Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran
Cashmerino is the anchor yarn in the Debbie Bliss yarn line. It comes in several weights, from Baby to Aran, Chunky, Superchunky, and—new this year—Astrakhan, a loopy variant for those seeking novelty-like texture. For this review I focused on Cashmerino Aran, which comes in 30 saturated, pastel-laden hues.
The first thing you'll notice about this yarn is how smooth and soft it is. It's as if they puréed the Merino wool, microfiber, and cashmere, strained the liquid through a superfine sieve, and then magically transformed it back into yarn.
The plump, succulent fibers flowed eagerly between my hands and my blunt-tipped Addi Turbo needles, which they clutched with dough-like elasticity. The yarn formed even, steady stitches and was pretty forgiving of inconsistencies, making this an excellent yarn for beginners.
I was able to knit by touch alone without any problems—not once did the yarn snag on my needles.
Blocking / Washing
With each wash, my swatches got fuzzier. The crisp stitch definition gave way to soft surface halo of loose fibers. You could still see the shimmer of the stitches (perhaps the Merino?) beneath the halo, but a halo was there. Despite the blurring, the foundation of microfiber kept everything snug and solid.
My swatches relaxed significantly in the wash, especially width-wise. Tugging the swatches back into their original shape and blotting them dry did the trick. I measured and re-measured and re-measured again and finally decided that they'd stretched by less than 1/4 stitch per inch, resulting in an 18 stitches per 4-inch gauge as listed on the ball band.
For that reason, I'd advise very delicate handwashings instead of using a machine—even if it does have a gentle cycle. And I'd also advise you to invest in a good fabric shaver to remove those pills when they start showing up.
The tradeoff? A delightful knitting experience, and incredible softness. No, it's not pure qiviut or angora or cashmere—but for a wool blend, I have yet to find anything softer.
My compromise is to save Cashmerino for those very special projects I know won't get much wear. A baby ensemble, for example, where softness and beauty really count. Or a special scarf for me, since I care primarily about warmth and softness.
Have you already worked with Cashmerino and have a story of your own? If so, I encourage you to share your own story—whether good, bad, or somewhere in between—in our forums. And if you haven't worked with Cashmerino yet, I strongly urge you to seek it out in your local yarn store and decide for yourself.
55% merino wool
18 sts and 24 rows per 4 inch square on US 8 (5mm) needles
Average retail price
Where to buy online
Weight/yardage per skein
50 g. / 100 yards
Country of origin
Manufacturer's suggested wash method
Gentle machine wash, wool cycle at 30 degrees C. Dry flat away from heat. Use low iron if necessary. (If you're unsure of your machine settings, we recommend handwash in lukewarm water and lay flat to dry.)
Color used in review