Elinor Brown Knits

Knitting Designs by Elinor Brown

Category: wear test

Wear Test: Knit Picks Swish Superwash

It has been brought to my attention that while I will not consume any calories knitting the aforementioned chocolate yarn, neither will I burn any calories sitting on my butt knitting! You can see why I’ve come to depend on a complementary, non-sedentary hobby like running. Speaking of which, Christine of the Knitting Virgin (whose knitting skills reveal that she’s been around the block a few too many times to continue calling herself that) is coming to Lawrence in a few weeks and she and I are going to run a 5K together. Not only that but I recently joined Colleen on an indoor soccer team in town! I’m just meeting up with knit bloggers everywhere!

I’m still studying like mad for my exams this Friday so I haven’t actual knitting content for you. This blog fodder comes to you from Aaron, who recently washed his newly acquired misread Gentleman’s Socks in Railway Stitch. If you will recall, these socks were knit using Knit Picks Swish Superwash on US 2s. I’ve used Swish several times now, although only on gifts. I was curious to see how super this superwash yarn would be. First, I should say, the socks didn’t completely felt after a run through the washing machine. That’s something, isn’t it? I chose not to machine dry them when I saw the beginnings of felting. Behold, the fuzzy halo:

What, you want to see the damage close up?
I know some people would roll their eyes at the promise of true superwash and say I surely can’t expect to machine wash and dry handknits. Well, I do, especially when the label says I can. Furthermore, certain sock manufacturers have convinced me that good superwash wool is possible. If I purchase more Swish, it will be for its soft, spongy quality rather than for its washability.

For those unencumbered by a yarn diet, WEBS is having a sale on Regia. Those nice folks at WEBS must have heard about my diet and decided to test my willpower so go! Get it while you can! Knit g.bella‘s Clessidra socks from the latest Knitty. I will live vicariously through you!

Wear Test: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease

Oh Cotton-Ease, how sad I was to see your misguided manufacturer chose to discontinue you – such a wonderful cotton – only to promote its excess of crappy yarns. We knitters pleaded with said manufacturer to bring you back and voila! You’ve returned in better, less eye-searing colors.

Nothing beats Cotton-Ease for hard-wearing children’s knits. Cascade 220 is great for outerwear but Cotton-Ease needs no qualifiers: it is the perfect choice anytime. It feels like cotton, washes like acrylic sans pills, softens like denim and offers a stunningly low cost per yard. I’m tempted to buy a few cases of this yarn before Lion Brand realizes that it actually makes a good product and decides to triple the price.

These were two hastily knit sweaters from my last fortnight of pregnancy (ah, nesting…) They have both seen quite a bit of wear and look just as good as the day they were finished.

Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease
Pattern: Debbie Bliss Special Knits
Needles: US 7

Pattern: My Seed Stitch Baby Hoodie
Yarn: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease
Needles: US 7

Wear Test: Garnstudio Karisma

While I’ve been quite fond of Cascade 220 and Knit Picks Shine Sport in terms of how they’ve held up to frequent washings, Garnstudio Karisma leaves much to be desired. Frankly, I’ve found little to like about this superwash yarn. Care instructions are machine wash cold and dry flat. I’ve only washed this sweater a handful of times and this is what it looks like today:

Very fuzzy with lots of pilling. I was so disappointed because this was one of my favorite baby sweaters. I’ll have to make another one for next winter in a more durable yarn.

Next up: Lion Brand Cotton-Ease (and it’s back too!)

Wear Test: Knit Picks Shine Sport

Those of you who read my blog while I was nesting in the last weeks of my pregnancy this summer heard a lot of gushing about Knit Picks Shine:

“It’s so soft!”

“So easy to work with!”

“Produces such nice stitch definition.”

“Amazingly enough, for a cotton yarn, it doesn’t suck!”

The latter, in my opinion, was the highest praise. I always be a woolaholic. I know I’m in good company, right?

So how did Shine stand up to six glorious months of baby wear? Not too bad, all things considered (which means, “Not too bad given it’s so cheap.”)

Here is a striped baby tank top. Proportionally speaking, it seems wider now than it did when I made it. Granted, I have a skinny kid so everything looks wide on her. It’s possible that it shrunk up a little – I can’t say for certain. This tank hasn’t seen as much wear as the next sweater so it’s still in pretty good shape.

Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport
Pattern: Baby Tank from Debbie Bliss’ Baby Knits Book
Needles: US 4

Now this argyle sweater has seen a lot of wear. And machine washing and drying, as the label professes is possible. Yes, I threw it in the washer in spite of the delicate shell buttons. They haven’t broken yet… The sweater looks great from a distance. Even in this photo you can’t see the problem.

A fine halo :Yarn: Knit Picks Shine
Pattern: Argyle Cardigan in Debbie Bliss’ Special Knits
Needles: US 4

I imagine that’s the 50% modal giving off the fuzz but what do I know? It just doesn’t look quite as crisp as it did six months ago. Is this a bit picky? Perhaps, but if I spend hours knitting it, I don’t want the sweater to go all Holy on me in six months. This won’t keep me from buying more Shine because you all know I’m cheap; however, I won’t gush as much about it in the future. I promise!

Finally, I have another picture of the red Cascade 220 sweater, this time with cute accompanying hat.

More tomorrow with some SP goodies and more!

Another Cascade 220 Sweater

After many attempts, I finally got a representative photo of the other sweater I told you about on Friday. Man, is red hard to capture!!! I think it’s worse than navy blue. The shell buttons are actually light green but you can’t really tell from this picture.

Pattern: Seed Stitch & Cable Jacket from Debbie Bliss’ Baby Knits Book
Yarn: Cascade 220
Needles: US 7

I thought I was done with my post about the green hoodie but today, my little monkey girl fell dead asleep and Aaron and I couldn’t pass up the photo opportunity. This kid doesn’t sleep often, you know! So here are some more pictures for you.

A couple of you asked for the pattern and I promise that I’ll put it up sometime this spring. Right now, it consists of illegible scribbles on graph paper with coffee stains. Nice, eh? Besides, I only wrote it for 3 and 6 months and I’d like to size it up for 9 and 12 months too. With school in full swing, it might take me a while. Fortunately, Zarah has agreed to be a test knitter for me! Anyone else interested? Hopefully, by the time I get the pattern up, you’ll be able to see several versions of it.

Now for some secret baby knitting. You won’t likely see this finished product for a while since it’s my side project (how many of those is one allowed anyhow?) but it’s a baby sweater for a newly pregnant friend. With booties to match. I love booties. This kind actually stays on the kid’s feet too!!!

The yarn is nothing to write home about. It’s Plymouth Encore Worsted. I’m pretty sure the recipient won’t be up for wool care. What can I say? Not everyone will enjoy the woolen baby sweater, right?