I have been crocheting a cardigan for my sister using Ice Yarn’s Batik Chunky yarn. This is the first time that I’ve used this yarn so I wanted to write a little review for it.
I am using the colorway “White Grey Black” for the cardigan. This yarn is 100% Acrylic, is listed as a #5 chunky on the website and comes in 3.53oz balls (131 yards). Full disclosure: this is the first time I’ve ever used a #5 weight yarn. Most of the time I use #4 worsted weight.
Let me start with the positives. This yarn is soft and definitely works well for garments. This would also be nice in a blanket or pillow. Anything that your face is going to touch will be okay to make using this yarn.
The balls are center-pull, which makes working with it easier.
At $1.75 per ball (you must purchase in a package of 4) it’s a cost-effective yarn to use when you are making a larger garment.
Honestly, those are all of the positives that I can think of right now. Now let me go into some of the troublesome (or maybe troublesome) areas.
The site lists it as self-striping, but the runs of color are not even. I would not use this for a self-striping pattern that requires calculated color changes. In my experience, some balls had very little black or very little white runs. However, there are times when you seem like the black or white run won’t end.
The back of the cardigan was made using at least five different balls of yarn. My first row is on the right where the black tail is located. Chester is sitting up by the top of the piece. To be honest, the runs of colors don’t bother me much at all. However, if you’re looking for a consistent set of runs, this yarn does not appear to have them.
My biggest problem with this yarn is that the thickness is not consistent. When it’s labeled as a #5 I would expect that the entire length of yarn in each ball will be within the tolerances of what a #5’s width. This yarn runs the gamut from a thin #3 (or maybe a #2) all the way to what could possibly be considered a #6. This is not a good thing when you are making a garment. When the smaller yarn appears your stitches get smaller and when the thicker parts appear then you lose the stitch definition.
In the picture above you can see the double crochets beneath the puff stitches are much thinner than those above them, or even to the left. The thicker patches don’t bother me as much as the thin ones. I didn’t dare cut those pieces of yarn out, though, because I’m not sure just how much extra yarn I’ll have left when I’m finished making the cardigan. My original estimation only left me with one or two balls remaining. If I had cut out every small patch of yarn I would have easily used up those extra balls. Also, this phenomenon wasn’t found in only one ball. It appeared in almost every ball that I used. I’m not sure if the yarn got stuck in the twisting machine so that some parts were twisted more than others or what.
Here is a picture of yarn from a ball that I was using:
Look at the difference! Again, I think it had something to do with the twisting because the thin stuff looks like it was over-twisted and stretched, while the thick stuff doesn’t look like it was twisted much at all. I’m also not sure if this is common across all of the different colorways, or if it only happened on the “White Grey Black” version. I know that Ice Yarns will do all one lot for their colors so I would imagine that their remaining stock of this color will also have this issue.
The various degrees of twisty-ness also can create a problem when crocheting. I find that I catch single strands of this yarn a LOT. It really creates problems when making the puff stitches as you try to pull your hook through all nine loops, plus try to make sure that you’re going through all the strands needed and a stray one isn’t hanging on your hook.
As a disclaimer, Christa from The Secret Yarnery recently made a sweater using two of the other colorways and she loved working with it. She didn’t mention anything about inconsistent width so it might just be the “White Grey Black” colorway that has this issue.
Would I recommend this yarn? Yes and no. Yes if you’re making a garment for either practice or it’s going to be more of a utilitarian piece that doesn’t matter if it comes out perfect. No if you’re going to use this for gifts or a piece that you want it to come out evenly and nicely. Again, I want this to be a utilitarian sweater for my sister so as long as it fits that’s all I care about.
If the width consistency wasn’t there I would definitely recommend this yarn knowing that the color runs aren’t the same length and shouldn’t be relied upon to do calculated self-striping. It crochets nicely and feels good in your hand when working with it.
I hope that review was helpful. I know that it was a bit confusing, but I wanted to document my experience so that others could make informed decisions.