Keenan Hand Dyed Yarn is opening with a new stunning look and I'm going to introduce some new mohair-silk colors. I thought I would introduce a 'Soft Scale' to assist in your yarn buying experience.
First, I'm not selling the kind of yarn you'd find in a big box store, so we can pretty much eliminate the scratchy acrylics and cheap wool blends from this scale. You're here because you're a yarnie (or shopping for a yarnie), you want to touch yarn and that's hard to do when you're buying yarn online. You want to know: How does it feel? Is it itchy? Is it soft? Are there guard hairs?
Starting at 1 and working our way up to 5, here is the Keenan Hand Dyed Yarn Soft Scale
1- I currently don't sell anything that I would rank #1.
2 - 100% wool
I feel kinda bad putting my 100% wool here, but remember, this is near the bottom of the Keenan Scale and I don't sell itchy yarn. It has a nice hand and no itchy guard hairs. This is a great yarn for Fair Isle and other stranded knitting projects because of the wonderful stitch definition and stability for stranded projects. It is 100% wool so if not handled properly, it will shrink and eventually felt.
100% wool tends to not be as bright at superwash wool, but that has to do with what happens in the process of making superwash...perhaps a post for another day.
3 - Superwash Merino and Nylon Base
This is the workhorse yarn. It can be used for baby items, socks, shawls, you name it. It's soft enough to envelope your feet in knitting socks, but strong enough to walk around your house without shoes on. Also, it's machine washable, so you fears of shrinking your work.
4 - Silk Merino
I don't carry this yarn frequently, but I do dye it up for shops. This has the softness of merino with the sheen of silk. Colors on this yarn can really show the complexity of layered dyes. I'm not sure you can say a yarn is like butter, but it is so smooth and soft (but not greasy or fattening).
5 - Silk Mohair
Can you say cloud? I'm lucky that my yarn provider has such a lovely silk mohair. I've knit several items with this and have yet to run across a rouge guard hair in the mohair. While mohair is soft and lovely on the skin, it can be a pain on the needles. This yarn loves to stick to itself, so when you make a mistake be calm in the ripping out process.
I'm going to work on adding the softness rating for each listing in the shop to help in your shopping.