Today I hoped to bring you lovely photos of my Coraline cardigan. I wore her today for the first time, but it was the bleakest of days today, more than even me, a lover of bleak days, could really cope with. The rain fell sideways. That kind of day. No good for outdoor shots and indoor shots aren’t as nice.
I’ll save all the waxing lyrical about the marvels of my new cardigan for the final write up, but I can offer a sneak peek here and just this one comment. Rowan Felted Tweed – a great yarn to wear on a day when the wind is howling and the rain is blowing sideways. I’ll leave it at that.
Here’s the yoke. I love it. More later.
Now, about laceweight cardigans. There’s a problem. For a refresher, here’s my Featherweight cardigan, completed two months ago, made from Knit Picks Shadow, a very nice laceweight yarn.
It was lovely. Notice the past tense. Now, not so much.
Let me preface what I’m about to admit by saying that before I felted my Featherweight cardigan, it was already not wearing well. I got probably half a dozen to a dozen wears out of it and by then, it was pilling like nobody’s business. All around the middle section, where my arms rubbed against my body, there were great big lumps appearing in the form of pilling. Pilling happens. We’re wool wearers. We live with it. But we don’t expect it to happen immediately and so dramatically.
So there was that. And it really didn’t keep its shape. I already knew, two months in, that it was going to be a round the house/weekend kind of cardigan and felt resigned to accepting this.
One weekend, while doing the washing, I inadvertently put it in the wash. I have no idea what I did that for. The water wasn’t hot so the damage wasn’t horrendous, but it was bad enough. My lovely stitch definition is no more.
It’s a lot shorter now. All over. It’s not what it was. Featherweight probably now fits someone shorter and thinner than I am and that’s just how it is.
But felting aside (I’ve beaten myself up about it heaps, so will refrain from doing so here. Let’s just move on, shall we?), I think I decided before that that laceweight yarn is not for cardigans. The Featherweight cardigan is written for Malabrigo laceweight. We all know how soft and feltable that stuff is. I know of at least one version knit in Malabrigo, by DrK, that hasn’t gone the distance. She went straight ahead and knitted another in 4ply Polwarth silk and is, all told, delighted with it. More weight, more structure.
I thought at first I’d blame Knit Picks. Their yarns are cheap as chips and, well, not fabulous. They’re really nice, but they’re hardly high end. Then I got to thinking. If I had knit my Shadow yarn into a shawl, it would have draped over my shoulders, or wrapped around my neck, and not endured half the friction that it did as a cardigan. It’s probably not the fault of the yarn at all.
Laceweight is, I now believe, meant to be made into garments that are not for every day. It’s gossamer nature means it’s not durable. It’s delicate. It’s light. It should be treated as such. In short, I won’t do it again. I’ll follow the lead of people like DrK and Knitabulous and make a 4ply one because the pattern is great. It’s beautiful AND functional. And for as long as my Featherweight and I were together, there was love.
I’d be keen to hear from anyone else who’s made a Featherweight, or similar, in a laceweight yarn. How did it wear? Did it last?