Some time ago, I bought myself a single skein of Shibui Knits Silk Cloud, a mohair and silk blend lace-weight yarn in the brilliant shade called Tango.
I am a big fan of Rowan’s Kidsilk Haze and have knit many things with it. But I was curious about the Silk Cloud. The Silk Cloud is more expensive. However, it has a higher silk content – 40% in the Silk Cloud compared to 30% for Kidsilk Haze. Most important to me, the colours of the Silk Cloud are glorious – brilliant, richly saturated tones. Kidsilk changes its colours frequently and the last time I checked I found their palette to be rather pale and uninspiring.
I decided to knit a little cowl using a free pattern available on Ravelry called the Madita Cowl, designed by spacecurry.
This was an airplane knitting project, knit entirely while in the air (or the airport lounge). I used plastic needles (so as not to upset security), and the whole project was so small and lightweight that it fit easily into a pocket. I actually did not enjoy knitting it, although not for the reasons you might suspect. The yarn is lovely, as is the pattern; the truth is that I hate knitting with laceweight yarn on big needles (a US9). I complained about this on these pages before, when knitting the beautiful Smoulder sweater for Emma, which uses a double strand of Kidsilk Haze but it is knit in part with size 15 needles. I think perhaps continental knitters might find this easier, but as a thrower, I find it very awkward.
The cowl itself is gorgeous, although a bit of an enigma. You see, it is too short to wrap around the neck twice, and too long to provide any actual warmth to the neck. This makes it essentially a bit of frippery (although a pretty one at that). I believe that if I were to knit it again, I would make it longer, so that it could be wrapped twice.
Now that I have had my little experiment, I can say that there will be more Silk Cloud in my future. The only difficult task will be not buying one of every shade.
I share your concerns about frippery length cowls. What length and width would be perfect?
I just knit a cowl that was too narrow and way too long, so it doubled successfully but made chilly gaps at the neck as it was not deep enough. Frog time!
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