* Prices may differ from that shown
I bought five balls of the Rowan cashsoft at a sale in John Lewis, marked down from around £5 for 50g to £2.88. I'm a real cheapskate when it comes to buying wool so probably would not have bought it for the full price.
Each 50g ball is made of 57% extra fine merino, 33% acrylic and 10% cashmere. There are a range of lovely colours, although I was restricted by the choice in the sale. The wool feels lovely, soft and smooth and knits up well on 4mm needles. It's great for baby clothes as not only does it feel lovely against skin, it's machine washable. My finished knitted product went through a synthetics setting at 40 degrees and suffered no ill effects. It's nice to knit with as well, the wool doesn't split or fray and survives being unravelled a good few times! The finished knitware hangs well and is smooth rather than fluffy, while also being nice and warm.
I would love to knit with this wool again as it does make for smooth and soft garments. However I'm still not sure I'd be willing to pay full price, unless for a very special project.
In order to explain why I came to be using this lovely yarn I must first tell you that I love to knit baby hats - helmets and bonnets - and sell them on EBay. The ones that I have permanently listed are in pastel colours - lemon, pink, pale blue, white etc., but I always add a note in the auction details that I will happily knit these to order in any colour required.
So it was that a lady asked if I could knit her a baby helmet in olive green. I usually use Robin wool as it is a reasonable price and knits up really well but, sadly the shop where I buy my supplies did not have any olive green.
I headed to my local knitting shop where I found the exact colour that I wanted in a yarn called Rowan Cashsoft Double Knitting. It cost me £3.25 for a 50g ball which, at the time was about twice what I was paying for a 100g ball of Robin! Having said that you do get what you pay for. I understand that, these days, you will have to pay more like £5 per 50g ball - yikes!
The yarn is made up of a blend of 57% Merino Wool, 33% Acrylic and 10% Cashmere which makes a beautifully soft yarn ideal for knitting baby clothes. Another bonus for this yarn is that it is machine washable too.
I purchased the standard double knitting for my purposes as it was the one that was the exact colour that I wanted but this yarn is also available in Cashsoft 4ply and Cashsoft Baby Wool.
Incidentally, for those of you who need to know these things, the length of the ball of yarn is 115m and the tension is 22 stitches and 30 rows to 10cm on 4mm needles. I have to admit that in all my 48 years of knitting I have never yet checked the tension of a ball of yarn before knitting and I have never had any problems in that department.
So what did I think of this yarn? Well, as I said, I knitted a baby helmet and a pair of matching mittens and the yarn was an absolute joy to work with! I could certainly tell that I was using a superior yarn.
It felt lovely and soft and was really easy to knit with and the finished articles looked and felt brilliant. The lady for whom I made them was delighted with them.
The ones that I usually knit look and feel good and I always get positive feedback when I sell them but this yarn made this particular set into something special. I could really feel and see the difference in the quality of the finish.
Due to the fact that I didn't expect to have to pay quite so much for olive green yarn I did end up losing money on this deal but it was almost worth it to use such beautiful yarn! Sadly it is not a luxury that I can afford all the time as I would have to increase my prices and I'm afraid that most people would not want to pay the extra so I'll have to stick to Robin wool for my day to day knitting.
If I was ever knitting anything really special I would certainly consider this yarn again as it really was a pleasure to use.
Every now and then I get the urge to make something and I often in the winter get the urge to knit or crochet. I am not that good at either, I can still only knit scarves (or similar. ie blankets) although I have mastered a number of different stitches. When I get the knitting/crochet bug I pop into John Lewis as they have fantastic collection of wools including many by Rowen. I sometimes then knit on tube and get some very funny looks!
Rowen wools are really luxurious, they don't come cheap but they are always really easy to work with and very nice wquality. There are many different kinds of Rowan wools, including the cashsoft which is very soft and cosy to the touch and makes very nice warm scarfs.
It's a 4 ply wool and as a non knitting expert I would describe it as a medium thickness. I never buy thin wool as it takes far to long for me to make anything from it! It's machine washable at 30 degrees which is really handy especially as I have knitted scarves for the kids and is made out of 10% cashmere 57% merino wool and 33% acrylic microfibre. I suspect that if you washedd this wool on a hot was ie. 60 degrees, it would not only shrink it but would turn it into felt, which can be a really nice effect. For knitting experts the yardage is 160/175, gauge stitches 28 and gauge rows 36. Gaugage is out of my knitting capabilities and for this wool I use size 6 knitting needles and that's about as technical as I can get.
Rowan has a large range of colours for each of its wool types and the cashsoft comes in a range of lovely colours, many are Autumny, but there are also some subtle purples and pinks, blues and greens. For my son I knitted a scarf early this year out of cashsoft Rowan wool in blue and beige stripes.
One ball of cashsoft is £5.25 from John Lewis and two balls were more than enough to make a scarf for a two year old which is actually a little big plus there is about 1/4 of each ball left over.
Cashsoft is a really nice wool, I'll give it 4/5 loosing a point as it is quite expensive.