Last month I had a few very busy days devoted to all-day knitting in order to test a kit from We Are Knitters.The Benjamin Snood will be part of their spring/summer collection this year and I opted for cotton yarn in grey and aquamarine. I must say that the colours on the website look far more vivid than they really are: I was expecting the aquamarine to be far more turquoise rather than the pale green you see here. Still, it goes really well with the light grey I matched it with originally and I am very happy with this colour combination.
What's in the kit?You get two balls of yarn in a choice of colours, 5 mm knitting needles, the pattern, a sewing needle and a label. It all comes in recyclable paper packaging and a cardboard box, which I really liked. It is all reusable.
Who is it for?The kit is aimed at beginners, which is reflected in the straightforward construction of the snood. It is knitted flat in stockinette until 10 colour blocks have been completed. Then the ends are simply sewn in and the snood's cast on and cast off edges are sewn together with the help of the needle provided in the kit. You also get a label to sew into the garment if you like. I did not add it to this snood since I don't like labels sticking out from the knitting. Also, it is a bit difficult to sew it in when dealing with worsted weight yarn or heavier.
My overall impressionEven though these are not my usually kind of colours, I really like them together. The cotton is very soft and smooth (I did have a knot in one ball, though), but also quite splitty so that you have to be careful to catch all the plies when knitting into stitches. This is made difficult by the needles included in the kit because they are unusually sharp and pointy at the very tip. I am used to wooden needles being fairly blunt, actually. Of course, you can always sand down the tips if you don't like them. Sanding is generally something you may need to do. The needles are coated, but the tips of mine weren't smooth enough and splinters caught on the yarn, so I filed them down. Now they are perfectly smooth and it made finishing the snood much more pleasant.
Personally, I would have liked the snood to have some sort of edging to keep the sides from rolling in. Also, I am a fan of proper grafting and would normally use the kitchener stitch to connect the ends. However, I do realise that this may be too much to include in a beginner's kit.
So if you know someone who has just learned to knit and you want to give them something special, this kit or another from We Are Knitters would be a good choice.