Sunday, September 9, 2007

Swatching for the Princess Shawl--Part III

Finally! My package from Yubina showed up yesterday, plastered with gaily colored stamps. Oh my. This stuff is fabulous.

On the left we have a ball of the gossamer cashmere silk and on the right, a ball of the cobweb cashmere.

And now, the swatch tests.

For comparison, I am including some of the previous swatches.

Swatch #1

Heirloom Knitting's Gossamer Merino
100% merino wool
10,800 meters/lb
Needle size used for swatch: 0

Pros: Lovely to knit, smooth, soft, and wonderful to touch. Blocks beautifully.
Cons: Comes in white, white, and white.

Swatch #2
Colourmart Cashmere Silk
65% Cashmere, 35% Silk
13,620 meters/pound (60/2)
Needle size used for swatch: 0

Pros: Comes in a huge range of colors, but you have to check their eBay store and website frequently if you are looking for a particular shade. Smooth, soft, blocks well.
Cons: We had several small spats while casting off. Picking up a dropped stitch was a lost cause.

Swatch #3
Heirloom Knitting's CashSilk
70% Cashmere / 30% Silk
11151 yards per pound
Needle size used for swatch: 0

Pros: Luxurious to touch, slightly glossy, available in five colors

Cons: Has a remarkable resemblance to sewing thread with about as much elasticity. Requires nerves of steel, 20/0 vision, and a body untouched by any stimulant that could cause even a minute tremor. Otherwise a pleasant knit :)

Swatch #4
Yubina Cashmere Silk
45% Cashmere / 55% Silk
7264 yards per pound
Needle size used for swatch: 0

This yarn is virtually perfect. It passed both the knitting-blindfolded test and the dropped stitch test. The droppee hung around while I fished for a crochet hook. It has a wonderful, slightly glossy appearance and is springy enough for my acrobatic decreases. And notice the lovely halo and crisp stitch definition. Unlike Colourmart cash/silk, Yubina's is soft and elastic to knit.

Although it calculates much heavier than the three samples above, the swatch was about the same size as the others (note the Colormart swatch sort of shrank from it's original blocked size). Here's a swatch comparison and a dime photo so you can see how thin the yarn actually is (click the fuzzy thumbnail for a clearer image).

As you can see, the Yubina is thinner and more tightly twisted than the unwashed Colourmart. The Yubina yarn knits up to about the same size swatch with excellent stitch definition and is far pleasanter to handle than Colourmart's yarn. I did a quick-and-dirty wraps per inch with Yubina and washed Colourmart. Yubina comes out at 58 wpi, Colourmart at 60 wpi. This is probably a more precise measure than yards/pound, but this is one case where you need to swatch yourself, I think, to get a good feel for the yarn weight.

I can't come up with a single criticism.

Pros: Exquisite feel, lively knit, slightly stretchy, blocks beautifully, available in 32 colors

Cons: Takes four weeks to get the stuff. No free bag of potato chips in the package.

Swatch #4
Yubina Cashmere
100% cashmere
4540 yards per pound
Needle size used for swatch: 1

Alas, although fabulous, it's way too heavy for Princess. However, it's perfect for any lace requiring a cobweb-weight yarn. I love knitting with it--it has a rich, creamy feel that's hard to describe, plus the same liveliness that characterizes Angel, Touch, and Gentle from Yarn Place. The yarn falls between Yarn Place's Angel and Gentle--a bit thicker than Touch. I first swatched it on size 0 needles, but the yarn just begged for a slightly larger needle size, so the swatch below was knit with a size 1 needle. The yarn has more body than those from Yarn Place--perhaps the cashmere is a bit denser?

Pros: Soft as goose down, slightly sproingy, blocks beautifully, available in 40 colors.
Cons: Takes 4 weeks to get the stuff. Diamond-studded vegetable peeler is not included.


Courtney said...

Love the red and Yellow :-)

Anonymous said...

I concur.

Did you order cones or balls? I can't quite figure out how much yardage is on a cone, or how to order that much.

Tanja said...

Thank you for sharing your samples and observations! I was curious about the Yubina cash/silk yarn. I just swatched for WRS using the Heirloom Gossamer cotton.(liked it) Tried the HG silk/cash but lost a stitch and gave up! (for now) :-)


Kitty Kitty said...

Thank you so much for sharing the swatches. I just placed an order from them after reading your wonderful review. Thanks for providing us the info. :)

June said...

Awh, your such a tease with all this lovely yarn! (I would have responded to your response on my blog, however, I transitioned to this new computer and my e-mail addresses are now somewhat lost!)

You do lovely work, just lovely!

Batty said...

Swatch #4 is my favorite. Yellow fabulousness!

Karla (ThreadBndr) said...

swatching goodness! I'm just worried about ordering in a foreign language. With my luck, I'll get a truckload of electric blue bulky weight LOL

Lacefreak said...

You are the queen of Swatch! I love the way you show all of them at one time so we can all see how they size up against each other. I confess I have so much yarn right now that I have feels of unwanted guilt about possibly buying more. Of course, the Knit and Crochet show is in September.... Once again, wonderful swatches. Can't wait to get my copy of Princess!

Dave said...

The red cash/silk looks totally yummy, potato chips or no.

Anonymous said...

My goodness, you've just been swatching and swatching and swatching haven't you? And how come you've got soooooooo many different yarns to swatch with? I'm jealous. What I am knitting with is all the yarn I have. I really like the yello one. I know, you said it was too heavy, but I really like the more solid structure. The first white one was also really really good. But they others seem a little too wobbly for me.

Carol said...

No potato peeler or chips? Well, THAT'S it then. Forget it......

Opal said...

Thanks for the comparisons. And I think, for once, I'm ideally located in that it only took one week for the Yubina to arrive at my doorstep. Woohoo! I don't even want to contemplate how long it take to get an order from ColourMart.

fluffbuff said...

Thank you for the great comparisons (as usual). I had been wanting to try Yubina and now I am more confident about ordering from them. Too bad about the four week wait.

Anonymous said...

I am really loving this post - the comparisons, the swatches!, it's all a great read and I'll be back for another and another... Now, this is true!! enabling :) Terry

RoadSide said...

I'm trying to decide on an epic lace pattern to start...once I find it, Im definetly getting the Yubina cashmere/silk. Thank You for putting in all the hard work for us!!!

Soo said...

I love the Yubina cash/silk. I'm disturbed that you don't get potato chips with it - Cheese Puffs perhaps?

As for the 4 week wait. Take a lesson in patience from me. Oh no wait. It's impatience I do well. Never mind.

Lorette said...

I didn't get a potato peeler with mine, either. Dang. I actually placed a second order after I received the first one. I'm hoping to do Sharon Miller's Rosebud shawl with the cashmere silk, if it swatches out OK.

MaggieB said...

OK, you've got me. Hooked. I think I swallowed the hook, actually, in my enthusiasm.

Is that color number 225 you got, in the Yubina cash/silk red? I confess the Yubina color photos are not quite enough for me and if I have to wait 4 weeks...well.