How’s it holding up, part the second

Yesterday I posted about the wear and tear on five sweaters, and today I have five more to talk about. All of the sweaters today have actually held up very well, so hooray for that! No more disasters like my poor Yoke Sweater.

Francis Revisited

Francis Revisited was an impulse cast on knit between other projects last winter. I used Cascade 220 at a very loose gauge, and that loose gauge means it probably won’t hold up as well as it would at a tighter one. However, Cascade is a workhorse yarn, and while the sweater pills a bit, it’s still in excellent condition. I tried to get a picture of the pilling, but it’s so minor that I don’t think it really shows in the photograph. My favorite thing about this sweater is the color and that has not faded or changed in any way. It’s hardy and has softened with wear. There’s a reason Cascade is such a popular yarn, and that’s the winning combination of a low price, wide selection of colors, and a hardwearing yarn. (My daughter has a toy cat I knit her in Cascade 220. It shows almost no wear on the yarn despite the fact that she drags it around with her. The stuffing’s shifted, but the yarn itself remains sturdy.) You can find fancier or softer yarns, yes, but for the money, Cascade 220 delivers exactly what it promises.

Flutter Sleeve Sunniva

I made two versions of my sweater Sunniva, and this yellow one was the first and the last. First because I started it first, but I had to rip it when some aspects went very wrong, and I put off starting over until after I’d finished the purple version. This version of Sunniva is knit in Malabrigo Sock. It’s shown pretty much no wear, and has held up very well, with a lovely drape, a lovely color, and a very soft hand. My only complaint is my own fault: as you can see, this sweater is embarrassingly uneven in terms of my stitches. Some of this can be attributed to the fact that it was knit and then ripped, but some of it is likely my own knitting. I’m not sure how that happened, as I think my knitting is usually pretty even, but multiple blockings have not made the stitches lie flat. At a distance, this is not very visible, but it bugs me every time I look at it closely. I have not had this issue with Malabrigo Sock past or since. I don’t know how Malabrigo managed to make a sock yarn that is almost as soft as their one ply and still have it be sturdy enough for garment knitting, but they have. This is a great yarn and I love this shade of yellow.

Long Sleeve Sunniva

This version of Sunniva is knit in Orange Flower BFL 4 ply, which is unfortunately very very hard to get these days. Orange Flower updates sell out in like five minutes flat, and that is not an exaggeration. However, if you can manage to snag some of it, do, because this sweater, which I wore pretty much constantly last fall and winter, looks brand new still. BFL is amazing. I wear this sweater against my skin. It does not itch, and there is no major pilling. The photograph is of a high stress area under my arm. (I put a false seam on this version of the sweater, which is not included in the final pattern.) Although I wore this sweater all the freaking time, and although my arm rubs that area a good deal, there is no real wear on it. It is soft, warm, breathable, and beautiful. I want to knit all my sweaters in BFL.


Atalanta is a younger sweater than many of the ones already discussed, but it’s still worth talking about because of how well the yarn’s holding up so far. Atalanta is knit in Knit Picks Shine Worsted. I was a bit wary of cotton and cotton blends. So many of them are hard on the hands, and then the growth rate after knitting can be immense. Soft cottons sometimes flake or become shoddy very quickly, like dishcloth yarn. Shine is a cotton/Modal blend, and it seems to avoid cotton’s sins. I think it looks great, and it has not stretched, faded, flaked, or shown any of the unpleasant qualities that I think sometimes crop up with plant fiber yarns. This is a very soft yarn, but it’s not a shoddy one, and the price is fantastic. This sweater has gone through the wash a number of times, and I don’t think it shows.

The Ever Popular Drops Sweater

I saved the Drops Sweater for last because it’s probably my most worn of all of them. I knit this in 2008 when everyone and her mother was making one of these. It’s an easy, fast, free pattern from Drops, and it doesn’t have an actual name. I knit mine in Rowan Scottish Tweed Chunky that my husband gave me as a gift. Scottish Tweed Chunky is not a soft yarn, but oh does it wear. And wear. And wear. I am constantly in this sweater from the moment it gets cool in autumn until winter is well over and we’re out of the spring chills. Yes, it has pilled a little, but considering how often I wear it, hardly at all. It is hardly different than the day I finished knitting it, and that includes the fact that our now deceased rat Daisy once took a small bite out of it. I darned it with a little leftover yarn, and the thick, tweedy texture of the yarn makes it next to impossible to see where unless you are looking for it. This yarn is impervious. Rowan has of course discontinued its Scottish Tweed line, because Rowan is constantly discontinuing its various tweed lines and replacing them with something new. I suspect that the current Felted Tweed Chunky, while not of the same composition, would be a similarly hard wearing and long lasting yarn. I do love the sport/DK Felted Tweed, and Chunky is the same stuff writ large. Rowan yarns are not cheap in the U.S., but I think they can be a very worthwhile purchase for a quality product. Just don’t get the RYC stuff!


One Response to “How’s it holding up, part the second”

  1. limescented Says:

    I had the exact same issue with Malabrigo Sock in “Ochre”!

    I made a cardigan, decided that I wanted to change the back neck shaping, ripped out a small section and re-knitted. The stitches hadn’t had months to set into shape – a couple of days max – and were very mildly crinkly. I’ve often made changes like this to sweaters, and everything evens out after blocking. But not in this case. There’s a clear line beyond which the stitches look uneven.

    Not enough to catch anyone’s eye, really, but I know and can see it clearly!

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