2KCBWDAY1: A Tale of Two Yarns. One day late. Um. Oops.

I came home from work yesterday totally focused on watching the last five episodes of Battlestar Galactica on Netflix and completely forgot about the start of Blog Week. Oops. So I’ll bash out yesterday’s entry now, and today’s entry in a couple of hours.

Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

Cascade 220 Superwash. Oh my word, how I love that yarn. So many colors to choose from, and at roughly $7.00 per 220 yard skein, it’s arguably the best bargain in the “upscale” yarn category. It knits and crochets beautifully, it drapes beautifully, it washes like a dream…I’m hard pressed to come up with anything I dislike about it. Well, except one thing. It’s a worsted weight, but sometimes it seems a little thin in comparison to other worsted weights. Or maybe it’s just me, and I’m comparing worsted to Aran and can’t tell the difference. Maybe we need to make a new category for heavy worsted — 4.5 weight instead of 4. That might help ease some of the confusion. Yeah, I know, I’m the only one confused. After four years of knitting I’m still operating at the level of Yarn 101.

Anyway, more about Cascade 220. This was the first non big-box store yarn I ever bought. I used it for a simple scarf, one of my earliest knit projects.

Mooreen models a scarf

Sadly, Mooreen, the model, was lost in our move across country last year. The box she was in never showed up. We miss her very much.

After the wonderful experience I had knitting this scarf, I started buying the Cascade whenever I needed a 100% worsted wool. Several skeins of this fabulous workhorse yarn currently rest in my stash: one red, and five brownish gray. The red was left over from a mitten project.

(The remaining partial skein of the yellow was used in another project, and the remaining partial skein of blue is sitting here staring at me with accusation in its eyes, I mean center pull cake.)

The brownish-gray was purchased by my mother for a vest, but she found a yarn in my stash she liked better.

Which is cool, because I have the perfect pattern for this bit of loveliness:

I had previously attempted the Gathered Pullover using another lovely yarn, Mirasol Cotanani, but said yarn is mostly cotton and the garment turned out both too heavy and too stiff. There is much to be said for proper swatching. Speaking of which, the Cascade swatches up just right, and this project is next on the list. (The Cotanani is now being used in a pattern which calls for silk, and it’s working out great.)

Bamboozle by Crystal Palace. Bamboo, cotton, elastic nylon. I have a like/hate relationship with this yarn. Like, because it’s beautiful, has gorgeous stitch definition, and comes in lots of colors. Hate, because it’s difficult to use due to its splittiness. Yes, that’s a word. It splits like crazy, meaning the user must pay very close attention to each stitch to avoid stringy leftovers. The elastic stretchiness can be both good and bad. I have experience with both.

Crystal Palace Bamboozle

I bought this yarn for a knit-along project at the LYS where I used to live. The project itself went just fine, with the aforementioned difficulty of the split problem. Even with the splittiness, the stitch definition was beautiful. The finished product, however, was a definite “ugh”. The elasticity made the top much too short, and the shape didn’t flatter my figure at all.

Finished front

So, I frogged it. Later, I found a crochet project that seemed perfect. Now aware of the shrinkage tendency, I purposely added four inches in length front and back, and came up with a top I wear with relative frequency.

Ring Around the Posie 2

(The neckline isn’t really crooked…I adjusted the cami strap underneath it just before spouse shot the pic, and hiked the rest of that side up at the same time. *sigh*)

In this case, the elasticity works because the crochet pattern isn’t all that stretchy…there’s some give, of course, but the Bamboozle gives it just that little bit of extra to make everything fit just so. Although I’m satisfied with this particular project, I don’t like the yarn well enough to use it again.

And there you have it. Click here for other posts on this blog topic.


3 thoughts on “2KCBWDAY1: A Tale of Two Yarns. One day late. Um. Oops.

  1. I love Cascade 220, too, but frequently remind myself that it ain’t a swatch until it’s washed. And washed Cascade 220 items change size and shape substantially. It’s not a bad change, but it’s something to take into account.

    And be careful when you wash your brown/gray yarn. I haven’t had trouble with other Cascade colors, but every brown (or brown/gray like Doeskin Heather) fades like crazy in its first washing.


  2. I also love Cascade 220. I use it for everything. Your work is beautiful. I have never used bamboo yarn before but have used yarnd that splits and it’s so irritating, especially if you don’t catch it early on.

    Thanks for the great information!


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