
Not that this is particularly pertaining to how the yarn performs on the hook, but keep note that this yarn comes in a hank. This is mostly just important to note, so you understand that you will have to wind it on your own; however I have good news on that front too!
I have wound a fair amount of hanks into balls, and this one is one of the easiest I have ever wound. Typically hanks are tied in multiple places to keep the hank from falling apart, but since these come in the silk pouches, it stays in tact without multiple ties. This makes it easy to find the beginning of the hank and start winding quickly.
Also not going to lie, there was one project I started working on with this yarn, and I didn’t have anyone to help me wind the yarn, So I made the bold decision to not even wind it, but unravel the hank and work with it unwound. To my surprise, it didn’t tangle! I also moved the unwound hank several times, and even int he moving process it didn’t turn into a tangled mess. But also I generally don’t recommend taking this chance like I did haha.
When you actually get the yarn on your hook, you can immediately see and feel the difference. To me, you can visibly see the difference between the Z Twist yarn and the S Twist. The Z twist looks like a solid little tube of yarn and the strands of fiber don’t separate from each other while it is being wrapped around the hook, it stays completely intact.
In terms of actually stitching with it, I experienced literally no issue when working with it. It glides very smoothly on the hook, never snagging or only catching some of the strands when grabbing it with the hook. It creates a beautiful even stitch definition on the finished product.
The only time I ever noticed any fiber strands separating was when I had to untangle the occasion knot (that were 100% created by laziness haha), but I would say that is behavior that any yarn would show.
At this point in time, I have finished one design with this yarn (pictured below), and I can confidently say that it is my favorite (non cotton) yarn to use to make garments.
Perhaps I am too picky with what I will use to make garments, but over the past year it has been hard to find anything that isn’t cotton that I actually want to make something I intend to make clothing out of.
For me personally, I think this is the hybrid yarn that I have been searching for. Almost every yarn I use for a garments that isn’t cotton is always far too warm, and much too itchy, no matter how soft I think it is, once I put it on I am sweaty and scratchy. That does not happen with this yarn.
# of Skeins Used: 1 1/2 for a size Small
Hook Size Used: 4mm
Earlier I mentioned that the yarn was cool to the touch. Now I don’t know if it is all in my head, because again I don’t know the science behind it, but I feel like this yarn is pretty “temperature neutral” and breathable. You know how some yarns just absorb your body heat and make you even hotter, creating a sauna in your clothes? Well this yarn doesn’t seem to do that which I absolutely love.
Another great thing about this yarn is the drape. The drape is one of the reasons that I use cotton so much, I just can’t seem to find a comfortable drape in many yarns, but the Whims Merino has an excellent quality of drape for whatever kind of garment you are making!
Whims Merino is currently $10 for a 196 Yard hank. I did some research and although $10 is a little more than I would typically spend on a single hank, it is actually on the cheaper end of the spectrum for yarn of this blend and quality.
Merino Wool isn’t something you will easily find in a Joann or Michael’s, so you are likely going to have to search online or go to a Local Yarn Store to find a hank of it and if you can find it cheaper than this, it will likely only be by a dollar or two. It would also probably be fairly difficult to find a yarn that is the exact same blend and has all of the same qualities.
Given the fact that Furls advertises themselves as a luxury brand and I would consider this yarn to fall under the category of a more luxurious feeling fiber, I personally think this is fairly priced for the quality of the product that you are receiving.
Where to Buy Whims Merino?
Whims Merino is currently only sold through the Furls Website. Although considering their hooks are available for wholesale to retailers, I would think that it may find it’s way into some Local Yarn Stores eventually down the line. Additionally, you can find their hooks on Amazon as well, so perhaps that will become a retailer in the future as well.
Overall I think it is rather apparent that I really enjoy this yarn. In all honesty, since we are heading into the warmer months soon, I will likely stick more with cotton (big surprise) for the time being because let’s face it, not even I can make wool work for Spring and Summer. But this is going to be the next thing I reach for!
I had a very hard time designing Fall and Winter garments last year, and part of that was because there was no yarn that I felt had all of the qualities I was looking for to make comfortable warm garments, but Whims Merino is gonna be a game changer for me this year!
I look forward to seeing what Furls has in store for the future in the world of yarn!