Cotton Cashmere

February 17, 2018





I always love to have an opportunity to share a new yarn with you. Rowan's new spring/summer yarn, Cotton Cashmere, is 85% cotton and 15% cashmere in a worsted weight.  It has a lightweight handle on the needles and even with the predominance of cotton it has a nicely wooly and lanolin feel to it. I agonized over what color to choose, but landed on this shade of linen because I knew it would be pretty this summer with my white linen pants. The fabric is a bit rustic, very soft and drapey and I think it would make a beautiful tank or an open, swingy cardigan. It was very easy to knit with a soft handle and not needle fussy at all. Still, it's good to remember that plant fibers knit up differently than wool. If you've had one bad experience with stringy cotton yarn, allow me to give you a sales pitch to give it another chance. Plant fibers don't have as much bounce as wool but a good cotton yarn will never feel stringy or difficult. The stitches of a hand knitted cotton or linen fabric typically aren't as even as wool, but to me it's part of the charm. The fabric is soft, strong, and breathable. And summer begs for cotton!  I've always said that Rowan does cotton better than anyone else and this yarn does not disappoint. This summer I'll be knitting with Cotton Cashmere again and also have a few sweaters planned with Rowan Handknit Cotton, another wonderful summer cotton I become obsessed with every time spring is in the air. I hope you'll give cotton a chance this spring!  If you've had a cheap cotton yarn experience, come back and try it again!

The pattern is Cool from Kim Hargreaves' Spirit book. It is out of print, but still available to purchase. I'm crazy about this ribbed boatneck design and Kim likes it too as she seems to use it a lot. Pattern changes were to eliminate the stripes and lengthen the sleeves. For them I used the top-down set-in sleeve technique. When you pick up stitches from the armhole and knit them down with short rows, it's easy to stop when you have the length you want. I almost stopped at just below the elbow, but I felt this would be a summer evening sweater and I do like to be warm. Our summer evenings are chilly enough for longer sleeves.

There are a dozen support patterns for Cotton Cashmere, but you can also look for any pattern that uses Rowan's Creative Linen (which what my pattern was meant to be knit with). The gauge was spot on. I think a Kid Classic pattern would work too although the row gauge is different, still, I think it could work. The bonus is that there are a ton of gorgeous Kid Classic and Creative Linen patterns in print. 

Cotton Cashmere should be at your local yarn store by now, but if not, my local yarn store, Uncommon Threads, has it for purchase online:



Here I go again making another very plain stockinette sweater. But I know what looks best on me, and I know what I'll get the most use from: a plain sweater in a gorgeous fabric with a great fit. For this sweater I wanted a relaxed fit--not too tight, and not oversized. The ball band says this yarn can go in the washing machine, but I'm not so certain if I will do that. I don't anticipate any problems machine washing it, it's just that the fabric feels so lux I feel like I want to baby it. Either way I decide to wash it, I'll pat it to shape to dry in the shade, then give it a quick fluff in the dryer while it's still damp. I like my cotton sweaters to take about 10 minutes in a warm dryer to fluff them up.


Here's how to knit a top-down, set-in sleeve with short rows. It's easy!







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8 comments

  1. Alas, Kim Hargreaves' book is out of print, per your link. It does look lovely on you, though, and the yarn looks and sounds great, as you describe it.

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    1. Hi MJ. It is out of print, but many shops still have it. My LYS does still have it in stock, thus the link. It's a great Kim book, and one of my favorites.

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  2. Wait a minute, you were still knitting it yesterday afternoon!!! It looks lovely on you.

    Carole

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    1. LOL! I was finishing the ribbing of the sleeve! Thank you!

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  3. Beautiful, Kristen. You always do such lovely work. BTW, you can order a new or used issue of Spirit through Amazon, which I just had to do, thanks to you! Venice

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    1. Oh you are going to love that book! I've got some sticky notes attached to a few more patterns in that book!

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  4. Thanks for a very informative blog post. Just found your blog through Rav but I'll definitely continue to follow it. Question, does this yarn "grow" significantly with blocking? I've had a few bad experiences with both cotton and bamboo so wondered if the cashmere counter-balanced the tendency for growth. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Cynthia. I wet blocked the front and back before seaming and did not notice any growing, but I know what you mean. I stay away from bamboo completely for that reason, but haven't had a problem with cotton and I don't anticipate a problem with this yarn.

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