Knitting with Classic Shades Frenzy

This month, we continue getting ready for cool weather, holiday gifts, and colorful knits by spending a few moments with two more yarns in the Classic Shades family by Universal Yarns. Last month we looked at a few cousins, including this cute sweater in Class Shades Metallic. Today we look at Classic Shades Frenzy. This is a chunky (or bulky) weight yarn that is amazing to knit.

Long-repeat, multicolored chunky yarn Classic Shades Frenzy

The label on the skein of Classic Shades Frenzy that I tried says it’s a medium (4) weight. While knitting this with size 7 or 8 US [4.5mm or 5mm] needles would give you a dense, warm fabric, I think that it’s more of a chunky yarn, as it yields a gauge of 12 to 15 stitches per 4″ on anything from 9 to 10¾ US [5.5mm to 7mm] needles. The label recommends 13 stitches per 4″ on size 11 US [6.5mm] needles.

There are 100g balls and 158yds [145m] per ball.

End of ball with all the colors of the colorway lookin’ pretty

The versatility and the variable gauges that you can knit with this yarn is a result of its construction. The yarn is 70% acrylic and 30% wool. The acrylic is high-end, which means it’s very soft, it has a mixture of a medium to long staple (staple is the length of each individual strand of fiber), and it’s as light as a feather. The wool gives the yarn stability, elasticity, and added warmth and softness without weighing the yarn down. Many times chunky yarn knits up into very heavy fabric, but Frenzy just doesn’t seem to weigh a lot.

The inner layers of my ball of Classic Shades Frenzy

Frenzy is spun as a single ply, with about 4 to 5 twists per inch. This means that it stays lofty and spongy. This also means that it’s squishy (which is why it can be knit with multiple gauges) and sometimes it was “splitty.” I found that it only split on me when I was trying some tricky maneuver, like a purl 2 stitches together through the back loops, With SSK, and k2tog there was no issue. If you’re a new knitter, try to use dull pointed needles ‒ bamboo or plastic usually fit the bill.

Classic Shades Frenzy comes in 10 colorways. The one in all of my photos is called “Into the woods”. I analyzed the ball I was knitting and found that up to 10 different, identifiable, unique colors went into the spinning of this yarn. In any 6″ to 8″ segment of yarn you can see 2 different colors marled together like an old-fashioned barber’s pole. In other segments, the fibers took the dye in a more mottled or speckled way. There are long color repeats that stand out, but within each one, there’s always something interesting going on.

Skein of Classic Shades Frenzy in Harbor Lights colorway

It appears to me that some of the colorways may have more than 10 colors and others have fewer, but if I could, I would make something out of each one. There’s so much versatility in how they look and it would be easy to pair the knits with any garment in your closet.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at how Frenzy is knit up, and how it blocks, plus a freebie stitch pattern.

Close up of yarn skein showing many different colors

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.

Go to part 2: Knit a cowl with a mock cable pattern

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Patricia Lessard October 26, 2016 - 4:08 am
Thanks for the review of this yarn.
Charles Voth October 26, 2016 - 7:38 am
I hope you come back and see some of the things I knit with it over upcoming days this week.
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