I have only ever bought cashmere blend yarn. Frugality has its place. While luxury has a more exalted one, at least in my heart. Woman can not live by acrylic and Peruvian wool alone.
I regularly receive emails form Knit-Purl.com and each one fills me with longing. But I have a long standing policy of not having too large of a stash. Currently all my yarn fits in one Rubbermaid tote. This is aided by my inexplicable habit of only buying lace weight and fingering weight yarn, although I haven't knitted anything out of lace weight yarn in almost 2 years. A few months ago I was dying to make an infinity scarf and I didn't have any worsted weight yarn. Once I recovered from the shock I went yarn shopping. I finished the scarf . I again have no worsted weight yarn. The Cardiff Cashmere is a dk weight.
I saw this yarn and wanted it but I also wanted to find a project that I could knit for less than $100. I rarely get a better laugh than when a non-knitter says "Oh. Making your own stuff must save you so much money," I did the math and casual drug use would cost only 20% more than my knitting habit.
I initially thought I would make the same cowl that my friend recently cast-on. But when I started the cowl with it's honeycomb pattern I wasn't pleased. It was too complicated for the yarn. The slight halo to the yarn was lost and it no longer had the drape that is a hallmark of cashmere.
So I cast-on a cowl of my own creation and I am pleased with how it is progressing. The yarn is plied and this results in me splitting stitches sometimes if I'm not keeping tension with the yarn. But I also think the plies give the yarn a smoother profile. I find myself a bit nervous knitting with a white yarn. I wash my hands before I pick it up and make sure I haven't recently applied hand lotion. We're having a particularly cold and snowy winter this year and my hands are starting to take on a lizard-like appearance, so skipping lotion is a sacrifice. But this yarn slides easily through my hands and isn't drying them out. So far this a wonderful first experience knitting with 100% cashmere yarn.
Cardiff Cashmere comes in small balls of only 120 yards. My previously stated budget concerns meant I could only buy 4 balls. This would be enough for the cowl I initially had in mind but I wasn't sure it would be enough for the one I had decided on. I began to worry as the ball got smaller and smaller and only an inch or so had been knitted. I even got out my food scale and weighed the left over yarn to determine how many grams I had left to give me an idea of how far I would get with it. As the ball of yarn became no bigger than a pound of soap after a good days wash I just surrendered to the fact that I was going to have to buy another ball. But low and behold after I had finished the first ball I was a little more than a fourth of the way to the desired size of the cowl. I won't attempt to describe my elation but I assure you it involved a little dance and a little song made up on the spot.
I haven't finished the cowl but I expect to keep loving it and will likely buy this yarn again from knit-purl.com. I'd been dreaming about a white cashmere cowl for months, but this yarn aslso comes in some very beautiful colors.