Fleegle is in Japan at the moment and is swatching for the Princess Shawl from Sharon Miller's Heirloom Lace site. We are among the many on the waiting list for that pattern which is supposed to come out as a re-issue in Nov. 2007. I check in on her blog a lot and she was really wanting to swatch in some yarns that she does not have with her in Japan at the moment. I will be sending a small care package with some samples of yarn for her to swatch with (gotta go back to Yarn Place, not exactly torture if you know what I mean). In the mean time, here are some of those yarns that I swatched. I steamed-blocked, not washed so the ones from ColourMartUK still have the "manufacturing oil" on them and are not as fluffy as they will be in the end.
At the top you have the gratuitous shot of a dime for scale and strands of the different yarns. Then you have the "Group Photo" of all the swatches I made tonight after reading fleegles post. Then I have pairs of swatches which I will now give information on. All the samples except for the very small swatch at the end were knit on US 0 needles. The smallest was knit on 1.5 mm.The nice green swatch is A ColourMartUK yarn 50/50 cashmere silk, 3/84 NM . The Lavender is "Heaven" from Yarn Place, 45/55 Tencel and Merino Wool (120 grams or 4.2 Oz equals 3,100 yards). The Burgundy swatch is another ColourMartUK yarn 65/35 Cashmere Silk at 2/60 NM, The Pale blue/green is also ColourMartUK and is 100% Cashmere 2/32 NM and I confess, it feels sinfully soft even before washing out the oil, but I don't know if it will do for the Princess Shawl as it is more substantial than other samples I have on this page.
The last two samples look "white" but are really ecru. The top, and larger sample is 65/35 SWT wool and Silk (50g/1,300 yds) and I "think" I got that at Skaska Designs when I went to Stitches West 2007. The smallest sample is silk yarn I also bought at Skaska Designs (100 gms/6040 yds 120/2)
Now for the knitting.
Casting On- Much suckage to cast on with all but the pale green/blue 100% Cashmere. That first row is a doozy but I hope Princess does not need a lot of that. The worst was, of course, the silk
Casting off- Worst one was the 100% Silk. So tiny, so slippery, so annoying. All the others were OK.
Shine- Almost all the color yarns have nice shine except for the 100% Cashmere in green/blue but that yarn has it's own virtues to make up for the lack of shine.
Of the ecru yarns the silk really has shine, the SWT/Silk, not so much
Softness- the SWT/Silk is "OK" but not a treat to hold. The Cashmere is drool worthy for softness, the other ColourMartUK yarns also fairly nice and soft. The silk is "crispy" rather than soft with that characteristic kind of "sticky" feel or "drag" to the yarn. The Tencel/Merino is almost a little "slick" but very pleasant.
Definition- Good stitch definition on all but the 100% Cashmere. Crisp, it is not.
Splitting- I only had problems with the 100% pale green/blue Cashmere splitting a little.
Though I will have to decide what to use for my own Princess Shawl, I already know I have to make it in White. WRS is for Jessica, the Princess is for Shelby. Sisters. So, both in White. Less chance of "unrest" if you catch my drift. Check out fleegle's blog to see what she has already swatched in Japan.
Enjoy guys! I got to go finish my book!