Knots occur in our Silkroad Aran and DK Tweed yarns from time to time owing to the machinery involved in spinning. When breaks occur, workers intervene to join the breaks by hand with small knots. We have taken up this issue with the yarn maker and we are assured that all care is taken to ensure minimum breaks.
Silkroad Tweeds are made using a carded (woollen spun), rather than the combed (worsted spun) system of spinning. Whereas the combed (worsted spun) system creates a stronger yarn consisting of longer fibres (such as we use in our Classic DK Wool, Silkroad Ultra, Alpaca Silk Georgette and Alpaca Kid Lustre yarns), the carded (woollen) system is able to accommodate very fine short fibres to make super soft yarns such as Silkroad Tweed. Because the fibres are short, breakages are more common than with worsted spinning.
The contrast colour nubs which are added to our tweeds create additional problems with breakages as they make the spinning uneven. In such a delicate textured yarn as Silkroad, the number of breaks can be more than with a normal robust yarn type.
The resulting yarn is a very lightweight, soft, very textured and natural. Silkroad Tweeds almost look as though they are handmade. These special characteristics go hand in hand with breakable yarn.
We hope this explanation our customers some assurance that Silkroad Tweed yarns are characteristically delicate and breakable and that this does not indicate inferior quality.
When knots are encountered in knitting yarn, the work should be taken back to the seam edge where a join can be made - rather then knitting the knot into the work. By allowing 4 times the yarn length of the row being worked prior to beginning each row, knots in the yarn will be discovered prior to beginning a row. If there is a knot in the yarn, break the yarn, removing the knot, and begin with the new section of yarn at the beginning of the row. This avoids knots in the middle of a row. The following link is a video which explains this technique.
Why are ball weights sometimes under or over weight?
A tolerance of plus/minus 5% is quite normal in hand knitting yarns. There is in all Countries a law setting the limit accepted, but it is not exactly the same everywhere; in Australia it is 5%.
We try to keep the weight as close as possible to the 50 gr (or 25g in some cases) and every day with all lots our quality control make trials in order to avoid differences. We always try to keep the tolerence within plus/minus 3%. The humidity reading each day affects the final weight.
Regarding length and in particular relating to tweeds, because the yarn is not as regular in spinning as the yarns spun with the combed spinning system it is difficult to maintain exact lengths in the balling.
What if the number of balls stated on the pattern is too many or too few?
During the design phase we have garments knitted in most sizes and estimate the number of balls required based on this knitting. Because knitting is not an exact craft, and because human hands are involved in both the knitting and the yarn making, there are sometimes over or under estimates made in the pattern writing. Our experienced knitters all produce slightly different tensions when using the same products. Therefore, the volumes stated on our patterns may not be absolutely accurate. Over time, we receive comments back from our customers regarding ball quantities. If we receive a number of similar comments on a particular garment we will make a change to the pattern and publish the change on the website. We can change the volumes stated in the on-line patterns as well, but of course any printed material we cannot change. We do not accept liablity for any inconvenience or loss caused due to differences between the quantities stated in a pattern and the materials required for your particular project. Since knitting is not an exact craft we ask that our customers take this into account when they find they are a ball short, or a ball too many in their knitting. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Please advise us if you feel we have made a serious error and we will consider your advice for inclusion in our next revision of the pattern concerned.