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Hand Jive Nature's Palette Merino

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Nature's Palette.

Hand Jive's Nature's Palette Merino yarn.

(c) Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

Knitting with Nature:

Most knitters these days are at least somewhat aware of the potential environmental impact of their craft, from the pesticides used to grow cotton to the antibiotics given to sheep, and the chemicals used to bleach, dye and otherwise process the yarn before it makes it into our hands.

Darlene Hayes of Hand Jive Knits thinks we should all be more aware of the choices we make and the impact they have on the environment, and she's doing her part to educate us all through her line of naturally dyed yarns, including Nature's Palette, a lovely fingering weight merino.

Specifications:

  • Content: 100 percent merino wool
  • Yarn Weight: Fingering
  • Gauge: Yarn label does not give gauge; I got 24 stitches per 4 inches on size 4 US needles
  • Yardage: 185 yards per 50 gram skein
  • Color Availability: 33 colors
  • Color Used in Swatch: Ice Blue

Knitting:

Nature's Palette Merino is a soft, smooth yarn with nice stitch definition and a beautiful texture. It's really a pleasure to work with. It would be lovely at a number of gauges, from small needles for baby projects or socks to large needles for lace.

On the size 4 needles I used it makes a fabric that's just slightly open and has tons of drape.

Because the yarn is naturally dyed, some of the color will come off as you work with the yarn (I got a little blue when rolling the hank into a ball and while knitting -- just a little dye got on my needles as well) but it washed up easily with a little soap and water.

Uses for Hand Jive Nature's Palette Merino:

Nature's Palette Merino would be a great yarn for anything you like to knit out of wool at a small gauge, from tiny-stitched twinsets to socks to baby things.

It's such a joy to work with that you're likely to want to find lots of "excuses" for using this yarn, and you'll be well rewarded whether you're knitting a lacy shawl or a sweet little shrug.

The subtle color variation that runs through a skein makes it fun to knit with and to wear as you admire the different colors and how they play off the light.

Care of Hand Jive Nature's Palette Merino:

Nature's Palette Merino should be hand washed in cool water and dried flat. It's a good idea to keep the yarn and projects knit with it out of sunlight when storing because naturally dyed yarns sometimes do not hold their color as well as their chemically treated brethren.

Bottom Line:

Nature's Palette Merino is a beautiful yarn, and at around $10 a skein for 185 yards, you're getting good value when you consider the care that goes into dyeing and producing the yarn.

While it may not replace your standard go-to lightweight wool yarn (if you have one of those) it's a great choice for a really special project you want to knit up as a treat for someone you love -- or for yourself.

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