Somewhere way back in the Before Times (ie. pre-Olympics) I had a cute little earflap hat pattern all written and graded and tech edited and in need of an hour or two of formatting before soliciting test knitters. About that time, I finished up the second largest size for myself, using the original yarn of choice, Merely Worsted. There was about a yard leftover, which wasn't much of a buffer, and almost certainly would not make the largest size. I grumbled a little, and began another hat (this time for my daughter) in Merino Whisper, which being a softly spun single rather than a tightly spun 4ply, has more yardage in the skein.
The hat was finally completed 3 weeks ago (with loads of yarn to spare)... and photographed on our walk the other day (the colourway is Alpenglow Xtreme):
I've found the absolute best way to stress-test a yarn is to knit it into a garment for one of my kids. This hat has been worn every day for three weeks, usually in rain or wet snow, stuffed in a sodden lump in the bottom of a back-pack, generally treated with a complete lack of delicacy or consideration... and it looks like new. Not bad for a softly spun merino single, eh? It must be the superwash treatment that makes it so resilient to pilling, because it is a genuinely soft and lovely yarn.
It's got pretty decent elasticity and stitch definition , too - I'd originally envisioned it as a low-stress luxury accessory yarn (cowls, scarves, and such-like), but I think I'm seeing a sweater in my future.
Back to the hat... anybody want to test knit? I can't promise the pattern this week, but definitely by next - we're on spring break this week, so concentrating-at-the-computer time is scarce.