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A skein of Kidsilk Haze
Kidsilk Haze once knitted up

Yarn Profile: Rowan Kidsilk Haze

First Impressions
Kidsilk Haze belongs on that short list of exquisite, special-occasion yarns. It combines two delicate strands of silk with the very finest mohair fibers an angora goat ever produces.

The silk glimmers through the gentle mohair fuzz like San Francisco's city skyline through the fog. Did I mention I liked this yarn?

It's currently available in 10 colors, including a silvery blue, a hot orange, a pea green, and an enticing purple called "Poison," which is what I used for this review. Each skein holds a generous 227 yards.

Knitting Up
Progress was slow but gratifyingly steady. Because I'm normally accustomed to slightly thicker yarns, it took me a while to get comfortable with Kidsilk Haze's delicate, fine texture. I used Brittany birch needles for a little extra control.

Although Kidsilk Haze has significantly less mohair fuzz, there's still enough to cause snagging if you're not careful. Even seemingly gentle snags appear as blotchy areas in the finished fabric, so you want to be patient.

Rowan designed Kidsilk Haze to be knit up at several different gauges, depending on the overall desired effect you want to achieve. For this review I knit two sets of swatches in fine and looser gauges. It fared equally well in both cases. Fibers stayed intact, with no sneeze-inducing mohair fluff flying into the air.

Blocking / Washing
It was with a heavy heart that I set about thrashing my swatches. Would the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Yarn finally come knocking on my door, I wondered?

My first surprise was that the rich color didn't bleed at all. I even tried hot water, but the color stayed true.

My second surprise was how well the swatches emerged from their baths. While many others look like drowned rats, these looked remarkably intact.

They resumed their shape almost immediately, with minimal prodding from me. The gauge remained true.

Wearing
My swatches survived their torment remarkably well. Wear eventually showed itself in a dulling of the mohair fuzz, punctuated by the brightness of the underlying silk. Some spots wore more heavily than others, giving the swatches a somewhat blotchy look. Still, the underlying fabric stayed true.

As for touch, Kidsilk Haze may likely be the softest brushed mohair you'll ever experience. There's no nylon or wool core, only two plies of buttery soft silk. Each ply is, in turn, made up of multiple plies of even finer silk, giving the yarn good strength at its core.

This softness makes Kidsilk Haze entirely appropriate for any next-to-the-skin wear. But here's the problem: Even at its finest given gauge, Kidsilk Haze produces see-through fabrics.

Scarves and hats notwithstanding, you'll need to wear something underneath your Kidsilk Haze garment -- at least when you leave the house.

Conclusion
You'll want to take your time and knit each stitch with care. This is partly to ensure good results, partly to allow yourself the pleasure, and partly out of respect for the rarity of its fibers.

Angora goats produce fiber this fine only once in a lifetime, prior to their very first shearing. And we all know the unfortunate end silkworms must meet.

I consider Kidsilk Haze a birthday, anniversary, thank-you, get-well, I-deserve-something-special yarn. Every moment in its company, whether knitting it up or wearing it, is sure to be a sensual delight.

 
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