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A Surprising Match

I am making the Saffran Cardigan by Nicolina Lindsten

The cardigan is written for 0-2 years old (but sizes have been added now up to teens).  Knit in the round, the body and sleeves are joined for a yoke and steeked for the button band.

I’m using Calm Wool by Elsebeth Lavold. It is now discontinued. The pattern calls for a worsted weight yarn and the designer recommends some alpaca for drape. My yarn choice is 40% alpaca, 40% wool and 20% camel.  The long fibers gives the yarn a rustic look and the alpaca tones it down with softness and drape especially after washing.

The best thing I did was sit down and swatch it repeatedly. I swatched rib, lace and cables over 90 stitches until I began to understand the yarn.

I’ve had a bag of the Calm Wool stashed for a very long time and I could never quite figure out what to make with it.  The best thing I did was sit down and swatch it repeatedly.  I swatched rib, lace and cables over 90 stitches until I began to understand the yarn.  Swatching helped me understand that although the yarn is a 3-ply, it’s very airy and it behaves like wool on the needles until it is washed, and then the alpaca suddenly appears by relaxing the stitches and giving drape.  The camel fibers enhanced the rustic halo of the yarn (top yarn, green).

img_4095The longer I worked with the yarn, the more I wanted to bring all three of these qualities together.  The next morning, it came to me to use the yarn with a complimentary color because the halo would create a unique contrast and also a blurring and blending affect.

Since my yarn is discontinued (and we had a gigantic snow storm pouring into our area), I wanted to find something at my LYS so I could cast on right away.  The most obvious choice out of my LYS’s yarns was Cascade 220 (not the super wash) but I ended up buying Cascade Ecological Wool in the end.

I was very surprised by this choice (as was my knitting friend who happened to be in the shop at the time). She knits more fair isle than I have and knows how yarns behave together. She agreed with me that even though the Eco Wool was a 2-ply bulky weight, it had a similar twist and appearance as my Calm Wool.

Here, you can see how very different the (left) Eco Wool is from the (right) Calm Wool in weight and ply properties. When the plies are put together, they begin to appear (and behave) similarly.

Here, you can see that the green and white stitches are blending well together. When I wash the garment, they will grow into one fabric even more and settle in.

Snowpocalypse 2017

Schools have been closed for 5 consecutive snow-days (very rare for us) and our local stores sold out of water, snow shovels, generators and grocery shelves are bare of necessities like bread. We prepared for the worst and so far, the storm hasn’t iced over power lines and knocked out our electricity.

The Community was hired to dig out drains before the snow and rains fell and today’s temperatures rose to 41 degrees melting off a lot of snow along with rain fall. I tried to go out this evening to buy a pizza for supper and got stuck in my driveway. For an area that averages 10 inches of precipitation for an entire year, this. is. amazing.