I’ve been knitting with Chroma sock weight, and I noticed when I got it it was sort of “fluffy” off the ball, as if some of it hasn’t been spun tightly enough. It looks like a worsted weight at first glance. Anyway, I was knitting with it the other day, and as I was knitting, it broke. I’m wondering if anyone else has experienced this sort of problem with Chroma?
First I suggest you go to Ravelry and look up the yarn. There are other chromas so make sure you select the right one. There are 72 comments under the fingering weight. I didn’t read all of them.
So… It is loosely spun single and not plied. This tends to give wool a halo which makes it fuzzier which explains the fluffiness you saw. I don’t know for sure, but I think it also makes it easier for the yarn to break. I’ve seen my friends who knit and spin break the yarn on purpose rather than cutting it. Make sure you aren’t strangling the yarn as you knit and maybe it won’t happen as much.
I’ve knit with Chroma and Jan in CA is right: it’s not plied and so you can’t tug on it like you might with Wool-ease or something.
Chroma also has thick and thin spots on purpose in order to emulate a hand spun yarn. This makes it doubly delicate in my opinion. You probably snapped it at one of those really thin parts.
I have never broken this yarn, but then I’m a rather loose knitter. I also think it helps to use a blunt tip bamboo needle like KA with yarns like these, but that might be just me.
Despite its delicacy, I do still like Chroma because its hard to find color changes like that in fingering weight that are in my price range. Also, it’s so soft! And I love the Paperback colorway!
I’m more worried about how it’ll wear long term. All that barely spun nylon makes nervous.
I haven’t used this yarn, but I’ve had the same kind of trouble with other singly ply yarns (most recently and notably with Cascade Eco Duo). It seems to fluff up on its own, but I think part of the reason is that I’m a little heavy-handed for it. I’ve also wondered if body heat and sweat from overly-warm hands might have an impact. But I have nothing scientific to support that speculation.
My only suggestion is to watch how it twists as you’re knitting it (which is easier with a heavier yarn, I admit). If it’s coming untwisted, that could explain part of your problem.
Chroma is one of my favorite yarns to make things like small shawls, cowls and scarves. It’s so soft and squishy and the colors with long repeats are gorgeous. The one drawback, as you’ve noticed, is that it’s not as durable as a plied yarn. It is a loosely spun single which makes it fairly delicate. I’ve never had mine break, but I am a medium tension knitter.
What cast-on are you using? I ask, because I have found when knitting with Chroma that I usually have to work a knitted or cable cast-on, because long-tail tends to make it untwist on itself making it very fragile.