Cashmere Island is one of the Noro yarns in the wool store, and last autumn I decided to cast on for a jumper. I bought the yarn in the John Lewis sale when it was discontinued, and I bought what was left, 9 skeins of a purplish colour and 2 in less bright shades. So there was more than enough for a jumper.
The style I aimed for was the one that you see in the shops now, loose with narrow sleeves. I cast on with a crochet provisional cast on, because I had not decided if I wanted ribbing. Also, starting a project with several cms of ribbing is soul destroying. You have no idea what the knitting will look like and how large it is going to be. And I would be able to do the ribbing in the other shade, if necessary.
I could have knitted in the round, but I chose not to. This was mainly because I wanted to do the sleeves by picking up stitches around the arm holes and knitting downwards. When I had finished the back it was obvious there would be enough of the purplish shade. On the front I did a wide neck opening, so the shoulder seam turned out to be quite narrow. I joined the shoulders using a three needle bind off for the first time. It worked well, but I was surprised to see how obvious the join still is, both on the right and reverse sides. I decided to do the ridge on the reverse side. I think I expected the seam to look like grafting, and I may try that another time. I like grafting. It is fun once you forget the instructions. By just studying the stitches it is easy to work out how the yarn should go. But the three needle bind off produces a more durable seam.
It was the sleeves that caused the problem. I had to reknit them about three times to get the right width, skinny but loose enough to be comfortable. So this was supposed to be a quick knit, but in the end it took four months. A lot of the time was spent with me working out what to do next instead of doing the knitting. I found myself longing for a project where I could just follow the pattern without any thinking.
I went for ribbing in the end, and I did it after I had sewn the side seams. It was easy to unpick the provisional cast on, and then it was just a matter of knitting downwards. I did the neckline using short rows. I have never seen it in any pattern, but it seems to me a natural way to shape the neck, and it makes it very easy to add the neckband.
Now it is finished anyway, and I like it. It fits. The yarn is very pleasant. You do notice the cashmere content - very smooth, in contrast to my Noro Kureyon cardigan. I went to a lot of trouble to get the shades to agree on all the pieces, so there was a lot of winding and rewinding balls of yarn. Because the yarn comes in hanks I had to make sure I wound it in the same direction all the time, and the only way to do that was to wind a bit and work out which shade came next. Except the sleeves and the ribbing were knitted in the opposite direction, and I wanted to start with the same shade so there was more rewinding. And I wanted to avoid the ribbing and sleeve cuffs ending up pink or turquoise. There are a lot of small balls left over. I was pleased with the result anyway. I managed to get the shades as I wanted. I am very tempted to knit a cowl with the left over yarn, but if I started now I would not be ready until late spring. I will leave it for next winter.
I haven't said anything about the colours. This is again a case of the yarn looking nicer in the hank than knitted. I would not choose these colours if I went out to buy yarn. The conclusion - can I stop buying Noro? I don't think so. The jumper is comfortable to wear and just right for this weather.
Noro Cashmere Island jumper
Yarn: Noro Cahmere Island wool 60%, cashmere 30%, nylon 10%, 360 g
Needles: 4 mm
Tension: 22 st
Knitted: 21 September 2010 to 21 January 2012