A Cardigan for Arwen KAL

The Knit-Along for A Cardigan for Arwen by Kate Gilbert from Interweave Knits, Winter 2006. Come join the Fellowship!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Preliminary thoughts on yarn

I'm awfully excited about this cardigan... but not so excited about Cashmerino Aran. It's a beautiful, soft yarn that comes in all manner of rich and subtle colors... but it's expensive, it pills, and in my experience, ripping and re-knitting reduces it to raggedy string. Not exactly what I want for a complicated cabled project, despite the seductive beauty of the untouched yarn. (But don't let me talk you out of it if you are partial to the stuff.)

I'm eyeing Knitpicks Andean Silk as a potential alternative. The yardage is nearly identical, and it's half the price. I've never used this yarn before, though, so I don't know how good the stitch definition is (and for a cabled project like this one, stitch definition is critically important.) Their Main Line might also be a good choice, if you like the colors (I don't, but that's just me) and don't mind a high percentage of cotton; the product description suggests that it is excellent for cables and other texture work. I also notice that Swish Superwash comes in many lovely colors and seems to be compatible gauge-wise.

And I'm personally very fond of Black Water Abbey and Beaverslide yarns. These aren't as drapey and creamy-smooth as Cashmerino Aran, but they would make a warm, heathery, slightly rustic-looking cardigan. (Think of the Elven cloaks given to the Fellowship as they set out from Lothlorien.) Check out the worsted-weight swatches on the Black Water Abbey site and see for yourself. "Pippin" would be oddly appropriate, wouldn't it?...


At 10/19/2006 4:07 PM, Blogger Kat with a K said...

Oooh, the Swish Superwash definitely seems to have potential. Anyone used it before?

At 10/19/2006 4:08 PM, Blogger FemiKnitMafia said...

I've never been to Black Water Abbey's site before. Thanks!! Did you see the Sunset colorway? Looks like a Beth color if I've ever seen one.

At 10/22/2006 7:56 PM, Blogger Linda said...

What about artyarns supermerino? I've knitted two projects with this yarn, and it is so enjoyable to knit with. The colors I've used thus far are capuccino and forest glen.
I was thinking chocolate, a nice semisolid.

At 10/25/2006 1:06 PM, Blogger Lorraine said...

Of the three KnitPicks Yarns, the Swish Superwash is definitely the superior choice for cabling. The Andean Silk has lovely drape, but not enough body nor elasticity for good cables. Main Line has limited elasticity. Swish is perfect. Cottony-soft, machine washable, and has plenty of oomph for cables. I've been swatching some up with it, and it behaves perfectly.

At 11/02/2006 6:00 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

I actually just finished Mariah from Knitty using the Andean Silk (which has big cables on the sleeves) and I thought it worked quite well. It's pretty sheddy, though. There are photos at my blog...

At 11/05/2006 2:33 PM, Blogger Linda said...

Elizabeth, I was glad to read your comment about Andean Silk, since that's what I've chosen (in sangria) for this project. I've had good success with KnitPicks yarn, but this will be my first experience with Andean Silk.

I checked out your blog, and noticed you just read The Time Traveler's Wife. I loved this book! What a great read.


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