Monday, March 28, 2011

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week - 2KCBWDAY1 A Tale of Two Yarns

Woo hoo, kicking it off for knitting and crochet blog week!!

I don't profess to be an expert about fiber and yarn, but what can I say... I like what I like

Until recently, I only bought yarn at big box stores because that was really all I knew about. Recently I have begun to acquire a bit of yarn snobbery (snobbity?) in my knitting personality. This of course means that now I have hidden away in my craft cupboard vast quantities of cheap inexpensive acrylic and cotton yarn. No, I know can make great dish cloths from the cotton, but what am I going to do with all that acrylic (especially 13 skeins of gray Bernat Chunky)?

Wow, it's only the first day and I'm already off topic... Today, I am actually going to discuss my experience with two specific yarns. I am lucky to say that I have yet to have a really bad experience with a yarn I have used for knitting or even have yet to really decide that I used the wrong yarn for the project I was working on. 

So, I want to present my choice for a great yarn that is easy on the pocket book and one that is worth the splurge.

#1 - CASCADE 220

worsted weight
100% peruvian wool
220 yards/ 100 g
hand wash

In the short year that I have been knitting, I have used the old standby Cascade 220 several times. Of course, Cascade 220 is apparently no great hidden secret (I'm guessing that by the fact that it's the #1 used yarn on Rav). But, I think sometimes it's worth being reminded about the value of the trusty and familiar.

I have used Cascade 220 to make many hats and a baby cardigan. Within my knitting circle, this year alone, it has been used for more hats, 2 baby sweaters and one rather cool amigurumi fish.

Cascade 220 currently comes in 199 colours! It is pure wool, has lovely stitch definition and is great for colourwork. I have never tried felting with it but it is definitely on my list!
The hat that I have worn several times a week for the past 3 months is still looking great. Best of all Cascade 220 is great for the budget knitter. (Not to mention that their 220 superwash and Eco+ rock the house too)
Seriously, it started out as just one hat!

*Please note that I have no affiliation with Cascade Yarns (although perhaps I should invest as I suspect through my use alone they may be turning a tidy profit)

#2 - Madelinetosh Pashmina
sport weight
75% merino, 15% silk, 10% cashmere
360 yards/ 100 grams
machine wash

A word of caution, knitting with this yarn may ruin you for all other yarn experiences! 

I have only used this yarn once, to knit a cowl so springy, warm and soft I almost want to take it bed with me at night.

Knitting with this yarn is like a knitters day at the spa. It knits up beautifully, with the best stitch definition that I have seen. I was sad when my project was finished.

**Note - after writing this I went out and bought 2 skeins of the lilac colourway. I think I may have an addiction issue.

Of course the down side is the price. Be prepared for a serious wallop.

Well that's about it for Day 1. Hmmm, I suspect that reading everyone's posts about their favourite yarns is unlikely to help my weakness for stash procurement.

Hope to see you again tomorrow.
Cheers, Nikki


  1. I actually have two skeins of Cascade in my stash, it's been there for ages. I bought it for a special felting project, which I have now forgotten about. Maybe I should dig it out!

    I've never used Madeleine Tosh as I suspect it would be even more hideously expensive in the UK. I refuse to even look at it, as I know I will succumb.

  2. No Cascade in my non-stash! But I love it, used it to knit a sweater.

    Thanks for reminding me!

    And at some point plan to use it again, when I get the book 60 quick knits.
    Latter in the year.

  3. I love Cascade, and I really want to try Madelintosh some day!

  4. I sometimes forget all about Cascade, but it's a really great yarn. I didn't realize they had so many colors but it's the colors that have always drawn me to it. And I'll have to give the Pashmina a try.

  5. Those hats are amazing!

    I just finished a shawl with some Madeline Tosh... aren't the colors just great?

  6. First off, I love love love those hats! What a great idea and so much fun, too. I've used Cascade 220 and Eco wool often in the past. Such a great basic yarn with amazing colors. I am totally with you on the mad love for madtosh pashmina. I used it for the first time knitting my Goodale sweater. I have been dreaming of using it again. Can't wait to see the lilac colourway in action!