Our friend Mike came yesterday to visit and to collect his hand dyed sock yarn from the silent auction I hosted.... I came back in the room to find this scene ;o) and the comment 'the things you do for friends'.... For anyone that's interested he's modelling CW108 one of my very 1st shawls and Heartland by Evelyn Clark done in Buffalo yarn... in fact it was Mike who bought it me as a birthday present a couple of years ago so it seems only fitting he gets to use the shawl now and again!!!
Anyway I have had a little interlude from 'Christmas knitting'. Natalie of The Yarn Yard asked me if I would test knit some new lace yarn she has to go in the shop tomorrow, which is called Betwixt, and is a blend of 10% Cashmere & 90% merino.... it's very squishy in the skein...
I jumped at the chance to do a bit of lace for a change, so I did one of my favourite patterns 'Swallowtail' by Evelyn Clark. I had several reasons for picking this pattern to test knit the yarn. I knew I can do it fairly quickly, it’s an enjoyable knit (this is the 4th time for me), it’s a very pretty shawl and most importantly I knew it would give the yarn ‘a good work out’ in terms of lace knitting….
I find this pattern overall presents you with good solid and open areas to show off stitch definition. The pattern starts out with a nice easy pattern repeat which shows off colour well and then the lily of the valley pattern puts the yarn under ‘stress’ whilst doing Nupps, finally the peaked edging gives you a nice edging that you can really stretch out when blocking.
I am pleased to say that Betwixt lived up to all the criteria I want in a lace yarn….
It was very soft and ‘squishy’ and wound nicely into a ball with my ball winder.
It was nice to use and flowed easily through the fingers when knitting with it
It gave good stitch definition
It blocked well
I did notice when knitting that sometimes the yarn appeared to be ‘thin’ in places but I discovered this was just temporary when I was pulling the yarn tight to knit with it, but after releasing the stitch is ‘fluffed’ back to normal.
I used a 3.5mm needle and I personally wouldn’t go any higher, in fact next time I use this yarn I think I would opt for a 3.25mm as after blocking I would prefer my ‘knitted areas’ in the budding lace to be a little more solid, but that’s just my personal preference…
As those of you who are familiar with Swallowtail will see, the peaked edging is a little short as I had to omit the last 4 rows of it due to insufficient yarn, however, it's come out a respectable 48" across the top and 23" down the spine.
All round this is a good yarn for small projects and I will be using it in the future, especially it's £6.95 for a 25/26g skein with at least 300m on of every so slightly variegated colours...