26 April 2008

Printed Silk Indecision

Those of you who have spoken to me with any regularity over the course of the past two weeks probably know about how I want to knit the Printed Silk Cardigan from the spring issue of IK. You have also probably heard me mention with almost certainty that I'm going to buy a certain yarn for it. Whatever yarn I happen to mention probably changes every time you see me.

Pattern specs:
Printed Silk Cardigan
Fiesta Yarns La Luz (100% silk; 201m/57g)
42" bust - 9 skeins (=1809m)
Needles: US 5 (body and sleeves) and US 3 (bands)

The candidates in chronological order of consideration!

1. Frog Tree Pima Cotton/Silk
85% Pima Cotton 15% Silk
$6/skein (online)
would need: 12 or 13 skeins
would cost: $72-78
recommended needle size: US 5
pros: -it's a very environmentally friendly company
-silk is exciting
cons: -would need to order online (takes time)
-not a huge color selection
-the color might look different in person

2. Knit Picks Shine Sport
60% Pima Cotton 40% Modal
$2.49/skein (online)
would need: 17 or 18 skeins
would cost: $43-45
recommended needle size: US 3-5
pros: -cheaper than any other option
-machine washable
-wider color selection (esp. compared to FT)
-most popular yarn for this pattern on Ravelry (8 projects)
cons: -those other knitters haven't been able to get gauge, and the size I
want to make fits me perfectly, so don't want to mess around with
adjusting sizes
-I am concerned that at a larger gauge, the cardigan would be too heavy
-if I change the gauge, I'm not sure exactly how many skeins I need
-would need to order online (takes time)
-the color might look different in person

3. Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy
40% Hemp 40% Cotton 20% Modal
$6/skein (@ Smith's)
would need: 12 or 13 skeins
would cost: $72-78
recommended needle size: US 4
pros: -could start immediately/support LYS
-a very good fit in terms of yarn weight
-good lightweight summery yarn
cons: -not sure if Smith's has enough of the colors I'm most interested in

4. Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool
65% Wool 35% Silk
$7/skein (@ Smith's)
would need: 10 or 11 skeins
would cost: $70-77
recommended needle size: US 6
pros: -silk is exciting
-wool is supposedly cool in summer
-good fit in terms of yarn weight
-could start immediately/support LYS
-good value in terms of yardage
cons: -expensive

A further thought: both Elsebeth Lavold yarns have a slightly different color quality. They're not variegated by any means, but they're not necessarily perfect solids. They have a little bit more texture. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it looks a little tweedy, maybe? It's not a bad thing, it might just tweak the overall look of the garment.

But really, this is a huge decision. This is essentially the cardigan I'm planning to wear multiple times a week in St. Petersburg.

Right now, I'm really leaning toward the Silky Wool. Smith's has a bunch of this really nice orangey color. It would be great. It'd cost a lot. But I'm owed money from a couple of sources. If I can talk to SFC and get them to reimburse me for that money that ECO owes me from the 2006 Angel Tree thing, I think I'll go for it...

As always, your opinion is welcome.

Well, maybe it isn't always welcome. But I am welcoming it now, so take advantage of that while you can!


Ondrea said...

I think I'd go for one of the first two--and the cost option on 2 looks pretty good.

Genuine said...

I was also thinking of starting the Printed Silk Cardi as my next project, and, oddly enough, my current sweater (close to finished!) is from Silky Wool.

One note: I have been told that the silky wool tends to grow somewhat (haven't observed it myself) It's very lightweight, the price is pretty nice for the yardage.

Initially, it doesn't feel as bouncy as you might expect from wool, which may be due to the silk content, but it frogs very well, so it must be durable (don't ask me how I know it frogs well) and it works into a soft fabric that I love to pat.

Also, I think I'm using the exact color that you're referring to! It's a bright, deep gold color that should do well for autumn and winter. I'm expecting it to move well between seasons because it's a very basic cardigan that I'm knitting, and it's not too heavy for spring.

Anyway, I'm blathering, but if you like that slight tweedy look (which isn't so pronounced in the actual knit fabric, as you can see in my blog pictures, so it's not horrible) and everything, the silky wool is nice. For my printed silk cardi, though, I'm thinking of this dk organic cotton, since I've already tried the silky wool.