Beaded Ensemble and Sequins vs. Beaded Rhapsody and Sequins
This is the first in a series of reviews of various Artyarns bases. I know that many stores only seem to carry one or two of the bases. Some stores don’t even know the full range available! Part of the reason I became a retailer for them was because the stores I contacted didn’t even believe me when I told them there was a “Beaded Cashmere and Sequins” available, and I wanted to test it myself.
So here, for your elucidation, is a comparison of the two above-named yarns. I had purchased these for store stock, simply because these were other bases I’d never encountered. Having stared at them for several months now, I decided to pilfer them today and work with them. The similarities are what drove me to begin this series of reviews.
Beaded Ensemble and Sequins is considered a worsted weight yarn with 128 yards on every 100g skein. Recommended needle size is an 8. This yarn is 75% silk and 25% cashmere, with the glass beads, plastic sequins, and a strand of (silver, in my case) Lurex running through it. Retail is $82 per skein.
Beaded Rhapsody and Sequins is also considered a worsted weight. It has 120 yards on every 100g skein and the recommended needle size is also an 8. This is nice, because it means these two are interchangeable for gauge. Beaded Rhapsody and Sequins is 90% silk and 10% kid mohair, plus the glass beads, plastic sequins, and a strand of (silver) Lurex running through it. Retail price is $78 per skein.
Despite the difference in content, there is very little to differentiate these two yarns when you look at them. (See picture.) The kid mohair content in Rhapsody is so low that the only way I can see it is by placing the yarn against something very pale – a white sheet of paper, or my hand – and bringing it very close to my (spectacled) eyes. The structure of both is the same – strands with a light twist, with the Lurex and the bead/sequin strand lightly twisted in with them.
Here’s where you can feel the difference. The Rhapsody, because of the mohair, is slightly scratchier than the Ensemble. Possibly not enough for you to notice. I only notice it when I’m squeezing or petting the yarn balls, which, admittedly, is something knitters like to do. But it’s unlikely that someone stroking your FO is going to notice the mohair content. I’m currently working the two yarns (alternating every two rows) in an openwork shawl, and I don’t notice it in the knitted part, and not in the strand as I knit. Just in the ball form.
They’re knitting up nicely on size 13 needles (I wanted a larger and open look). I have since found out that Artyarns can produce either of these yarns without the Lurex strand, which is appealing to me. Lurex is something I associate with yarns from Michael’s, not with something elegant like Artyarns. And there’s enough glitz in these yarns already, loaded with beads and sequins, that the Lurex is not necessary. In future orders I’m going to ask them to leave that strand out; I’m glad I got the stock ones this time, though, for comparison. The Lurex is not mentioned in the specs sheet, so I’d had no idea they would have this strand added.
In short, I’d have to say that if you’re dithering between these two yarns, the Ensemble has the edge. The mohair in the Rhapsody doesn’t make a bit of visual difference and it makes a slightly negative difference in the yarn’s feel. For the $4 extra, the Ensemble is worth it, and you get a couple extra yards, too.
The color shown is #904S (the S stands for “silver”).
Next: Beaded Silk and Sequins Light versus Beaded Silk Light.