It’s the Wrong Yarn, In the Wrong Place*

*MLE’s apologies to Cole Porter.

I love standards, and have been going overboard on them since getting a subscription to satellite radio. The Spousal Unit and I decided a few years ago that rather than shopping for each other for Christmas, we’d find something we liked. Mostly it’s been art from local artists. This year, it was satellite radio. We don’t even have cable tv, but satellite radio is great. No commercials! We went with XM because it has BBC World, PRI (not the Mexican political party), NHL Home Ice, and Bob Dylan Theme Time Radio Hour. Bob’s show is fun, but on at bad times for me. The SU figured out how to tape it for me, but we are so mid-tech that the only way that it worked out is recording onto cassette tape so I can listen to it later. Anyone out there with another way to do this, I’d love to hear it. I’m also listening to Sonic Theater and Old Time Radio. (Did you know that the Green Hornet is the great-grandson of the Lone Ranger? I don’t remember him having a wife or child, so maybe he and Tonto were the first same-sex adoptee couple.) Great for knitting and listening. That’s my segue back to knitting content.

In Theresa’s last post, the same yarn behaved very differently in different shades of the same color. I’ve been pondering the way different yarn behaves as I designed some hat patterns. I’ve been doing some cable hat patterns because there don’t seem to be any really simple ones in the shop, and quite a few of my beginner and advanced beginner students were interested in trying cables. All the simple patterns were in books that they were not prepared to purchase just for one hat. Here is my most recent, an 8×8 cable in Cascade 220.

Here is the same pattern in Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed.

They don’t look similar at all, do they? I made the slightly larger size of the 8×8 cable hat in the JoSharp. Twice. No matter how I adjusted, I wasn’t happy with it. I increased the number of stitches after the cuff by quite a bit more. I reduced the number of stitches in the cuff. I used smaller needles, I used larger needles. Nothing pleased me enough to put it up in the store and call it a shop model. It is gorgeous yarn, soft, lovely to touch, but just doesn’t seem to have the bounce or elasticity that the 220 does. (It did survive multiple rippings, however.) The Jo Sharp is 85% Wool, 10% Silk & 5% Cashmere. I’m guessing that there is enough silk and cashmere to reduce the stretchiness of the wool. Do any of you knowledgeable fiber folks have ideas on this?

I think it would be great in a less compact cable, but I’ve swatched several options and am giving up using it for a cabled hat. The swatching was not wasted though, because I came up with an adaptation of a Barbara Walker stitch pattern that I’m going to work up in another yarn. I also have an idea for the JoSharp. I’ll let you know how it works out.


One response to “It’s the Wrong Yarn, In the Wrong Place*

  1. That’s a great basic cable hat, and you’re absolutely right that it’s such a lack. It wasn’t until I was really comfortable making it up on my own that I ever made something like that, but it would have been a great beginner-intermediate project.

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