Chrysanthemum Mittens and the Mystery of Hauk vs Heilo

SkiKnits “Chrysanthemum Mittens”

Like ’em? I’ve just finished my Chrysanthemum Mittens, above. I designed these to be knit in Dale of Norway Hauk yarn, which is essentially good old Heilo 100% Norwegian sport weight wool that’s gone high tech with a Teflon infusion to make the yarn especially water and stain resistant. The Teflon even makes the yarn slightly softer. And it knits at exactly the same gauge as Heilo. So Hauk is a perfect alternative for stain-prone comfort seekers like me. It’s great stuff – I love it!

By using needles a couple of sizes smaller than I’d normally use for sport weight yarn, I ended up with especially dense, warm fabric that I’m really happy with for mittens. But just how much of this yarn we need for these mittens is another question.

I used 1 ball of each color (black, barn red and natural) and ended up with a generous bit of the black left over, tons of barn red left over and a downright stingy four feet of the natural left over. It was a close call, too close for my taste. It’s all too easy to imagine knitting just a wee bit looser and running out of the 1 ball of natural before finishing up. I’m figuring kits to make 1.999 mittens might not be terribly popular 😉 . So, it’s time to look further into a question that’s been bothering me for a while now: Do Hauk and Heilo really have the same yardage???

According to the ball bands, they do. Like all Dale yarns, both Heilo and Hauk are put up as 50g balls. Both say they provide 100 meters. But I wonder if that’s precisely true, or merely an approximation, or…perhaps, not even so approximate an approximation.

Given: Heilo + Teflon = Hauk. Assume the 50g does truly stay constant. I’m no chemist, but last I heard, Teflon is not weightless. So, as Teflon is infused into the yarn in the dye bath, it increases the wool’s weight, right? So I’m betting there’s a proportionate decrease in the yardage per 50g ball. Is it so slight a change that there’s no sense in changing the yardage numbers? Or is there more to it?

Having made the first mitten in my second pair ofChrysanthemum Mittens, this time in Heilo, I’m taking a look at what I have left so far in the natural and it seems that I’ve got considerably more natural left with the Heilo than I did with the Hauk. Granted, I’m just going on memory at this halfway point. I’ll report back to you when the second one is done. It will be interesting to see just how much more, if any, of the Heilo natural there is to compare with my 4 feet of Hauk. Any guesses? Stay tuned!

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About twostrands

Knitting designer, retailer and instructor specializing in Fair Isle and Nordic design. Website = kidsknits.com Blog = twostrands.com.
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3 Responses to Chrysanthemum Mittens and the Mystery of Hauk vs Heilo

  1. Janis says:

    What an excellent comparison of Hauk and Heilo. I am about to start my first DON sweater and was planning on using Hauk. I would hate to run out of yarn two years down the road with no hope of matching dye lots.

    I anxiously await the finish of your second mitten. 🙂

    Thanks for posting this.

  2. Mary Tess says:

    Thank you for writing up this comparison. One reason for the difference may be the weight of the individual ball of yarn. I have gotten in the habit of weighing my yarn on a scientific scale (that is supposedly accurate to .5 grams) and have found that “new” balls of “50 g.” yarn can weigh anywhere from 47 to 52 grams. If I have more than one ball of the same color and am making mittens, I’ll use the heaviest ball, hoping that means more yardage. I, too, look forward to learning the results from your second mitten.

  3. twostrands says:

    Mary, I agree with you entirely – even within one yarn type, there can sometimes be slight differences in the weight of the balls. I’m taking that very salient point into consideration in my analysis and hope to post my results for everyone shortly. Thanks!

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