When it comes to picking a favourite fibre to work with, I almost always go with cotton. I much prefer it over merino, mohair or bamboo. It might be the texture that appeals to me, but I think it is mostly the fact that this is the one yarn I can work with all year round without it ever getting too hot. Don’t get me wrong, there are very few things as delicious as working with 100% merino. Unfortunately, living in South Africa with its spectacular (albeit hot) weather, for the better part of a year, merino is simply too uncomfortable to work with.
For a very long time, the only 100% cotton available were Vinnis Nikkim and two brands from Elle Yarns; Premier Cotton and Cotton On. Both excellent brands, but if you work with cotton as much as I do, everything you make start to resemble each other.
During 2014, a few newcomers arrived on the scene, one being MoYa‘s 100% organic cotton. I was thrilled, but were unable to get my hands on a ball, until our December holiday, when I managed to buy 4 balls at yarn shop in the Western Cape. The joy! The ecstasy! I immediately fell in love with the texture of this yarn and couldn’t wait to try it out. Unfortunately, the only shades I could find was variegated, and lovely as it is, variegated really doesn’t do it for me.
Imagine then my joy when Hester from MoYa contacted me to tell me they would like to send a couple of complimentary balls my way. Whoohoo!! The yarn finally arrived and it was the most delicious, softest colours. Beautiful to look at and super soft to the touch.
My brain worked overtime. I wanted to test the yarn sufficiently enough to be able to have a clear understanding of its properties, how it handled in the wash, how it blocked, how it behaved.
I felt that making a block or something small wouldn’t give me a clear indication of its quality. As I mostly make garments/wearables I decided to do a cardigan. This would really show if the cotton blocks well, and more importantly, wash well. (Full disclosure: As 5 balls aren’t enough for a garment I used it in conjunction with other cotton I already had in my stash.)
The result is this funky, fresh and fun little cardigan:
Once it was completed, the first step was to wet block it to measurement. After it dried, I washed it again. It retained its shape beautifully. The colours didn’t bleed or fade at all. The pre-washing (post-blocking) and post washing size remained the same. There were no discernible shrinkage at all.
It crochets beautifully. The yarn is truly a joy to work with. As it has a high twist, it didn’t split once. The stitch structure is quite solid. I used a 4.50mm hook instead of the 3.50 – 4.00mm hook suggested on the label. It gave a softer, better drape on the larger hook.
MoYa comes in a range of absolutely delicious colours:
The Nitty Gritty:
MoYa Yarn: Their tagline/slogan is Sui Generis : (Latin) meaning ‘a kind of its own’. This is quite true. No two balls are exactly the same, and each ball contain slight colour variations. It gives a beautiful mottled effect as opposed to solid colour.
Care Instructions: The label ask that the first time wash should be done separately as there may be slight residual dye. I know this is true for most hand dyed yarns, although not on every single ball. In this case there were no residual dye left at all. As per all other cottons they also ask that you dry the item on a flat surface and that you don’t tumble dry. I never tumble dry any item made with natural fibre, the risk of shrinking is simply too high. They don’t stipulate a specific washing temperature but I wash all my handmade items in cold water, anyway. Experience has shown that any item made with natural fibres and washed using higher temperatures, causes the article to shrink to some degree.
Suggested hook sizes: The suggested hook size is between 3.50mm – 4.00mm. This is spot-on, although it depends on the item being made. In this case I wanted a better drape and used a 4.50mm. If I was making a more structured item, for eg coasters or even a pillow case, I would’ve used either a 3.75mm or a 4.00mm. It is best to play around to find the best ‘look’ for whatever you’re making.
Colour Fastness/Shrinkage: The biggest concern facing knitters and crocheters are probably colour fastness and shrinkage. Nothing breaks the spirit more than hours put into a project only to see it ruined after completion when the colour fades and/or the item shrinks. I only washed the cardigan once, but there was no bleeding, and definitely no fading. The cardi also kept its shape and the drape is exceptional. Both my pre and post measurements were exactly the same. No shrinkage here!
Potential uses: This is really a versatile yarn. By simply playing around with your hook, you can create fabric that either drapes softly (using a bigger hook), or fabric that remains sturdy (use a much smaller hook). The yarn would be perfect for everything from baby garments/blankets (it is soft enough), to household items such as coasters, placemats, bags, blankets and garments. A fabulous all rounder.
Availability: This is a major deterrent at this stage. Very few stores stock MoYa, and I truly hope this will change soon (I’m bugging my LYS at every visit). However, it is currently available online so if you can’t buy it locally, you don’t have to despair. Your own stash of MoYa balls are just a few clicks away from the comfort of your own home.
Here are a few stockists that I’m currently aware off (there may be more)
Yarn In A Barn
Bricks & Mortar Stores:
50 Something in Vredendal
Knitter Knatter in Brackenfell
Contact MoYa directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
MoYa gets my thumbs up, for sure. I’m very, very picky about the yarn I use, and I can honestly not fault this particular product. Time will tell if my garment stays as fresh as it is now, but my initial gut feel is that it will.
If you have used this product, let me know how it worked for you!
(Disclaimer: I was not paid or compensated or asked in any way to do this review. This statements made here is based on my own experience.)