pile of swatches

Shibui Knits Fern Yarn Review

Lindsay Lewchuk Announcements, Eco Elements, eco world, Fiber Focus, Pattern Related, Puddles, Yarn, Yarn Review 3 Comments

On Instagram I’ve oohed and ahhed over many designers’ Shibui Knits designs. This Japanese yarn company creates yarn with incredible drape and airiness. To my delight, Shibui Knits released a new line of organic cotton last year and they were kind enough to send me a sample to review.
swatch pile
From their website:

Brushed to a downy softness, Fern is a matte cotton yarn, spun from 100% certified organic fiber. True cable-plied construction ensures even, open stitches and a lightweight fabric with impeccable drape.
100% organic cotton 232 yds/ 212m per 1.76 oz/ 50 g, sport weight, gauge: 24 sts = 4″ on 4 US / 3.5 mm.

Gauge Summary
swatches close up
After my standard wash sequence, which did lighten the color, I swatched the skein into three main sizes of multiple stitch combinations with two back up sizes in Stockinette (US 2 & US 6).

US 3, US 4, US 5

  • unwashed washed comparison
  • unwashed washed comparison washed

The swatches consisted of Garter stitch, Stockinette stitch, cables, lace, twisted rib, and rib. On the whole, there was less than a 10% stretch in width and shrinkage in length between the unwashed and washed swatches with the US 4 showing the least change between washed and unwashed.

Stitches
pile of swatches
The drape of this cotton grows more airy with each needle size. Ideal for summer knitting, especially items that are intended to hang loosely from the body. Knitting a variety of knit and purl combinations in the swatches, when it came time to designing I jumped in with lace, cables, and a fun self-edging… the yarn held up to it all!

Pros
Boscage with Puddles
Organic cotton
Light and airy – the cabled pile construction literally allows the sun to shine through the strand in skein form

Cons
Shibui Knits Fern
Limited color choices – the website currently shows 10 colors, 7 of which are neutrals
The open cable construction may lead to splitting if you aren’t careful

Eco Value
Boscage in ferns
From the Ravelry listing: this organic cotton is milled in Japan and machined dyed. I contacted Shibui Knits to learn more, but as of yet, have not heard any additional points beyond the organic fiber used.

Overall Rating
9 out of 10… due to the limited color range, fading with wash, and potential for splitting

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