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Mama, wife, knitter, blogger, spinner, wannabe something or other. That's enough, right?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Yarn Review #2: Sun Valley Fibers

It's the middle of the month and that means that it's time for a Yarn Review! Oh, and Happy Valentines' Day.

The intention is that once a month, roughly about mid-month (depending on the day - Year of Projects are on Sundays, WIP Wednesdays are on Wednesdays, and FO Fridays are on Fridays so rarely will you see a Yarn Review on those days), I'll do a yarn review, which may or may not include multiple types of the same yarn or multiple different yarns on the same day. The yarns in question, unless specified, are coming from my stash, purchased by me, for me, and for my use. I've been given no money or other non-monetary gifts for these yarn reviews. The reviews are of my opinion and do not necessarily coincide with other fiber enthusiasts, though they may.

There. My disclaimer notice (of sorts). 

Today, I've picked some yarn from my stash that you've seen before in a couple different projects (socks, specifically) and it's time to review it...let's get on with it :)

Sun Valley Fibers' Merino Cashmere Nylon Fingering Yarn

1. Information about the Company: Sun Valley Fibers is a family-run business. They have a farm not far from where I grew up in Wisconsin (seriously, it was around a half-hour drive from my house - less if it wasn't winter). The head honchos, so to speak, are Jeanette (find her on Ravelry!) and her husband, George. They have a full farm: two daughters (one named Renee and no, it's not me), some cats and dogs, llamas, and sheep. They started doing fiber festivals in 2006 so the dyeing process probably began sometime before then.

From their website: "Sun Valley Fibers is a family-run business, located on a farm nestled in the hills of southwest Wisconsin. We specialize in hand-dyeing luxurious artisan yarns and fibers in rich, inspring colors for your one-of-a-kind knitting, crochet and weaving projects. 

Our Permanent Collection of colors is always available, dyed at your request in your choice of yarn bases. We offer many other colors in our In Stock shop section, and you are always welcome to contact us to order those colors in other yarn bases as well."

 2. Other Yarns Offered: There are quite a few different yarn bases offered. Merino/cashmere/nylon comes in laceweight, fingering, and worsted. There's a merino/cashmere/silk blend in fingering weight. They also offer an 80/20 merino/nylon in fingering weight. There's also a 75/20/5 which I think is merino/nylon/bling (glitter or sparkle) which also come in fingering weight. Outside of that, there are single-plies in laceweight, fingering, and worsted which are all superwash. Also, because they have their own llamas and sheep, Jeanette has taken up spinning, too (though I don't know if they sell that online - it's not listed on the website but I have seen some of her handspun when they do fiber events). 

3. Information about the Yarn (specific to the yarn I'm reviewing - MCN Fingering, in this case):
     - Official Name: MCN Fingering
     - Fiber Content: 80/10/10 merino/cashmere/nylon
     - Skein Weight & Yardage: 100 g (3.53 oz) & 400 yds (366 m)
     -  Gauge: 28 sts/4" (on US #2/2.75mm needles)
     - Weight: Fingering
     - Washing Instructions: Machine wash, lay flat to dry
     - Where to Purchase: Sun Valley Fibers (website) though, if you're in the Madison (Wisconsin) area, you can find it at The Sow's Ear :) I believe she will ship internationally, if you're interested...but I would check with her first. 

4. Review (the real reason you're here):
     - Pros
          1. Variety of colors - solid, semisolid, and variegated
          2. Superwash! This is always a plus in sock yarns. Personally, I hate handwashing socks because I feel like I can never get them clean enough. 
          3. Non-felting! This probably goes with them being superwash...but they don't felt. I've washed my socks at least two-dozen times and they just don't felt and that's awesome!
          4. No shrinkage! I mean, there's a little pull back if you throw them in the dryer but a little spritz with water and it'll block right back into place.
          5. No stretching! You know how cotton will stretch out and stay that way, no matter how much you try to make it not happen? Yeah, this yarn won't do that :)
          6. Difficult to break - I have pulled and tugged at this yarn and it is incredibly difficult to break. That may be partly because of the nylon content but who's counting?
          7. If you want something specific, you can contact Jeanette and ask her if she's got it available or if she'll whip something up just for you :)

     - Cons
          1. $25/skein, which isn't horrible (it's not Wollmeise or qivuit, for Bob's sake!). For hand dyed yarn, that's about average, though (and it's totally worth it but if price is a factor, than this can be a con for you)
          2. Occasionally you'll find that the yarn didn't take the dye properly so you have some lighter patches. This is fairly normal for hand-dyed yarns but if it's something that drives you nuts, you may want to look at commercially dyed yarns. 
          3. Use your common sense: match dyelots, especially with hand dyed yarns! If you need a lot of a certain color or type, contact Jeanette directly because then you can be sure of getting matching dyelots. 

Here are a couple things I have with MCN Fingering...

Eat Your Monkey Socks

Hermione's Everyday Socks

I hope you've enjoyed my review of Sun Valley Fibers' MCN Fingering yarn. I'll be back tomorrow with a FO Friday and again on Sunday for my Self-Imposed Year of Projects Update!


  1. Love learning about new indie dyers..I have recently found a new favorite..Gnomeacres...

  2. I like how this sounds durable and there's a variety.