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May 24, 2006

Winners and losers

Have you been following Carolyn's tragedy with the Basalt Tank from Knitting Nature? It appears that this pattern is absolutely ridden with mistakes, the sort of careless errors that drive us all berserk.

But you know what, the Swirled Pentagon Pullover wasn't perfect either.

I know I've raved about this sweater and about its sizing, and I stand by my word - the proportions are so correct, it's mind-boggling. My mouth is still wide open, and Ivete shares my amazement. I've already noted that another sweater from this book that I'm considering has proper measurements, too (yay!).

However, don't mistake "good proportions" for "well-written pattern" ;). Do you know what I mean, the difference between the two? While the Pentagon pattern was written correctly for the most part (I found two small typos), I still don't know what went wrong with the pentagons, why they came out so funny looking, and why I had to change how they were knitted so drastically.

Nonetheless, I'm shocked that the Basalt Tank is so poorly written, and I'm glad Carolyn is reporting her experience - makes me more cautious. What's the verdict - is Knitting Nature a winner or a loser?

One thing for sure: this is a loser. Looooooser. Say it with me, loooooooooooooser.

This is Debbie Bliss Cotton Silk Aran, and it knits up as stiff as a bathroom rug. As it ends up, I'm not attempting to make a bathroom rug, nor, say, a bulletproof vest, so wild frogging ensued.

But this... this is a winner ;).

A new yarn from Classic Elite called Classic Silk. It is 50% cotton, 30% silk, 20% nylon. It has a slight sheen in sunlight (no sunlight at 1 a.m., unfortunately, so I can't show you), and a tweedy non-wooly goodness rivaled only by Tatamy Tweed from Kraemer Yarns. It knits up soft, sure, but then... woohoohoo... then I disregarded the care instructions and stuck that swatch in the washer and dryer. It came out terry cloth soft. And drapey. And perfectly stretchy. Everything Cotton Silk wished it could be.

I just want to take that swatch and put it under my shirt and enjoy the softness. Is that so wrong? ;)

Posted by Kathy on May 24, 2006 12:49 AM

Comments

If loving it is wrong, then hell, no, don't be right!

oh vow, that's funny, two seemingly similar yarns soooo different!

See, that experience encourages me to swatch more. Often, when I swatch, I'll just quickly knit up enough to check my gauge, then rip it back and start the project. That is such a good lesson to me that washing is also important. When I knit Picovoli I did actually wash my swatch which was good, because the yarn bloomed out way bigger than I could have imagined. I should make this a habit, as it would be sucky to have (bad) suprises in the wash after knitting an entire SWEATER!

So, are you gonna tell us what that pink swatch was? or what it was going to be? The suspense is killing me! ;-)

It sounds like Cascade's Pima Silk (which I used for my Picovoli, BTW!) -- super soft, and better after washing. Don't you love discovering a great new yarn?

thanks for the Tatamy Tweed tip. its hard to find nice soft cotton with any memory. I guess the acrylic helps... otherwise cotton seems hopeless.

Oh the troubles of a knitter. I am awaiting Melanie's reply...and I am slowly cooling off. I do love the look and origionalitly of the patterns, but I just don't have the well rested mind to figure out all of the mistakes.
Anyway, thanks for the heads up on the yarns...I have never seen that DB one, but will surely stay away from it. Can't wait to see what you make with classic silk!

Thanks, Kathy, for the info on pattern errors--so frustrating to spend money on a book that leads you to hell. You do help so very much. Also, lust for yarn is never never wrong!

Wow, Kathy!
I am really getting itsy to knit something up from it, I chose this sweater (don't have the book handy to remember the name) http://www.grumperina.com/knitblog/archives/norah12.jpg But regardless all the mistakes the book is BEAUTIFUL.. and I hope Carolyn will find the resolution to the Basalt tank, because it is AWWWEfully cute! As for mine, I am still looking looking for the Purrfect yarn for this unusual sweater. Thank you so much for your review on those Cotton Silks! Your posts are always so helpful!
Spasibo!

Don't you just love throwing caution to the wind and putting things in the dryer? I feel so rebellious whenever I do. (Which maybe suggests that I should get out more.)

