swatch project: oink pigments mystic

Today I’ll share what I learned while swatching Oink Pigments Mystic. This is a relatively new yarn, it debuted last summer. It’s my new favourite and absolutely delicious to knit and crochet.

Mystic is a 3-ply DK weight yarn and is 100% 17-micron (µ) Superwash Merino. It retails for $29/skein.

Oink Pigments Mystic in Poison Apple
Oink Pigments Mystic in Poison Apple

What does that mean? The 3-ply makes a round yarn. The superwash means it’s less likely to felt (unless you use really hot water). The 17µ Merino makes you question if you didn’t somehow get a very special deal on some cashmere since it’s very soft. It’s Merino which means it’s more affordable than cashmere.

Does 17-micron (17µ) mean anything? I confess I didn’t know what it referred to as soft isn’t a quantitative measurment. I pulled out some of my favourite books to see what they had to say. According to In Sheep’s Clothing, this is a physical measurement that helps to describe the fiber. It’s based on an “estimation of a fleece’s average fiber diameter… the lower the number the finer the fleece” and most Merino is generally categorized at 18µ (p 18). Cashmere by contrast generally has diameters in the range of 14-19µ (The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook, p 350). Depending on which system is used Merino of this micron-count [17µ] is considered super or ultra fine (p 138).

Both Super and Ultra sound to be good descriptions of Mystic. It is a very fine yarn and I love it.

Once I handwound my skein in the gorgeous green named Poison Apple, I had to decide what to work first. After much debate, my first swatch was in garter stitch. It took forever because I kept stopping to squish the fabric. Dot fell in love with the swatch too.

knit swatches

After working on a cable (look at that pop!) I started a stockinette swatch. Shadow loved it and its disappeared so he may have hidden it among his favourite possessions.

While I haven’t knit lace in Mystic, I know it will be beautiful. But enough about knitting, what is this yarn like to crochet?

crochet swatches

I love Mystic with crochet.

How great is my love? When I saw Rachy Newin announce a test for a new hat design in Mystic, I couldn’t sign up fast enough.

First I worked up a small sample.

Then I immediately contacted both Rachy & Helena at Oink Pigments inquiring if they wanted another sample. I loved how Mystic and the post stitches worked together. Ok, I didn’t exactly ask. First I asked how much they had in stock because I wanted to purchase all of it. Then when I realized that’s a LOT of yarn, I begged them to consider another sample.

Reader, to the delight of my budget, they said yes. Helena was on her trunk show tour and the timing worked so that she was able to stop by my house. She met both cats and handed me yarn. Note, this isn’t always possible!

This sample is worked in the “pigs doom and tacos” colorway. Isn’t it amazing?

more with mystic

Curious what else you can make with Mystic? There’s a growing number of projects on Ravelry and I know more designs are in the works. I’m smitten with Helena’s Purple & Blue Bonfire Shawl (by Rachy Newin Designs). Cynthia’s version of the Citroën Cowl (by Helena Bristow).

Both skeins of yarn were given to me by Oink Pigments. I wouldn’t have begged to work the Whirlwind sample (and thus the second skein) if I didn’t love the yarn so much.

Oink Pigments is at Stitches West this weekend, look for them in the 1400 aisle (booths: 1442,1444,1446).

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