Sunset Nights: Yarn Review & Rotunda Cowl

The Sunset Nights yarn in the Atacama Desert colorway.

I’ve been experimenting a lot with new yarns recently, especially Lion Brand’s spring and summer offerings. One of these new yarns is Sunset Nights, a 90% acrylic/ 10% polyester yarn, with gradual color transitions that create an ombre effect. I picked up one ball of the Atacama Desert colorway and two balls of the Martha’s Vineyard colorway. This review focuses on the experience using the Atacama Desert ball and that is the colorway pictured in this post.

Yarn Details

From the ball band:

  • #4, Worsted weight yarn
  • 273 yds/ 250 m
  • 3.5 oz/100 gram ball
  • 90% acrylic, 10% polyester
  • Gauge from ball band (4×4 inch square):
    • Crochet: 14 sc x 17 r on I-9 (5.5mm)
    • Knitting: 19 sts x 25 r on #8 (5mm)

The yarn is listed as worsted weight but it a light worsted and is loosely plied. It also has small sequins, but they aren’t all on the entire ball of yarn. As first I thought the sequins were only on the sections where the yarn is transitioning between two colors and the colors are blended, but it’s just hard to tell. I don’t know if this was deliberate or manufacturer error, but for this yarn, I would have preferred having sequins evenly through out the ball.

The Good

All in all, I think there are a lot of pro’s to this yarn. I like the that color transitions are gradual and blend smoothly. I like the size of sequins and they added a really subtle sparkle to the yarn (as mentioned above, would have preferred the sequins be spread more evenly, but all in all the sequins were a positive in my view)

What may be the best feature is that the colors appear the same from ball to ball of yarn. If you’re planning larger projects, the striping pattern of the Sunset Nights yarn is the same ball to ball. Unlike the Mandala yarn which can be wildly different, each ball of this yarn is going to give you essentially the same colors and color transitions.

I knit a small project, but if you’re knitting a larger project, knowing that you’re going to get the same set of colors from ball to ball will be really helpful to plan your knitting or other crafting.

The yarn is also really soft and would be good for projects that are going to be directly on your skin. The knitting experience was generally good, but the yarn is a really splitty. Which is a good segue into the things that were not so good about the yarn…

The Not-So-Good

Let’s start with the biggest hang up that I think both knitters and crocheter’s will experience: the yarn is splitty. As mentioned above, the yarn is really soft and attractive, but it is really loosely plied.

When a yarn is loosely plied, your needles (or hook) can split the yarn so you end up with loose loops and uneven stitches. Splitty yarns can really mess up a crafting experience because it can mean the yarn is difficult to work with, slows you down, and you’ll have to go back and fix your mistakes. All of that is just less than ideal. Not a deal-breaker, but not ideal.

I also would have preferred the sequins be evenly spread over the yarn. I liked the color of the yarn and the sequins, but didn’t love that the sequins were placed intermittently only on certain sections of the yarn.

Close up of the Sunset Nights yarn, showing the small sequins.

What I Knit & What I’d Suggest You Make

To try this yarn out, I knit a modified Rotunda Cowl. And I love the results. I cast on only 120 stitches and knit until I had enough yarn left to finish the second garter stitch edging.

Knitting with the yarn was a little bit frustrating because it was splitty. But the finished cowl is so soft and the colors are so pretty, I can see knitting another accessory with this yarn.

If you’re looking for a project for this yarn, it seems perfect for accessories like cowls, scarves, and shawls. I would not use this yarn for things that will get a lot of use that involves rubbing or wear because the yarn is so loosely plied, I’m guessing it’s going to pill and fuzz. So avoid gloves or hats (and definitely no socks!). I’m on the fence in saying whether this yarn would be good for a sweater. I can see it as a looser, layering piece that you wear infrequently. But as someone that gets a lot of use out of their handknit sweaters, I don’t think I’d use this yarn for a garment.

The Bottom Line

Overall, I liked this yarn and enjoyed using this for a single project, but it’s not a yarn that’s going to get a permanent place in my stash. I think it’s a little too niche for me to return to again and again.

If you’re someone that knows working with a loosely-plied, splitty yarn is going to be frustrating for you, I’d pass on this one. One the other hand, if you’re open to working with a splitty yarn and are looking for a really pretty ombre yarn for an accessory project, I would definitely consider this yarn.

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Until next time, happy knitting,


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