No I'm scarred. I'm going to knit the Asymmetrical Cardigan on p.12 for my daughter. Does anybody know of a Book errata to be found anywhere? I was going to try something with the pentagon thingies, but ....

how did the wash/dry experiment affect size?

I really dislike cotton silk aran. I tried it around the time it was being discontinued. It's the one yarn I ended up throwing completely away because I hated it so much. Maybe you can use it for a bathroom rug? I didn't think of that at the time.

I like to think of those care instructions as guidelines, not hard and fast rules. The new yarn sounds divine. What is it growing up to be?

Bummer on the Knitting Nature book. Usually when you pay so much for something you at least expect there to be no (or very few) typos. I was eyeing some of those patterns so I'm giving it a second though now.

I don't think it's wrong to want to hold it agaisnt you. Just don't try and explain this compulsion to non-knitters until they have joined the cult. It might scare them off prematurely.

oh god.. i have that cotton silk aran as well and have NO IDEA what to do with it :(

Thanks for doing yarn reviews. Keeps me informed on what to watch out for!

No one can see through your shirt and ask about your swatch-wearing ways. Go ahead and wear it around. ;)

Don't be afraid to embrace your swatch. It is not wrong to want to revel in its softness.

BTW, thanks for encouraging me to continue stash expansion :-}

That looks yuuummmmmyyy. I'm going to try it!

I'd started noticing Classic Silk and it *looked* tempting, but now, with the Grumperina seal of approval, I *will* have to get my hands on it.
Please don't hold out on us much longer--what are all these mystery swatches for?!?

Re: Knitting Nature: There are at least two mistakes in the Starfish Shawl pattern and one in the pentagonal poncho-type thing that I've found the hard way. It's too bad that Norah's technical editor was so asleep at the wheel. It's a beautiful book.

Putting a soft swatch under your shirt isn't any weirder than sniffing yarn.

ooohhh! i just finished a shrug in the classic silk and i LOVE it!! (see it on my blog) i bought more for a couple of other projects. i'm so glad to see that you washed and dried it; the shrug is going to my 11-year-old niece and i'm sure my brother will apreciate it's easy-care status. thank you SO much for sharing that.
i'm planning a couple of skirts and a toddler dress in it next.
my yarn store had to orde a second batch because i bought a bunch and all my students did too!
YAY for great yarn!

ooops, forgot to ask if the classic silk shrunk in the wash?? can you tell us? or email me if you do't want to blog it?

I have a shell in the Classic Silk. LOVE IT! Doesn't shrink, just keeps looking great.

This is why knit blogs are SOOOOO VALUABLE. I was just about to dive in to a Knitting Nature pattern. I want to make the shawl. Out of handspun no less. Thank you for the warning. I will proceed with great care.

Rachel, I just read your comment. Could you possibly tell me what the errors in the Starfish Shawl pattern are? I would be so grateful.

Thank you!

I think Shannon Tweed should release her own line of tweed yarn. She could call it "Shannon Tweed." You know, for promotional purposes. No point in calling it Shannon Yarn, that wouldn't make any sense.

I couldn't agree more with your comment about the Cotton Aran. I fell in love with the same yarn in a rich chocolate brown on clearance in my LYS last week. Needless to say, I could barely make it through a 4" swatch! Carpal Tunnel inducing Wash Rag Yarn! Not even worthy of a little purse. Thanks for the tip on Tatamy Tweed :)

Good to know-I almost bought the book too! Hoping for a revised edition, then.

If you are looking for a cotton-blend aran weight, try Jo Sharp Desert Garden Aran Cotton; it's a cotton/microfiber blend, very soft, and the microfibre gives it some resilience.

You could always make a bullet proof girdle out of the Debbie Bliss yarn....lol. I haven't ever used it so thank you for the info. :)

I, for one, have not been impressed with Debbie Bliss yarns. They seem to range from good (but not outstanding) to poor quality. I do like the Merino Aran, but not enough to pay full price for it. On the whole, I can find yarns as good or better for much better prices quite easily.

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