I have begun swatching for Eris, a sweater I've had in mind for a while. I love the pattern, but this is one of those situations where climate has stopped me from casting on. The mean winter temperature in this area is 3 degrees celsius, meaning an all-wool sweater is going to be unreasonably hot.
Because of this climate, I've had a devil of a time choosing a workable yarn. I wanted a wool/cotton blend, or maybe wool/silk, but there are few choices in the right weight. I have to be able to get 5 stitches and 7 rows (also 8 rows, for the collar) per inch. Yarn stores are not thick on the ground here, so it's hard to collect skeins for swatching without ordering, sight unseen, from an online store.
(Here is where you comment with your recommendations.)
Anyway, I found this blend in my LYS last weekend - it's SandnesGarn "Scala": 26% wool, 64% cotton, and 10% linen. I had reservations about it when the saleslady showed it to me, but I bought a ball to swatch with anyway. Here is what the stockinette looks like:
and here is how it looks cabled.
The jury is definitely out on this one. What do you all think? Can I make it work? My personal opinion is that the thick-and-thin yarn detracts from the cabley goodness, and of course there's the tactile drawback: all the vegetable fiber is fairly unrefined, which makes it quite rough on the fingers. The finished fabric is not scratchy, though. As an added imperfection, the variable thickness makes it impossible for me to knit it without looking. In a sweater that's 90% stockinette, this is a problem.
But do we like how it looks?
Must run. Here's what's keeping me busy today: