Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Natasha Ribbed Cable

I'm a bit embarrassed to show a cashmere-blend sweater after the planetary cost of cashmere rant. But it was pre-consumer waste mill overstock purchased from ColourMart. I used the Natasha Ribbed Cable pattern from Adrienne Vittadini's Fall 2003 pattern booklet.
Because this yarn has a different gauge than Natasha, I cast on the number of stitches for a larger size and knit one extra repeat for the sleeves. In retrospect, I wish I had knit two extra repeats for the sleeve and one extra repeat in the body. Oh, well. It is still wearable and I love it.

Remember in pre-consumer waste sewing when I showed pictures from Vogue's Maine Attraction feature last June? I was inspired by the Brunello Cucinelli cable-knit cashmere sweater, $1,720.
I wasn't able to visit the NYC store in person and I didn't see it sold online. But I did see something similar, made from a "cashmere blend" yarn. Mine is a cotton and cashmere blend (perhaps 50/50 but Colourmart isn't sure). My burn test says that there was significant protein content so that sounds about right.
The sweater is symmetrical front to back so I can rotate which way I wear it to minimize wear on the elbows. It is rarely cold enough in LA to wear this, so I anticipate this sweater lasting a lifetime.
The schematic shows how the pieces were shaped.
The sweater weighs 450 grams and the yarn is sold on 150 gram cones.

Colourmart sells mill overstock yarns, which are slightly different from hand-knitting yarns. The yarn feels oily because it is oiled for machine knitting. You knit a swatch and then wash it before determining your gauge. I had to get used to knitting something that looks loose, and then washing it to make the yarn "bloom." So, if you are making something where gauge matters, then make sure you have a little bit extra for swatching.

At $24 per cone, shipping to the US included, you can make your own cabled cashmere blend sweater for a lot less than purchasing it ready-made. You also get a custom fit and the enjoyment of the super-soft (and lightly oiled) yarn winding through your hands for 30-50 hours. Or, you can pay me $1720 to knit you one.

Raveled here.

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