I don’t know what the figures are, but a good percentage of all yarn sales happen over the internet. This is grandshopping from the comfort of the couchespecially when the streets are icy or you get the urge to look for the perfect yarn long after the stores have closed.
Shopping by computer, however, has its drawbackscolor being one of them. How many times have you ordered something that looked like a pale, cloudy blue only to open the package to find a blue that looks, well, not quite so pale and cloudy.
The second drawback has to do with the touch factor. When the makers of Charmin based their ad campaign on the paper’s squeezable softness, they knew what they were doing. Softness is a vital characteristic in certain thingsbathroom tissue and yarn to name two. Squeezing a ball of yarn and sliding it over your neck, or running your fingers through a hank is an instinctive gesture for evaluating any yarnand one that you can’t do through a computer screen.
That said, I think you can be reasonably certain that when you order cashmere, you won’t be disappointed. It’s not just that cashmere is soft. Pick up a ball or skein and you’ll notice how light it is. The beauty of cashmere lies in this wonderful combination of light-as-air and soft-as-silk. But the story gets better. As you work with the fiber, it blooms on the needlesthe ends of those soft fibers fluff out creating a subtle halothe kind that makes you want to hover over the surface with your palm.
Lavish 100% cashmere
Softness is all about micron count. Micron count is the measure of the diameter of a fiber. An average wool from your local sheep my have a micron count somewhere between 23 and 27 microns. Over 27 microns and you find the yarn a bit scratchy. Most merinosthe finest wool yarnsrange in micron count from 18 to 20.5 microns, though extra fine merino can have a micron count of 19, or even a little less. A human hair, for comparison, is 75 microns. Cashmere? Cashmerethe best varietiescan have a micron count of less than 14imagine. Though the not-quite-boutique varieties can be as heavy as 16 microns.
Learn more about cashmere.
Where to buy Lavish.
Here's the free downloadable Lavish Flap Hat and Mitts pattern
make size small for a child's hat
Earflap hats are great vehicles for inventiondon’t you think? You can work them up in the traditional manner with all kinds of color patterns. And to the color work, you can add texture stitches or embroidery. Or you can do what Joëlle has done here and use simple texture patterns to create a discreetly attractive hat.
I’ll always have a soft spot for garter stitch (hat border and earflaps). I like the way it lookshomeyand how it’s stretchy but lies flat. As for cables, they’re fun to work and pretty to look at and they come in many variations. For the cable in this hat, instead of using a balanced 2-over-2 stitch crossing, this cable crosses one stitch over three. And, notice, it narrows as it approaches the crown. Another great thing about cables, you can taper them into small spacesthey’re tailor made for narrowing yokes and hat crowns.