A novelty yarn example
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 novelty yarn example that is variegated with two different kinds of beads tied into it. One 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.
Testing it out
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. This interesting novelty yarn example didn’t want to make a square. It made a rhombus. 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 rhombuses.
Lots of twist in this yarn
I noticed, as I hand-wound this novelty yarn example into a center-pull ball, that the it had a tendency to twist up on itself, but 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 unusual shape. That’s just my guess, although I’m not certain. I don’t find this tendency irritating, just interesting. Using my leg as a swift, I was able to wind the yarn into a ball 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.
What to make with this example of novelty yarn
One could make 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 all the projects on Ravelry that have used this yarn.
Happy stitching everyone!
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