UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

December 7, 2009

My Peace of Mind made me Upset.

Filed under: yarn — Tags: — UndyedYarnpire @ 11:16 pm

My Crown Mountain Farms order arrived today. I ordered right when the sale was announced, was told there was going to be a delay while some items were dyed, but it shipped Saturday and arrived today.

I got 4 8oz bumps of BFL and 2 8oz bumps of corriedale pencil roving in various shades of blue. I also ordered a skein of Adonis sock yarn, which is 100% SW BFL. That is dyed a multi-color colorway called “Peace of Mind”.

The sock yarn is what I want to talk about. I am upset and disappointed. It has been my experience that “fingering” is developing a ridiculous variance as sock yarns become more popular. For the most part “sock yarn” knits at 8sts/inch. Almost all sock patterns want that. Therefore, sock yarn must have that gauge in its range.

I complained about the Knitpicks “Essential” which has now become “Stroll” sock yarn because I had to buy #0 needles and it looks like I will get 9sts/inch so I will have to do all my own math even though I have a specific pattern in mind for that yarn. The Knitpicks yarn is about half as thick as the Pagewood Farms sock yarn I used in my best socks to date.

The CMF Adonis “sock yarn” is about half as thick as the Knitpicks Stroll. It is, no question, laceweight in my own parlance. CMF also sells a laceweight yarn, but that  must be what the Emperor’s New Clothes are woven from. Adonis is pretty close to what a double-ply of  heavy-duty sewing thread would look like. The description on the website says knit with #1 or #2 needles. (If I knit this with #2 needles I would get something airier than cheesecloth.)

Now. My question is this: Should I complain to CMF? It was, theoretically, custom-dyed for me. I did not get a bargain price on it because it was not included in the sale. Custom-dyed sale items, those could not possibly be returnable, of course. Should I keep it in case I have a project wanting a laceweight yarn, or need a gift for someone with a lot more patience? Or should I try to find someone to trade with?

If you are looking for normal sock-weight yarn, consider the Apollo which is 18WPI compared to Adonis’s 22WPI. I have not tried it, but there is no hope for Adonis being considered sock-weight. Probably at this point I would suggest buying your sock yarn from someone else entirely.

I looked online after writing this and Ask The Bellweather has “fingering” yarn at 19-22WPI and a citation to make me accept those numbers. Which means I cannot validly complain. Although I am still very unhappy with my purchase, I can afford to chalk it up to a learning experience. Out of a dozen brands of sock yarn I have bought, all of them have said “fingering”, and all of them have been significantly thicker than this despite how none of them gave a WPI measurement. There was not enough information for me to have known I was going to be unhappy.


  1. huh. Sorry it didn’t work out. I’m not sure about the expectation-versus-convention issue, however; I knit some “sock yarns” at 12 sts/in, though not the Stroll/Essential, and I’m using 2.25 mm / size 1, not size 0. Don’t wpi (wraps per inch) and type of fiber factor in as well, in terms of correlation between the yarn one starts with and the knitted swatch one ends up with?

    (The 12 sts/in yarn that comes to mind is ONline Supersocke, not the regular wool but a lighter cotton/wool blend. It’s very neatly plied and being used for the diagonal lace socks on my Ravelry acct.)

    Comment by skg — December 8, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

    • I have no idea how many WPI are in what I consider “average” sock yarn. I can tell you that most sock patterns knit at 8sts/inch and the others I have encountered have made a big deal about the difference in gauge. So if something is marketed as “sock yarn” I am expecting that it will (or at least could feasibly be) the standard sock gauge, or especially plied for durability. At least one of those and preferably both

      This is relatively loosely plyed, 2-ply yarn, 100% SW BFL, and it is the same apparent diameter as the Drops alpaca laceweight I have in my stash.

      I am willing to accept that “fingering” yarn is between 18 and 22WPI. But just because something is fingering yarn does not make it “sock yarn” which this was advertised as.

      I think the Stroll (Essential) sock yarn is too tiny. But I have not measured the WPI for that or the Pagewood Farms “Denali” or the Mountain Colors “Barefoot” I consider good sizes for sock yarn. I cannot compare any of these to the CMF Adonis yarn because I am not keeping the skein I have. It will go to a new home. And it will look less like a used gift if it is still in its original wrappings.

      The CMF page says this is 22WPI yarn. It is in their “sock yarn” category. I got what was advertised, but not what I assumed it would be. I am still very unhappy.

      I am considering emailing CMF and telling them I do not consider this a “sock yarn” per se. But I do not see how that will change anything. I got what I ordered. There was enough information on the page so I should have known better than to order this. And it was custom dyed so why would they do anything about it?
      It was $20 plus shipping (and that was rolled into my other shipping costs). So a non-trivial mistake, but one I made, not them.

      I would like for the world to know about my experience so other people who also do not know what the “standard” WPI of commercial yarns is (no one prints WPI on the ball bands, not even CMF who advertise theirs).

      But I did not look for yarn reviews myself. I could have looked at the Ravelry yarn pages.

      This CMF Adonis yarn is yarn for suckers who do not do their research. I had plenty of time and resources to check this out before putting my money down. It is my fault. I still hate the yarn.

      Comment by UndyedYarnpire — December 8, 2009 @ 4:45 pm

      • The KP entry in Ravelry says Stroll is 14 wpi. Haven’t measured it myself, either. Meanwhile, Ravelry’s Supersocke 100 Cotton entry also says 14 wpi—which means that they might be deriving it from the yarn weight rather than having someone enter it separately. Oops.

        When sock yarn is too thick, it becomes too warm for me to use for socks. Shawl/scarf things, sure, but not socks, with the amount of walking I do. Anyway, 22 wpi sounds way too tiny for sock yarn.

        Comment by skg — December 12, 2009 @ 8:34 pm

        • The 14wpi on Ravelry is fixed, when you pick “fingering” it attaches “4ply” and “14wpi”.

          The Adonis yarn is a laceweight. I would not be surprised if it was more than 22wpi.

          My picture of it (shown with a dime) is the Rav picture now. So hopefully people will click through my picture and see how much I hate it.

          Comment by UndyedYarnpire — December 12, 2009 @ 9:26 pm

        • Also, the visible thickness of sock yarn is not as relevant as you might think. A lot of yarn is fluffy and when you pull it tight to get sock-durable fabric, it can surprise you.

          My feet are ice cold. I am wearing cotton OTK socks and thick woolly socks from LLBean over those and my plastic clog house shoes. I think if I had gotten this yarn in July, I would not be as outraged. It arrived when they had reporters making snowballs on the morning news.

          Comment by UndyedYarnpire — December 12, 2009 @ 9:31 pm

          • Color me unsurprised, however, because I’ve knitted socks with the Stroll (now unraveled and turned into handwarmers), the Supersocke 100 Cotton, and Crystal Palace’s Pinto Cotton (a bamboo/cotton blend), and thus I know whereof I speak. :)

            Comment by skg — December 14, 2009 @ 11:03 am

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