Caron x Pantone Yarn Review
Caron® x Pantone™ first came on the market in 2018. It first caught Elaine's eye in Michael's as the skeins come in colourful, variegated braids and they are super soft to the touch. She shared her find with me and I too couldn't resist! I purchased two skeins in two colour pallets and couldn't wait to try them out!
About the yarn
Caron® x Pantone™ is a luxuriously soft yarn in a unique braid put up, with stunning color palettes specially selected by color experts at Caron® in collaboration with Pantone®. Get creative with color and use your 5 separated links of yarn in endless combinations to make a pattern unique to you. This merino wool blend yarn is easy care and has beautiful drape, perfect for creating wearable knit and crochet projects like sweaters, hats, and scarves (From Yarnspirations).
From the label
The yarn gauge is a 5 bulky and a 6mm crochet hook or knitting needles is recommended. It is a blend of merino wool (20%), nylon (20%) and acrylic (60%). The braid is 100g/3.5oz, 116 meters/127 yards. It is machine washable and dryable.
Where to buy?
Caron x Pantone™ can be purchased at Michael's stores in Canada. It can also be ordered directly from Yarnspirations.com - an online yarn retailer of many common brands such as Caron, Bernat, Patons, to name a few, and they also offer knitting and crochet patterns. The nice thing is they also have a whole page dedicated to patterns specifically for this yarn - although it seems to be more crochet than knitting.
Caron® x Pantone™ yarn retails at Michael's for $9.99 CDN however I have seen it on sale many times over the last few months - as low as $5 per skein in a one day holiday deal as well as buy two get one free.
Yarnspirations also sells the yarn for $9.99 CDN but you will have to pay for shipping. Shipping costs depends on the final value of your order. I am also not sure if the final charge will be in USD and then converted on your credit or bank account.
I say head over to Michael's to see and feel the yarn for yourself! Even if it's not on sale you can always use one of their weekly coupons to save! And you can hit the Yarnspirations blog or Pintrest for pattern inspiration.
Knitting with Caron® x Pantone™
The pattern I selected to test out this yarn is the Asymmetrical Knit Shawl from Yarnspirations. This pattern requires 4 braids of Caron® x Pantone™, which seems like a lot to me for a simple garter stitch shawl. I have done other similar shawls with just one skein of sock yarn. In fact, I had to go back to get more yarn when I realized the skeins I originally purchased were not enough for most patterns. The colour I selected is the Ultra Violet Minerals as it will be a gift for someone who loves purple as much as I do!
One thing that is a bit of a pain about this yarn is that before you can start knitting, the small skeins that make up the braid must be wound into individual balls. Normally I don't have a problem with that task, however, these are such small portions of yarn (about 25 g each) that its a bit much to do it for so many pieces. That also means more ends to weave in at the end (oh the horror!).
If someone is used to purchasing their yarn already in a ball rather than in a hank that needs winding, this may pose a bit of a challenge. If not done using the right technique, yarn in a hank or loop can easily get tangled. You will need to use a swift (although this yarn is a bit small in comparison to a regular hank), chair or the hands of a partner. I had to get creative and use my Christmas pillow.
The reviews on the Yarnspirations & Michael's (US) website are mixed. Some people love it for the colours and the soft texture but the complaints include knots in the yarn, splitting, and the price for the quality.
I would agree with the splitting - it does seem to split easily. But it is just a matter of taking care when you knit to not split your stitches. I also had to use plastic needles, which are not my favourite, as it was the only ones I had in the size called for by the pattern; the ends are not as pointy and, in my opinion, more difficult to slide into each stitch.
Out of 4 braids, and 20 balls to wind, I only encountered one knot in one section, which really isn't that bad for mass produced yarn.
In the end, I do like this yarn and I am glad I picked up a few braids when it was on sale. It is very soft, even once it is knit (which sometimes is not the case); and it was nice to work with despite some issues with splitting and having to add new balls very often. However, I would not pay full price for this yarn. Pick some up when you see it on sale and make sure to grab enough for your project as one braid does not go very far.
You also need to pay attention to gauge, weight and yardage for your selected pattern because although this is classified as a bulk yarn it is more of a dk or worsted in my opinion. It does feel thicker/bulkier once it is knit up, though.
I also didn't love the pattern I selected. The final product is nice enough but there were a few parts that were a bit confusing, especially at the end. I wasn't sure if I should keep going and repeat the colours or cast off. It didn't feel big enough but it also didn't use all the yarn it called for, so maybe I missed something. I think there are better shawl patterns out there that could be used for this yarn.
Have you tried this yarn? What colour and pattern did you choose? Let us know in the comments below!