The Same Cardigan, Two Different Yarns

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This summer I went totally ga-ga over Hannah Fettig’s Rocky Coast cardigan. So much so that I knit it twice within the span of  three months. As my knitterly friends can attest, that’s a lot of time to devote to working on just one pattern. So what possessed me to do it?

I blame it on the yarn. It was all the yarn’s fault.

Yarn #1: Jamieson’s  Shetland Heather Aran

Crunch, crunch, crunch. Om, nom, nom.

For the first version of this cardigan, I used a solid Aran weight Shetland wool–totally not what I set out to buy.

At the time, what I was looking for was a wool blend with lots of subtle, elegant drape. Something like the Organik yarn used in the pattern.  It only took one touch to know that this Shetland didn’t do drape;  it didn’t do subtle, either. This yarn is bold and crunchy. It asks you for your number first. It yells at football players on the television and throws pretzels at the screen. Then it offers you a beer and invites you to put your feet up on the coffee table.

The yarn shop lady talked me into it. Like a good yenta, she listened to my description of the type of pattern I was planning to knit and the yarn I wanted to find, then divined a perfect and completely contradictory match.  I pinched a bit of the Shetland between my fingers and asked, plaintively. “Are you sure?”  “Oh yeah,” she assured me, “it’ll make the cables pop.”

Boy, was she right.

See those cables?

They’re popping like popcorn!

I’m a bit bashful to admit that by the time I had finished this cardigan (in fact, before I was half-done) I had already purchased the yarn to knit another one. I liked the pattern, but really , it was all about the yarn. Having knitted the cardigan in the sturdy Aran Shetland, I was hungrier than ever to see how it would knit up in the yarn used in the original pattern.

Yarn #2: Organik by The Fibre Company 

I knew the yarn I wanted wasn’t available locally, so I hopped online. In record time, a wonderful, squishy package arrived in my mail box.

Now here’s the really impressive thing: I put that yarn away for two whole weeks. I didn’t even let myself look at it until I had finished the Shetland version of the cardigan. After that…

Time elapsed from Shetland bind-off to Organik cast-on = 10 minutes.

A delicious blend of merino, alpaca and silk. A treat just to pet, and I get to knit with it.

I just adore the way this cardigan knit up in the Organik yarn; it has all the drape and elegance I could wish for.

This cardigan is the grown up girl-next-door who’s back from college stuffed full of Marxist philosophy and Coleridge poetry. She’s had it up to here with silly boys and institutionalized football.

After this cardigan came off my needles it almost didn’t need to be blocked!

Second verse

Same as the first.

So…….do I need two nearly identical cardigans in my wardrobe? Even though they’re just the sort of odd-couple pairing who would fight and then become bosom friends in a teen novel?

Heck, no! My closet is too small for that.

This sort of situation is just what family birthdays are for. One day soon, someone special is going to get a wooly surprise.

19 thoughts on “The Same Cardigan, Two Different Yarns

  1. Can I be your long lost sister? You know… From another Mister. Cuz DUDE. I’d LOVE a gift like that! I don’t think anyone loves me even half a gorgeous hand knit cardigan’s worth…

  2. They’re both gorgeous. I would totally keep them, I’m greedy that way. One for over a pair of jeans when horseback riding or heading to a football game, the other for date night. Great job.

  3. Great job on both. I love the way the you described the differences in the yarn, which definitely is reflected in the photos. I vote you keep them both, as others have said they are different enough to be used for a variety of activities.

  4. I have knit two cabled projects – one a cardigan and the other a pull over – each from a different kind and weight of alpaca. The wool simply isn’t good for cables – that is, if you want the, crisp with good definition! Your sweaters look great.

  5. Keep them! Both! They are so different in style and appearance through the different yarns, I doubt many people would even realize they’re made from the same pattern.
    I’m really impressed, btw – with the knitting? Yes, that too, but especially with your superhuman strength of will: Not even knitting a teensy, little gauge swatch with that new yarn – amazing! 🙂

  6. Marie-Adeline

    keep them definitively they are great, both of them. the first one you’ve knitted looks more winter to me, and the second one more transitional seasons. they are both lovely and you past a lot of time knitting them, you deserve to enjoy I’m sure your wardrobe will agree!!

  7. opiegp

    Thank you dropping by and liking my Voluta — if I had your energy, I would knit it again using a yarn that draped differently, such as you did with the Rocky Coast cardigan. I think you should keep them both, but then again, I can also make the case that knitters should spread their talent around — give some wonderful person a treasured work of your hands!

  8. Jenny

    I think I’m about to become obsessed with that pattern too. Although when it comes to yarn choices I’m all about the soft touch. Beautiful!!

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