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O-Wool Balance

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O-Wool Balance.

O-Wool's Balance yarn.

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

The Perfect Organic Balance:

The Vermont Organic Fiber Company is dedicated to producing high quality organic fabric, yarn and blankets made with organic fiber from around the world and sold from their home base in Vermont.

O-Wool Balance is a fine example of their craftsmanship: a cotton-wool blend that's great to work with and to wear.

Specifications:

  • Content: 50 percent organic merino, 50 percent organic cotton
  • Yarn weight: Medium/worsted
  • Gauge: Label says 19 to 21 stitches per 4 inches on size 5 to 7 US needles; I got 18 stitches per four inches on size 7 US needles
  • Yardage: About 130 yards (120 meters) per 50 gram skein
  • Color Availability: 17 slightly tweedy colors (thanks to the wool and cotton taking dye in different amounts)
  • Color Used in Swatch: Malachite (color 32220), a light green with flecks of wheat

Knitting:

Balance is a great combination of wool and cotton, with a bit of crisp cotton feel combined with the springiness and warmth of wool. It has a real natural look and feel to it, much like you'd imagine a "natural" or organic yarn would look.

It doesn't feel or perform any differently from a standard yarn and is quick and easy to work with.

Knitting up this swatch was a pleasure. It ended up being very soft, not at all scratchy and with nice, even stitches.

It got even softer after blocking and virtually all of the curl (there wasn't much horizontal curl) blocked out with very little effort other than stretching.

Uses for O-Wool Balance:

Working with Balance immediately made me think of an oversized sweater. This feels like a yarn you'd want to live in on a cool spring or fall evening.

It would also be a great choice for a hat, since the wool adds enough springiness that the fabric has good memory and snaps back into place after being stretched.

Choosing several colors of this yarn and working them together in an afghan or throw would also be a great use of this eco-friendly and beautiful yarn. Or it would be great for baby clothes you don't ming hand-washing.

Care of O-Wool Balance:

Despite the high cotton content, it is possible that this yarn will felt, so it's recommended that any project knit with this yarn be hand washed in cool water, rolled gently in a towel to remove excess water and dried flat.

When I washed my swatch, no dye came out, but you might want to be careful not to wash it with other items right off the bat.

Bottom Line:

O-Wool's Balance is a great choice for people who want to knit with more organic yarns. It's a joy to work with and has a great natural look and a rugged, yet soft, feel.

I found the yarn priced between $7.20 and $7.60 a skein, which is pretty reasonable for organic. Even if you couldn't afford a sweater for yourself knit with this yarn, even using it for small projects would be a help to the environment.

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