Monday, July 30, 2007

Morrigan Yarn Candidates

I've been obsessing about Rowan Calmer and the Morrigan sweater from "No Sheep For You." I went to HCW on Saturday and the staff was nice enough to make some recommendations (even though I told them I wasn't ready to purchase any.) But I'm still stuck on Calmer. I read the review of Calmer on Knitter's Review and it just seems so perfect. And I want really crisp stitch definition, nothing that will fuzz up.

Glenda from knitting group said there was a sale on Calmer at an eBay shop. (And now that I've posted it, watch it sell out.) But I'm not sure how I feel about the colors, and I don't think I can afford to buy it now (and it may sell out/expire before I can make a purchase.) Also, Nicki pointed out that if I buy it from Webs I'd get 25% off.

I've decided against the multiple dye lots I pondered earlier. I don't want to risk it on a sweater that will require this much work.

So here are the candidates I plan to swatch:

Rowan Calmer - 21 sts per 4 inches
174.978 yards per ball
25 balls = 4,374.45 yards
25 balls at $11.95 a ball = $298.75
25 balls at 25% off = $224.07
25 balls at $6.50 a ball = $162.50 plus shipping from the UK = $190.50

The yarn recommended by the pattern, and they had a hell of a time finding a non-sheep yarn to use. Very comfy.

RYC Cashsoft DK - 22 sts per 4 inches
142 yards per ball
30 balls = 4,260 yards
30 balls at $8.50 = $255
30 balls at 25% off = $191.25

Still pretty pricey, and how will it hold up as far as stitch definition?

Jaeger Extra Fine Merino DK - 22 sts per 4 inches
136 yards per ball
31 balls = 4,216 yards
31 balls at $8.50 = $263.50
31 balls at $4.49 (Webs sale price) = $139.19

It's a good deal at Webs on close out. But again, can I afford it before it sells out, and what about stitch definition.

Karabella Yarns Aurora 4 - 22 sts per 4 inches
197 yards per ball
22 balls = 4,334 yards
22 balls at $8.50 = $187

Again, stitch definition and merino?

Elizabeth Lavold Silky Wool - 22 sts per 4 inches
192 yards per ball
22 balls = 4,224 yards
22 balls at $7 = $154
22 balls at 25% off ($6.95 is the Webs price) = $114.68

Normally I wouldn't have considered this one, but the staff at HCW said someone brought in an FO out of this and they were amazed by the crisp stitch definition. And it's pretty cheap. I still wonder about the texture of the yarn.

Knitpicks Telemark - 24 sts per 4 inches
103 yards per ball
42 balls = 4,326 yards
42 balls at $1.99 = $83.58

Will it be scratchy?

Knitpicks Merino Style - 22 sts per 4 inches
123 yards per ball
35 balls = 4,305 yard
35 balls at $2.49 = $87.15

Again, stitch definition and merino?

Knitpicks Swish DK - 22 sts per 4 inches
123 yards per ball
35 balls = 4,305
35 balls at $3.29 = $115.15

I think the superwash treatment may actually help with the stitch definition, but will it be scratchy, and will it hold up?

Even if I go with the cheaper yarn, I may still go the route of waiting for Christmas and my birthday and ask everyone for gift certificates to fund this sweater.

I decided that 25 balls is a safe number, because I may need to make it a bit longer and larger than the pattern. At HCW we discussed using a larger gauge for a bigger sweater, but I decided against it. I think the small gauge is part of what makes it so impressive.

And honestly, I do want to impress people. That's one of my goals. But most of all, I want to challenge myself. And it is a nice sweater.

I'm still accepting advice, ideas and pictures of anyone who has made Morrigan out of a different yarn. That's why I need Ravelry. I could check this out on there.

Speaking of, Ravelry invited more people since my last post. Only 522 in front of me now.


Lady O said...

The Telemark, while great to work with, is stratchy. I knit a wrap sweater out of it and don't wear it much because I find it too itchy.

I've used the worsted version of Swish and like it well enough (it was for a baby blanket, much softer than the Telemark).

Kate M said...

I've only seen a couple people making Morrigan so far, and they've all been using Calmer. (It does feel really nice though, so if I ever finish mine, I may have to be pried out of it, heh.)

I've only found one other person on Ravelry working on it and she's also posted her pictures on, which is worth checking out for the correction to the pattern too.

Also, one knitter actually wrote the designer about resizing (she was between sizes, I think) and it sounds like it's pretty tough.

Kate M said...

I did find the following links on substitutions for Calmer:

Sally Comes Unraveled said...

Thanks for your comments. Lady O, I'm keeping that in mind. Kate, your links are awesome!

Laura said...


Seriously. If I could wave a magic wand and make my Morrigan into a merino wool Morrigan, I would do it in an instant.