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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Yarn Review #7 (Extremely Late): Cashmerino Aran by Debbie Bliss

While preparing to do a yarn review, it came to my attention that I wasn't just a month behind...I was two months behind. So, I owe yarn reviews for July and August, plus the one I have for September. 


So, I suppose I should get going, right?

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 based on my own experience and do not necessarily coincide with other fiber enthusiasts, though they may.

I now present to you my 7th Yarn Review (two months late).

Cashmerino Aran

1. Information About the Company: Unfortunately, though I've done some digging, I can find very little about Debbie Bliss as a company (or as a person, and she is an actual person). Their website can be found here. What I did find was through their Ravelry Yarn Page and the website listed there. Debbie Bliss not only has several different yarn lines (apparently in her signature color palate), she/the company also has a magazine, several pattern books (35 and counting), and pamphlets/booklets (20 and counting).

2. Other Yarns Offered: Aside from the Cashmerino Aran, there is also a Baby Cashmerino (which is basically the same yarn, just in a sportweight), Angel (laceweight mohair/silk blend), BFL Aran, and Prima (DK bamboo/merino blend)...and several others. Ravelry has 55 different yarns listed for Debbie Bliss, some of which are discontinued. 

3. Information About the Yarn (specific to the yarn being reviewed): 
     - Official Name: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran
     - Fiber Content: 53% merino, 33% microfiber, 12% cashmere
     - Skein Weight/Yardage: 50g/93 yds
     - Gauge: 18 sts = 4" on US #8 (5 mm)
     - Yarn Weight: Aran
     - Washing Instructions: Machine washable
     - Where to Purchase: I've seen this yarn at several shops but you can also order it online at Webs, Jimmy Beans, and directly from their website (noted above).

4. Review (the real reason why you're here):
     - Pros
          1. Machine washable. Having a small child means things need to be machine washable in my world. This is always a pro for me :)
          2. Variety of colors (32 according to their website).
          3. Doesn't pill when you dry it in the dryer on delicate (yes, I've tried it).
          4. Stitch definition is wonderful!
          5. Relatively inexpensive. I've seen it being destashed on Ravelry anywhere from $5-$8 (and retailing anywhere from $8-$12)
          6. Not splitty! I hate it when yarns split while I'm working with them...then I have to undo stitches and that's just a pain in the butt sometimes.
     - Cons
          1. It doesn't appear to be a true Aran weight...more of a worsted. This doesn't bother me but if you're looking for a true Aran weight, this isn't quite it. 
          2. I found a couple of knots while working through my skeins (about one knot per ball). I know yarn will have knots once in awhile but I found a knot on almost every ball I've used so far. 
          3. I found a couple of "weak" areas. If this were 100% wool that was feltable, I would chalk up the "weak" areas to a spit splice that didn't quite take. However, these don't work that way and they're just a few spots where the yarn is a little weaker and the yarn has fuzzed around it. It happens. Doesn't mean I have to like it.

Little Man's Greyson Sweater was knit out of this yarn and it's fabulous! I love how that sweater turned out (if you come back on Friday, you'll find out, too). I might make another one...or two...or six. I have more of it in my stash and I plan to make a hat and/or fingerless mitts out of it. We'll see how things go. 

Greyson Sweater for Little Man

Five skeins of Cashmerino Aran (some used for the above sweater)

Now, there is something else worth mentioning with regards to the Cashmerino Aran. I have a feeling I'm going to get questions if I don't mention it. In 2010, Cascade Yarns brought about a lawsuit against Debbie Bliss and Knitting Fever, Inc. (which is, apparently, a parent company of some sort to Debbie Bliss). The short version is that Cascade Yarns wondered how Knitting Fever, Inc. was able to offer a yarn, specifically the Cashmerino, that had an expensive cashmere blend at such a low price. Because of their suspicions, Cascade had some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino sent to a lab for testing. According to that lab, the sample of Cashmerino contained no cashmere. My understanding is that the matter is still in the court system (you can find the most up-to-date information here). 

Even if it turns out that Debbie Bliss and, by extension, Knitting Fever, Inc., is not accurately representing the fiber content of Cashmerino, it's still a fabulous yarn. Sure, I'll be a bit peeved that they're dicking the public but the yarn itself, regardless, is still a good yarn to have in your arsenal.

As I'm a bit behind, I hope to finish up some yarn reviews and my book review within the next week and a half...we'll see :)


  1. The yarn looks like it does knit-up nicely! I am always annoyed when I find knots in the middle of a skein. Surely, there has to be some better way for manufacturers to splice ends together by machine. It can make a big difference in the yardage a project requires when I'm constantly having to pull past a knot to start a row/round.