Opaline in Softknit Cotton

July 10, 2013

My new cardigan, Opaline designed by Robin Melanson is a great cardigan, feminine and well designed.  I'm in love with the sweet and easy leafy lace (no cable needle required!) placket border and rolled stockinette hems. It is such a pretty pattern but has had little attention on Ravelry, only 3 projects, I can't imagine why!  It's knit flat and seamed, I made no modifications.  The hand painted milk glass buttons are vintage Czechoslovakian I found on Etsy.  I added this pattern to my Ravelry queue the moment it was published and was waiting for the right yarn in the right color, I was thinking summer cotton.

Softknit Cotton is a new spring/summer offering for Rowan.  When I first touched it, I knew I would have to make a summer sweater, it feels so soft.  The bottom line is, I love Softknit, and it does live up to it's name.  The yarn construction looks like a tiny hollow knitted tube.  The air space between the stitches in the knitted tube allow for a lighter feeling fabric, much lighter weight than if it were a traditional spun cotton.

I love summer cotton yarns and can't help but compare Softknit to other cottons I love.  Rowan Handknit Cotton (one of my favorite yarns ever, included in my list of top 10 yarns of all time), Softknit has the same soft hand yet has more bounce.  The fabric feels much more lightweight and has a tad more sheen than Handknit.  If you are familiar with the discontinued Calmer (and love it as so many did), Softknit Cotton has plenty of bounce but is not as elastic as Calmer, has a dryer feel, and knits up into a slightly more matte fabric, but is equally soft and more lightweight.  I often wonder why a lovely yarn like Calmer is discontinued, only to find that another superior yarn is launched to replace it.  I feel Softknit is superior to both Handknit and Calmer.  Softknit is well-behaved and stitches line up beautifully, looks gorgeous in lace and cables and comes in 14 clear colors.  Machine washable 100% cotton.  This is my new light-worsted weight summer cotton.

Please excuse my Cheshire grin, my photographer is quite the comedian.

Opaline available through Patternfish
Softknit Cotton, 92% cotton, 8% polyamide, 115 yards
Pattern support, Softknit Collection
The color is Sunset Red and I used needles US 5 and 6.


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  1. What a beautiful cardigan Kristen and the color is perfect !

  2. So pretty! I love the lace border. Thanks for the comparison with those two other Rowan yarns. I had felt a ball of the Softknit in my LYS earlier in the year and felt it would be heavier than the other two, so I'm interested to read about your actual experience with it! I'm just about out of Calmer, so I'll have to give this one a try!

  3. So pretty! I love the watermelon-pink color. It looks great on you!

  4. This is so pretty Kristen! I love how it nips in the center with the three little buttons. The color is very flattering on you. How many sweaters do you have girl? I bet you could wear a different one every day for a month : )

  5. The sweater is great, the model is beautiful.


  6. That's adorable on you!!! Love the whole look (including your beautiful smile)~ Leaves are fun to knit and I am knitting socks with leaves right now :)

  7. OH yes, lovely.... and may I add ---> 1 more off the queue on Rav??

  8. Lovely looking cardigan and cotton.. will definitely be looking that up for my next project :)


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