This review appears in issue 5 of Knit Edge magazine. Designing Vashti provided the yarn for review and for this giveaway.
Vashti Braha and Doris Chan, the dream team behind Designing Vashti, have created a dream yarn: Lotus. If you read Vashti’s newsletter and blog, you know she puts a lot of thought into how a yarn works with a particular stitch and in a particular project. Lotus is a machine-washable, z-twisted sport weight blend of cotton and rayon, currently available in 14 colors (neutrals, strong pastels, and deep jewel tones). The rayon strands lend a shiny gleam to the matte cotton, for a rich color effect best seen in person.
When I saw the photos and read Vashti’s explanation of how the yarn had been designed, my fingers were already twitching with eagerness to start crocheting with it immediately. Vashti sent me three balls of yarn so there would be enough to do a giveaway with, and when I opened the box, I’ll admit that I briefly considered keeping two balls and giving away only one. You’ll be happy to know that I managed to keep my hands off the giveaway yarn, and you can enter for a chance to win right here! Leave a comment on this post, saying what you think you would make with this yarn, and a winner will be chosen with a random number generator on March 31, 2014. This is open to international readers too! [NOTE: Giveaway is now closed - thank you to all who entered!]
The one concern I had while looking at it was that the plies looked loose enough to be splitty while crocheting, and I kept that in mind when I selected hooks to swatch with (aluminum Boye, aluminum Bates, and wood/bamboo hooks in the recommended hook sizes F/3.75mm and G/4.5mm). The verdict? This just may be the yarn you didn’t know you were looking for, especially if you make garments. It’s a pleasure to crochet with, sliding smoothly over your hands and hook, and is wonderful for making next-to-the-skin soft projects. It has just enough body to hold lace stitches clearly while being soft enough to drape beautifully. For crocheted scarves, shawls, tunics, and skirts, this is a winner. Aluminum hooks worked just fine for my swatching, but the yarn is on the slippery side, so you may prefer the grip of a wood or bamboo hook, as long as the inside of the hook is very smoothly sanded (I had a minor problem with a handmade wooden hook that caught and snagged a bit, fixed by sanding it with a nail file). Although Lotus is a yarn designed by a crocheter for crocheters, you can of course knit and weave with this too. On US 6 birch needles, Lotus moved smoothly and produced a stockinette fabric with nice stitch definition.
You can buy Lotus online on the Designing Vashti website, and they are offering a color sample pack (all 14 colors, 45” of each) and a color sample kit (includes a pattern set to make small jewelry charms) in addition to pre-wound balls of Lotus Yarn and patterns that work well with it.