Wednesday, June 25, 2008


Laura expressed interest in my take on this yarn. Here's my rather digressive response.

I say "this", because the two brands as so close as to be almost indistinguishable. To my fingers, the Cascade "Fixation" feels just a teeny-tiny tad heavier, but so close that I always wonder if I'm just imagining that. They both come in lots of colors. I've actually used the "Esprit" from Elann more, but I'm not sure why.

Anyway, it's amazing how springy/stretchy 1.7% elastic can make a cotton yarn. The first time I swatched with it I was grinning (practically giggling) because it felt so silly. And then I wondered "how much do I try to stretch it while I work? - and will my gauge be all over the place?" I'm normally a rather loose knitter. I ended up trying to knit firmly, but not tightly. That's a helpfully vague description, isn't it? All I can say is, experiment. For socks, I like a gauge of 6 sts/inch in stockinette. If I were ever to use it for anything else (and I may someday), I would probably go a little looser.

The texture is not smooth, is a little nubby. It reminds me a bit of "crepe" yarns (not a very current classification, but people used to knit whole dresses out of wool crepe fingering). So the stitch definition is not crisp, but pattern stitches do show up, just a bit softened.

The reason I ever tried it in the first place was 1) because I wanted some cotton socks for myself and 100% cotton is just too inelastic and if Sockotta had been invented at the time I wasn't aware of it, 2) because I wanted to make socks for Mr S, and he can't wear anything with even a trace of wool in it. I've been very satisfied with the results. I do have to watch the needle joins as I'm working. With most sock yarns I give a little extra tug there to prevent ladders. With this one, the extra tug has resulted in "anti ladders", visible strips of extra tight stitches running down the sock. And of course the socks are slightly bulkier than a fingering weight pair would be.

Our socks go through the washer and dryer - cold water wash and regular dryer cycle. If they stay in the dryer until they are bone dry, they come out looking considerably shrunken. But who wants to mess with tending the dryer until they are just damp and then laying them flat to finish? Not me, and certainly not Mr S. So we just pull out the shrivelled objects and put them on. They stretch out nicely once they are on our feet. If I ever get to the Tee Shirt I have planned in the back of my mind for the bag of 10 in the back of the closet I will probably take a bit more care. But that project is pretty far down the every growing list........

On an entirely different note: for any lace lovers out there, I suggest a peek at Bonnie's Emily's Firmaments Shawl. Definite eye candy.


magnusmog said...

Oh, I just had a look at that shawl. I'm in the middle of an EZ Pi shawl, my first ever but this is something to aspire to :)

YarnThrower said...

Thank you for the info about the Fixation!! I do want to try it some time -- once my current sock yarn stash is gone, and perhaps in 2011 after I'm done with grad school and have some time again...