Today I have a yarn review for you readers. When I went to the Marly Bird Designer Dinner I received a skein of Mango Moon Chakra in my swag bag. I was intrigued by this variegated yarn with two different kinds of beads tied into it. A skein is 75 yds/69 m of yarn, hand spun in Indonesia. The tag says "Provides Safe Shelter, Health Care, & Education to Families in Nepal & Indonesia." Mango Moon's website further explains that the spinners of this yarn use their earnings to provide these benefits to their families. This is especially wonderful right now, given the recent devastating earthquake in Nepal. I love that you can do good and buy yarn at the same time! The fiber content is 30% recycled viscose, 66% cotton, 3% spandex, 1% beads/stones. The colorway is 9212 White.
I started by making a crochet swatch. I first tried it with an I/9/5.5 mm hook. The yarn doesn't seem to be quite worsted weight to me, just looking at it, so I thought this was a good choice. However, this hook didn't seem to make the yarn happy. It was compact and stiff when I crocheted with that hook. I ripped it out and began again with a K/10.5/6.5 mm hook. This was better, but still made a pretty firm fabric. I think that this hook would work for some projects, but a larger hook would have provided better drape, so you could easily go up to an L or M with this yarn.
Next I made a knit swatch, in stockinette stitch. This time I started with size 11/8 mm needles. This made a swatch that would have been very open and floppy, almost shapeless. I debated between trying a 10/6 mm or a 10.5/6.5 mm. I went with the 10.5, since the difference between that and the 11 was actually fairly big. Anyhow, size 10.5 needles made a good swatch if you want drape. The stitches are still pretty open on this size of needle. Interestingly, the yarn definitely didn't want to make a square. It made a trapezoid. I photographed my swatch before blocking, just so you could see that. I have since blocked it though, and it made a very nice rectangle after that, so no need to worry about your rectangles looking like trapezoids.
I noticed, as I hand-wound this yarn into a center-pull ball, that the yarn had a tendency to twist up on itself. I couldn't tell for sure if this yarn was a single ply. I wondered, because single-ply yarns tend to be overtwisted. Anyhow, the twist may have been what caused this trapezoid shape. That's just my guess. I don't know for sure. I don't find this tendency irritating, just interesting. I was able to use my leg as a swift and wind by hand without too much difficulty, but a swift would have made this even easier. I have a swift, but wasn't at home when I was doing this.
I could see making a scarf or cowl with this yarn. It would also make for a nice edging on a scarf, cowl, sweater, blanket, or home decor item. I began by trying to hold all the beads to one side of the fabric, but this was not really possible, so I had a pretty even smattering of beads on both sides.
I hope this review is helpful to you as you make decisions on how to spend your yarn budget. It was a fun yarn for me to work with. Have you used Chakra for a project? I'd love to see your thoughts in the comments. Not sure what to make with it? Click HERE to see the 195 projects on Ravelry that have used this yarn.
Now, one more thing to take care of. Last week I posted about Eucalan Delicate Wash and took comments for a giveaway. Today, I get to announce that LisaC is the winner! Thank you to all those that read the post and left their comments! LisaC, would you please send an email to bananamoonstudio @ gmail . com (take out the spaces) with your address? I will forward it to Eucalan, and they will send you your prize. Congrats!
Happy stitching everyone!