summer knitting

cotton slub, and a daruma

tradcottonI’m like less than a week into my Smocked top and I’m already taking a break. It’s an oversized blouse knit in fingering weight stockinette, so maybe my fingers are itching for a more complicated project to switch off with. The other day I passed by Izumiya, a yarn shop in the local shopping district, and they had some yarn out on clearance. Usually I don’t find anything I like in clearance, but who can resist browsing the cheap stuff? You don’t need any more yarn right now, I said to myself, but I do have that lace cardigan planned after this top. I’ve been keeping my eyes open for suitable cotton or linen yarn.

To be honest, I think I’ll be tired of Hamanaka’s Flax yarn after the smocked top, and linen in general for a while. I love linen, but I’d love to knit with some soft cotton. Hamanaka’s Paume line is soft and organic but to be honest I’m not feeling their colors at the moment. They’re dyed with natural dyes, so they’re full of muted gorgeous colors, but I want something brighter for this cardigan. I’m envisioning marine style stuff: a nice white, or a navy or grey, or just the right shade of coral. Paume is like beige mint. Oh, I realize they came out with some new bright colors this year, but none of those work.

Look at this WONDERFUL logo. Yokota Daruma Yarn.
Look at this WONDERFUL logo. Yokota Daruma Yarn.

Anyway, so I was pawing through the clearance yarn, and noticed a cotton slub by a company I’d not seen before. Trad Cotton Slub, by Daruma, in the prettiest ivory color. I’ve never knitted with a slub yarn, but something about the ball spoke to me. I picked up one ball to play with.


At first I thought I’d swatch for the Effervescence Cardigan, and I did. I got gauge with the stockinette swatch, which made me happy, but I wasn’t sure I liked the fabric it was making. The slubs are very noticeable, and while it was soft as a baby’s bottom, I wasn’t sure if it fit the pattern. Effervescence is quite sleek, after all. And once I tried to swatch the cabled lace, I knew it was all wrong. Trad Cotton is pretty, but it doesn’t have the body for these cables. It just came out limp. Frogged.

It was too thin for the Miette cardigan, and I’m not sure I’m so into the From Way Back cardigan anymore. So I swatched for the Fleurette cardigan. And… oh my god. It was so perfect. I can’t stop touching this swatch*. More about Fleurette on Wednesday, but suffice it to say, when you just know when you perfectly match a yarn and a pattern together.


*And I’ll keep touching this swatch, to try to rough it up and stretch it out, so I have more of an idea of what kind of stretching out this thing’ll do. I’m not going to have another item turn out too big for me!

Oh yeah, and I’m the only one who, when she has an idea in her head for swatching, can’t get back to her other projects until she gets those ideas out? I mean, I kept daydreaming about which pattern and which yarn and which color I was going to use all week. In a way, I wish I had just concentrated on my Smocked Top because I get so antsy when I’m thinking about a new project.

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