I often talk about trying new things, stepping outside my comfort zone, going outside the box. When presented with the opportunity to try Zealana's AIR Marle for review, I could not resist. (Disclaimer - I received the ball of yarn for free for review. As always, opinions are my own.)
This yarn, part of Zealana's Luxuria series, consists of (are you ready for it?) 40% cashmere (yum!), 20% silk (also yum!), and 40% brushtail possum down (yu… what!?). My thoughts exactly when I first heard about this yarn awhile back. However, after learning a bit more about this invasive species and its impact on the environment in New Zealand, I was intrigued.
AIR Marle is a double knit weight yarn, made up of three strands of the lace-weight AIR, which according to the label is pill-resistant, durable, and lighter & warmer than 100% cashmere. As for the specifications, the yarn comes in 50 gram balls at 116 meters or 127 yards that knits up at 21-24 stitches over 10 cm/4 inches on a 3.5 mm / US 4 needle. Care instructions are to hand wash and dry flat. Here in the US, the yarn retails for around $46 a skein, making it a truly luxury yarn for that special splurge.
After feeling the ball quite a bit, and holding it to my face and neck, I had to come up with the *perfect* project to knit up every yard of this soft, fuzzy, scrumptious yarn. With the upcoming ND-Syracuse night game this weekend, fingerless mitts were the perfect choice! Off to Ravelry I went to search for a simple mitt pattern and settled on Basic Fingerless Mitts by Sue Brady. It is a plain 4x2 rib that really allows the yarn to shine. Plus I knew with the limited yardage I would be playing yarn chicken should I add cables or other heavy patterning to the mix.
Knitting with this yarn is a dream. I've mentioned before that I often have to stop and admire the knitting when working with a particularly beautiful yarn, and this was no exception. Especially after splitting for the thumb gusset, I kept trying it on every couple rounds to feel how soft the yarn was knitting. The possum and cashmere content give the yarn a fuzzy halo that add to the softness. As far as the warmth and pilling factor, stay tuned and I will report back to you after wearing the mitts this weekend at the game. Assuming of course that I finish them in time :-)
Visit the Yarn Sisters website to find a shop near you where you can check out this unique yarn for yourself.