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Tahki Sable
Tahki Sable

Yarn Profile: Tahki Sable

First Impressions
Despite the fact that this yarn is predominantly merino, there's no escaping the angora in it. I mean this literally.

As I unwound the skein, angora fiber strands flew everywhere. It's almost as if the fiber were only rolled onto the edges of the yarn to achieve a fluffy effect.

That's fine until you begin working with it and have to stop repeatedly to wipe the fuzz off your nose. Overall the yarn has a soft, almost chalky appearance. Colors are genteel and muted pink, turquoise, and green.

Knitting Up
Not counting all the pauses to wipe fluff from my nose, eyes, and even the nib of the pen I use to take notes, the yarn knit up quickly and easily.

The merino gives it a solid body that is easy to manipulate. Stitches showed beautifully, taking on an almost sculptural look.

There was no snagging or unraveling, and I was soon able to knit by touch alone, not needing to watch what I was doing.

Blocking / Washing
The yarn blossomed with washing. It relaxed and expanded to fill in the fabric, creating a more uniform texture. There was only a minor amount of shedding in the water, accompanied by slight bleeding.

The stitches flattened perfectly, resulting in a lighter, thinner-seeming fabric with a lovely surface of angora fuzz. After washing, you'd never know there was only 30% angora in this yarn.

The gauge expanded ever so slightly from 5 sts/inch to 4 3/4 sts/inch on 4.5mm needles. Keep this expansion in mind when making any pattern measurement calculations.

Wearing
Here's where the merino in this yarn comes in handy. It provides strength and durability to an otherwise exceedingly fragile fiber.

Excessive rubbing only matted down the surface slightly and perfumed the air with yet more stray angora fiber. I wasn't able to produce any pilling.

Conclusion
This yarn produces a beautiful, soft, and warm fabric that shows stitches well and provides a reasonable amount of drape. But it also produces an unsettling amount of fluff in the process.

If you don't mind the prospect of fuzz, by all means try this yarn. You get a lot of yarn in each skein, and the price is very reasonable.

My advice for people who use this yarn: don't wear black, and be sure to cover any nearby beverages while you knit. Otherwise, you'll be covered with angora, both inside and out.

Reader Comments
"I'm not having fuzz problems, but I guess living with a cat and a hairy boyfriend has boosted my resistance to fluff. I do have a minor complaint about the occasional undyed spots. I am working with color 1646 dye lot #499 (chartreuse) and in 6 skeins I have already run into several such spots. They are quite small and look like speckles in a tweed yarn...

...While I appreciate the wabi-sabi quality of non-commercial yarns - where irregularity is a feature and adds to the appeal - I'd rather have consistency here. Since this is my first time working with Sable, I wonder if I got a wierd batch...

...Apart from this, Sable is a lovely yarn, wonderful to the touch, and I'm not ruling out buying it again." f, 4/04/01

"I read your review of Sable. Have you tried the Jolie which has a larger content of angora? I liked the Sable as well. Some colors seem fluffier than others." knitwit, 1/19/01

Editor's Note: Yes, Jolie is an excellent yarn as well. I found it very similar to Adrienne Vittadini Angelina, except that Angelina has 50% angora, 30% wool, and 20% alpaca, while Jolie is 70% angora and 30% wool. ForKnitters has both yarns if you're interested in comparing colors and prices.