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I’ve been working with Chroma yarn in both fingering weight and worsted weight and I think its time for a review. I’ll say right up front that I’m addicted to yarn. I can usually find something to like about most of them. But I do like Chroma, very much so. It stacks up nicely against its competitors.
I had a ball of Chroma Worsted weight in colorway Dear Diary.
I made it into a cowl I called Chromatism.
Its a design that I think shows off the Chroma yarn quite well but it will work with any worsted weight yarn. You can grab a copy for yourself right here.
I also had a ball of Chroma Fingering weight in colorway Manzanita.
I made that ball into a shawlette called Shetland Glory.
Its a freebie too. Garb your copy of that one right here.
And now I’m working on turning this ball of Chroma Fingering …
into a pair of fingerless gloves.
Obviously they aren’t ready for their public debut yet but when they are I’ll have the free pattern here.
As I said, I think I’ve worked with this line of yarn enough to have a few helpful and hopefully intelligent things to say about it. While you never really know if you’re going to like a yarn until you give it a try for yourself, a review never hurts right? Right.
What is Chroma Yarn?
Chroma comes is two weights, two thicknesses:
- fingering, aka #2
- worsted, aka #4
Chroma is a long colorway yarn. That’s a little yarn industry term which means there will be long stretches of one color and before it changes to another color. These yarns are also called self-striping because that is exactly what they do. They add stripes to your project and you don’t have to fuss with changing yarn, cutting yarn, or weaving in ends.
Chroma is made from one ply. By that I mean it is one single strand of yarn. Most long colorway yarns are single ply yarns. The fiber is dyed “in the wool” and then spun into yarn. That’s how they achieve the self striping effect.
Chroma is made from 70% superwash merino and 30% nylon. Nylon gives yarn strength and durability. It will hold up better than a 100% wool yarn if made into socks or mittens or anything that gets hard wear.
What I Like about Chroma Yarn
I’m an aficionado of long colorway yarns. By definition they are muti-colored which is always a bonus in my eyes. Working with all those changing and shifting colors in one ball of yarn always seems like cheating to me, like I’m getting out of doing the hard work of changing yarns. I do like cheating. So I’ve tried a lot of different long colorway line. I think I like Chroma best. Here is why
- Its soft. Chroma is soft enough for me to wear against my skin, against my neck even. To me Chroma feels softer than Gina and Kaleidoscope (two other long colorway yarns) and light years softer than Noro Kreuyon.
- It doesn’t have that over-twist problem. If you’ve ever worked with single ply yarns that you’ve probably noticed that many of them are over-spun. They are not balanced and you can see that by the way the twist and curl back on themselves as soon as you start working with them. In all fairness, it is nearly impossible to spin a perfectly balanced single ply yarn. They all have to be over-spun a little to keep the fibers from separating. Chroma is almost balanced though. I appreciate that because it means I don’t have to spend time untwisting the yarn.
- The shifting colors in a ball of yarn are very consistent. Some of the colors make thin stripes and some make thicker stripes but they are repeating throughout the ball. You know what you are getting next when you work with it. I can’t say that about some of the others.
- I like the price. You get 100g for $9.99. That’s true for both the worsted and the fingering weight. Last time I checked Gina (which used to be my fav long colorway yarn) was 50g for $6 and Noro Kreuyon was 50g for $9.
- You can get matching solid colors. I feel like I should add exclamation points to that but I’ll restrain myself. Instead I’ll just say that as a designer and a fan of long colorway yarns, I’m often trying to find a solid that would pair up nicely with a long colorway to do stranded knitting, or mixing stripes, or mosaic, or something. My search usually leads me to Malabrigo, which makes single ply solids in worsted, but with Chroma you don’t have to look. If you want a solid, they got ’em. Now there are only four solid colors (I think they are called natural, black, gray, and brown) and they are kind of boring when compared to their colorful cousins. Meh. They are for background.
(A Malabrigo solid is what I picked to go with two colorways of Gina in my Cadence scarf. If I’d realized that Chroma had both the long colorways and a few solids to pick from I would have made that scarf in all Chroma. !!! Sorry, I just had to get that out of my system.)
Anything I don’t like?
It does not stand up well to being ripped out and re-worked. Its a soft, and softly spun, single ply yarn. It has a fine halo of fibers that stick out all over the yarn. When you try to pull out a row (or three) those stick-y out fibers grab on to each other. Yeah, this is a yarn that resists ripping. And once you have pulled out your rows, that soft yarn is a little worse for wear. You’ll get two, maybe three tries, to get the stitches looking the way you want them. After that, this yarn is toast. Don’t bother ripping. Its time to cut and start with fresh yarn.
The worsted weight yarn is a little splitty. This won’t be an issue for crocheters. Its not so splitty that your hook will separate the yarn. And the fingering weight is fine enough to make this a non-issue. But if you have the worsted weight and you’re using lace-tip knitting needles, you may find yourself splitting the yarn every now and then. Or maybe that was just me trying to knit too fast.
Overall I like Chroma Worsted and Chroma Fingering yarns. I’d recommended them to anyone who wants to play with a long colorway yarn. Also this is a Knit Picks product and their company policy is “If for any reason you are dissatisfied with your order, please contact us within 60 days and we will be happy to process your return or exchange”. (Love that about them and its one of the big reasons I signed up to be an affiliate for Knit Picks.) So if you do order Chroma and don’t love it like I do, you just send it back.
But you won’t. Its yarn. Very soft, cuddly, colorful yarn. at that. Who sends that back? Not us.
"There is no failure. Only feedback." - Robert Allen
22 Comments on "Considering Chroma – a yarn review"
After making 5 Virus shawls out of Unforgettable (doing some destashing) I think Chroma in fingering weight would be perfect for this project. Was hoping to catch a sale as I will pay about 30% more for the yarn plus shipping to Canada.
When I purchase, I will help you out by using your affiliates program.
Sales are pretty common at Knit Picks. You shouldn’t have to wait too long.
I love that Virus shawl too. It looks fantastic in gradent yarns.
You commented that Chroma is 70% superwash wool. I have two balls of Chroma in my stash and they say very clearly 70% wool (not superwash) with care instructions to hand wash. This is one reason they are still in my stash. Is this perhaps a change from the way it used to be? If it is now superwash, I’ll commence shopping!
Perhaps it is hand wash because it is single ply?
Okay, I just went to Knit Picks and see that it indeed is superwash now! I guess that’s a commentary on the age of my stash…
Thanks for the review — I never would have noticed the change otherwise!
I just did some searches through de-stash postings and, yes, it seems that the older Chroma was not superwash. But it is now! Lol. I guess they made some improvements.
Great and detailed review. I have been using Chroma for a few years and love the long colorways too- makes very striking garments.
It sure does. I particularly like that every Chroma colorway has at least one thin stripe. It keeps from getting too predictable.
Thanks for the support! No yarn is perfect in all ways. Not yet anyway. lol. And I want my readers who follow my recommendations to know what they are getting.