We Were Happy While It Lasted

I should have known better, really.

I spent the better part of Monday at home alone (like much of the country, taking off the day before Australia for a blissful four-day weekend!) and after working away on a secret knitting project in the morning, I treated myself to starting something new in the afternoon. I wasn’t going to. I had decided to Be Good but I had a little conversation with myself about how I really hadn’t started anything major in the lace department for a while, and how A Long Lacy Summer is whooshing by with just one shawl to show for it so far. And so on.

I even heard RoseRed’s voice in my head agreeing with me. She’s such an enabler.  I knew she would want me to treat myself to something new and exciting and so I did it. I took the cone of Colormart cashmere that’s been taunting me for some weeks and, with wild abandon, began to work on the glorious Cap Shawl from Victorian Lace Today. Recently I tried to cast on another circular shawl and had no luck. I find the circular beginning challenging but with the help of some tutorials online, I magically figured it out and was on my way.

I was flying! You know that feeling when it all comes together and you’re just so happy that it’s finally working? Well, it’s all come to nought. It was a brief, but meaningful affair. Last night, the Cap Shawl died. It wasn’t even twenty-four hours old.

cap shawl

I did actually get further than this. I got about sixteen rounds in. It wasn’t hard. It was just fiddly, being so small. Then it all went wrong.

Ever worked with cobwebby cashmere? No? Let me give you a hint, if you ever do (take heed Donna Lee!). It breaks. Easily. Don’t tug it. Don’t wrench it from the cone. Don’t drag on it. Treat it like it’s the finest dewy spider web hanging in the garden. At some point, one of the stitches a row below the one I was on just broke. I looked closely to see that it had a weak spot in it and with the merest touch it simply broke apart. I tried a few things to fix it but it was no good, because in the process of doing so, more yarn broke. And it was all over.

I am hereby putting RoseRed’s generous gift of so much cashmere away for a little while. We’ve had a troubled relationship and I think the time just isn’t right. There’s a little voice in the back of my head saying ‘see, that’s what you get for being greedy. You’ve got enough on the go. You didn’t need a cap shawl right now.’

At least, I console myself, I didn’t get up to row 135 before I had to rip it out like Donna from Random Knits did. Did you see? Heartbreaking. Small consolation really.



22 thoughts on “We Were Happy While It Lasted

  1. oh dear, heartbreaking. but, as you say – lucky you weren’t days into it, only hours!

    and imagine if you’d got to finishing, then it broke during blocking??! can you imagine?!

  2. I only like wool, cotton and silk for lace. Chinese cashmere is very weak, if it breaks when knitting it, what’s it going to do when blocked like a facelift? Australian cashmere is not as weak but also not as soft.

    I knit the Neibling shawl in green yubina cashmere/silk blend, it must be superwash because it won’t hold a block for love nor money, and I even STARCHED it. Springs back like a bowl of noodles.

    But merino is so strong, you can have threads that look like their only ten fibres thick and it’s as strong as an ox, even stronger when wet (for blocking).

    Ahem – featherweight cardigan. Ahem.

  3. I like that you are looking for the silver lining: it sounds like that cashmere is a lost cause for the cap shawl. I don’t think you can really bargain with Knitting Fate!!!

  4. Oh no, how disappointing for you. Such a shame for it to end that way. Maybe with a little time and lots of care it will work out better next time. Although I do wonder whether it will be as prone to breaking once it is knit????

  5. My cone is cashmere/silk/merino so maybe it’s a little sturdier? I certainly hope so because I’m really looking forward to using it.

    If not, I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and get something else. I better try that swatch soon!

  6. I’ve got about 1000 yds of laceweight cashmere and 2000 yards of cashsilk laceweight from Yubina. Like you, I tried to make a start with the cashmere but found it so slippery and had to see, being so fine, that I gave it up. I’ve recently thought of separating each skein into two and knitting it doubled…wonder if that would be any easier. Gorgeous stuff, and mine didn’t break, but just too had to manage! Or maybe I’ll be more patient and careful someday…yeah, right!

  7. that just totally sux. i have been very fortunate with both my cashmeres which seem rather sturdy compared to this lovely stuff. its such a shame cos it would have been beautiful. hope you found some comfort knitting to be going on with xx

  8. I think this is why so many knitters are switching from cashmere to alpaca. Alpaca’s more durable. Cashmere’s got short little fibers that, uh… pull apart… easily… yeah.

    Bummer. 😦

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