Thursday, February 28, 2013

Yarn Review: Mosaic

Bernat Mosaic in "Medusa"
Rating: **** 4 stars  (out of 5)

Bernat Mosaic
Content: 100% Acrylic
Weight: Worsted weight
Yardage: 209 yards
Grams: 100 gram ball
Care: Machine wash and dry
Knitting Gauge: 18 sts & 24 rows = 4"
Recommended Needle Size: US 8 / 5mm
Crochet Gauge: N/A
Recommended Hook Size: H
Current Number of Colors: 16
Price: $5.99 (at Michaels)

Manufacturer’s Description: Self patterning for amazing effects. Beautiful shade range - perfect for garments or home decor. Easy to work with, easy care

General Intro: Ok, so this yarn was a complete impulse buy. I was in Michaels looking for something not at all yarn related and just couldn't resist strolling over to the yarn section. (Of course. I mean, yarn. Come on.) I don't label myself a yarn snob. Occasionally I like getting a Lion Brand or bernat yarn from a big box store. Acrylic is fine with me as long as it's done right. I do shudder thinking of the huge skeins of crunchy Red Heart acrylic, although Red Heart does actually make a few yarns that aren't so bad. It's been probably at least a year since I browsed Michaels, so I saw a bunch of new stuff and colors. The Mosaic was one of them. It was at the end of the aisle and I hadn't been too tempted by anything I'd seen up to that point. . .

First Impression: Color. I was immediately attracted to the shelf that held the Medusa colorway (shown). I picked up a skein, put it down, browsed the next aisle, came back, picked up Medusa again, and then considered a few other color combinations. There were a few I liked, but something about this one really attracted me. I don't do pink very often, however, being paired with the black, red, and orange gold made it ok. Different than the earthy tones I normally go for. (Every so often I try and make a point of selecting more colorful "crazy" yarns and accessories. Gotta branch out a little. Experiment. Try new things. All that cool stuff.)

When I first picked up the skein I thought it felt pretty sot. I checked out the label and noticed it said 100% acrylic. For a split second I considered putting it back because of that. Then I thought, what for? Am I really going to be a snob about this. Nope.

Shawl in progress using Bernat Mosaic

Knitting with Mosaic: The recommended stitch gauge is 4.5 stitches per inch using size 8/5mm needles. I know I generally knit loose, so I started knitting using size 7/4.5mm needles. It was going ok, but I decided I wanted something with a little more drape since I'd settled on knitting a shawl (and since this is acrylic there will be no blocking to open and stretch the stitches). Being the bad knitter that I am, I didn't actually measure my gauge on the size 7 needles. On the size 8 needles I'm getting 4 stitches per inch, which is a whole half a stitch less per inch than the manufacturer says. The fabric is nice for a shawl, cowl, or stole. If I was knitting a sweater or something that required a little more structure I'd probably go down a needle size or two in order to get that 4.5 stitch.

I'm not getting the crunchy squeakiness from Mosaic that you can sometimes get from 100% acrylic yarns. It could be due to the loose gauge I'm working at, or it could be that this yarn just doesn't crunch. Can't say for sure.

I like the way the yarn feels to knit. It's not springy like wool yarn, but not as unforgiving as cotton.

Designing with Mosaic: Coming up with ideas for a yarn with long color repeats is much easier than variegated yarns. I had a hard time deciding whether I wanted to make a scarf, shrug, or shawl. Finally I settled on a shawl. I had several ideas, but finally settled on something simple and relatively mindless. Once I finish there will be a free pattern. (I'll announce it on the blog when it's ready.)

Ending Thoughts: I like it. It's fun. Worth the $5.99 to play with some cool colors. I'd consider using it again for another project.

*This yarn was purchased by the reviewer. It was not supplied by a store or company.


Nancy said...

I have Mosaic for an "on again, off again" project. It really is a fun yarn. That colorway your doing that shawl in,, and the pattern so far is stunning!

d waters said...

A sweet friend just gave me three skeins of mosaic, so I stared searching for a shawl pattern. I found your post and love picture. Did you ever post the pattern? I would love to make it!