We proudly presented the newest addition to the Pascuali range a few weeks ago at the h+h trade fair: Camel DK.
As the name suggests, this is a yarn made of camel hair. The fibres come from the undercoat of the two-humped Bactrian camel which can be found in a vast areas extending from eastern Turkey to China and Siberia. Bactrian camels are extremely frugal. In their natural, mostly very dry habitat, temperatures fluctuate between -40 and 104°F (-40 and +40 °C) over the course of the year. Their fur is their best protection: the undercoat insulates against both the scorching heat of the summer months and the freezing cold of winter. The fibres of the undercoat (also called baby camel) retain these temperature-regulating properties even when they are processed into yarn.
If you are now curious and want to learn more, we recommend our blog post on camel wool.
Let´s talk about Camel DK! The yarn comes in 25g balls with a total of 11 colours ranging from natural white, to soft sand to earthy tones al the way to grey and black. All wonderfully shades inspired by the endless sand dunes in the deserts of Central Asia. The yarn is something special at first glance: In contrast to most yarns, it is not twisted. Camel DK is a chained yarn, which means the thread can best be described as a kind of i-cord. This construction makes the yarn very elastic and very light.
The fibres of Camel DK come from Inner Mongolia where they are gathered-in a very sustainable and animal-friendly way. The animals naturally lose their thick winter fur in spring. Once it has fallen off, it is collected, sorted, cleaned and then spun and dyed in Italy.
And now it's time to knit!
The recommended needle size for this "DK" yarn is 6 – 7 US (4.5 mm) with which you get a gauge of about 18 stitches. It is an easy yarn to cast on. The yarn is easy to hold on to despite it being so light and airy. While the yarn itself appears rather rustic due to its construction, the chained look almost completely disappears in the knitted fabric. The stitches result in a very nice and even stitch pattern. This applies to both the 6 – 7 US (4.5 mm) needle and neighbouring needle sizes. It's worth experimenting a little here in order to achieve the most beautiful stitch definition (and the perfect drape of the fabric!). In general, however, you are doing Camel DK (and yourself) a favour and, if in doubt, it is better to use a thicker needle because the yarn needs room to unfold to its full beauty.
The knitted fabric feels airy, soft, and very pleasant to the touch period. It is perfect for a luxurious year-round pullover or a nice big shawl to warm your neck in winter and your shoulders on cool summer evenings!
Braids knitted with Camel DK are also very pretty. This airy but firm yarn brings out the three-dimensionality wonderfully. And even thick braids over 6 or even 8 stitches do not become stiff and hard but remain "cuddly".
Our swatches have retained their dimensions even after being washed and carefully laid flat to dry. (By the way, there is a lot of information about washing wool in our blog post about Caring for Wool).
Have we inspired you? Camel DK is available in the Pascuali Online Shop and at selected retailers. Have fun knitting!