Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Machine Washable Purple Sheepies, part 2

I'm feeling better now. In fact, over the weekend, I felt good enough to sit down and read the directions for Rogue and cast on for the sweater. So here's "before" photo of the Cestari fabric, taken after the "after" photo was taken. See? Nice stitch definition in the washed-out photo.

Not so fuzzy

In the comments for the last entry, Karma asked what detergent I used to wash my purple sheepies. I used Ivory Snow--a supposedly gentle detergent. I'm sure that Ivory Snow is more gentle than the Tide HE that I use for normal loads, but I'm not certain how it compares to something like Kookaburra or Eucalan. However, I have used Ivory Snow for washing many knitted garments with no adverse effects. In fact, I have MACHINE washed several knitted garments, even nonsuperwash woolen garments, on gentle cycle in my fabulous front-loader with no adverse effects. So, the fact that I washed my swatch by using the regular cycle was very stupid of me.

Cordelia asked what about Woolite that makes it special. Honestly, I don't know. I looked at my bottle of Woolite, and it doesn't list the ingredients so I don't know if it is a soap or a detergent. (My guess is that it is some sort of detergent or detergent mixture.) I have been told that Woolite really isn't that s'wonderful, but I have yet to read any concrete proof of that.

Also in the comments, Agnes asked if the yarn is itchy. The short answer is yes. The long answer is very long:

The washed swatch is a little more itchy than Cascade 220 and a little less itchy than Lamb's Pride. This is NOT bunny yarn. It is not Aurora 8 or Cashmerino. I wouldn't want to wear it in a skin-tight sweater, I think it will be fine next to the skin in a looser-fitting sweater. To be honest, I'm surprised at the lack of itchiness in this yarn. I expected a high itch-factor when I ordered it.

I actually put a lot of thought into buying this yarn and I was willing to sacrifice softness for other qualities that I wanted. When I look at Rogue, I see a very rugged sweater. The kind of sweater that you would wear hiking in the woods. Cestari looks rugged. So, (I thought) if I was wearing the sweater to go hiking, it had to be very durable. Cestari claims to be durable. Because the sweater was going to get a work out from all that hiking, it had to be machine washable. Cestari is superwash. Finally, I couldn't ever imagine wearing Rogue without something on underneath. It looks like a sweatshirt to me. I intend to wear it like a sweatshirt. As a result, softness was not high on the priority list when I was selecting this yarn.

Things to know before rushing out to buy this stuff I loooove cables!
* Cestari feels oily or waxy when knitting. I believe this texture exists because the wool is not overly processed and it still has a lot of lanolin in it.
* Cestari yarn feels stiff coming from the skein and the fabric produced is very stiff. However the stiffness goes away when washed.
* Cestari contains a lot of vegetable matter (i.e. pieces of grass). The vegetable matter can be picked out easily, if you wish.
* Ordering directly from Chester Farms can be an adventure. I suggest calling them rather than using their online order form. (However, the toll-free number did not work for me.)
* Cestari is a bargain: 210 yards, worsted weight, 100% superwash wool for $5.99


Jennifer said...

Cestari sounds like a great bargain at that price. I bet it will look perfect once Rogue is complete. It sounds like a good choice of yarn.

amylovie said...

The color is beautiful. I'm sure you will get lots of wear out of it.

Just FYI: we will be carrying Cascade 220 superwash and Mission Falls 1824 wool superwash. I haven't used either, but I've heard good things.


Terby said...

The cables look very crisp, and the tweedy purple is a nice color.

It looks like Woolite is a detergent with no enzymes, which should help the integrity of the wool. The objection I have read that it is very basic, but I haven't tested it to see if its pH is that different from Eucalan or Kookabura. I would imagine that in general, a little soap or detergent goes a long way in washing knit items.

goodkarma said...

Thanks (again) for the info! I've been using Woolite with my handknits so far and it seems to work well. But I haven't ever (gasp!) used Eucalan, so I can't make a comparison. I should get some to try out, eh? :)

Cordelia said...

I *love* bloggers!

Your yarn is really beautiful. I think Terby has a nice adjective: "crisp." It'll be a lovely Rogue.

Is the cabled part, part of a swatch, or part of the actual sweater? (Sorry for the first comma, but I wanted to make it read a little better!)

Agnes said...

Thanks a lot for the info. The colour of your yarn is really beautiful. Hope to see your Rogue finished soon.

Christina said...

New reader, here. Your cabled image is just gorgeous. "Crisp" is the perfect definition, and the one aim in cabled garments. Great job!

A little info, since you seem to be the kind of knitter who likes to explore new fibre and vendors.

I am currently knitting a cardigan for my Mum out of Bartlett Yarns 2-ply, and it reminds me very much of your Cesari, in that it is from a small company of American meat sheep. It also is a 4 ounce skein for 6 USD and is erm, "rugged", lanolin-rich, and contains much VM. That said, I will probably not use Bartlett Yarns again because the meat fibre is just too rough.

Looking forward to seeing more of Rogue! Cheers, mate.

Rachel said...

I like that whenever I read your posts on this subject I get to picture lovely purple-fleeced sheep roaming green pastures.

Actually, my husband and I call all warm clothing "sheep," as in, "Can you grab my green sheep," or "I left my brown sheep in the car." I don't know why. It's quite dorky. But your calling your Rogue materials purple sheepies seems quite natural to me.

Glad to hear you're feeling better!

knitseashore said...

Glad you are feeling better!

I love the color you've chosen for Rogue. But Lotus is not fooled! :)

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