Cascade Friday Harbor review

It's just possible that I'm fickle. Every time I think I've found my favorite yarn, I find a new one. This time, it's Cascade Yarn's (@cascadeyarns) Friday Harbor. This yarn surprised me when I first opened the bag because it felt almost like a bouclé with a slightly nubby feel that I'm guessing is from silk neps. It's an 80/20 blend of merino and silk in 100gm skeins of 219yd/200m. The gauge recommended on the skein is 20 stitches to the inch/10cm on size US7/4.5mm needles. 

I used size 7 needles to knit a flat swatch. The initial dimensions of my swatch were 10.25” wide 5.25 long with a gauge of 19 st x 26 rows = 4”/10cm. Stitch definition is excellent on both the knit side and purl side. So then I blocked the swatch.

My washing machine has a wool cycle so the first blocking was done on that cycle. Side note: I hate handwashing sweaters so I never do it; if you don't mind it, you do you, my brothers and sisters.) After drying, the dimensions of the swatch had changed slightly, now measuring 10.5 x 5.25. It got a little wider but was the same length. Oddly enough, the stitch gauge stayed the same but despite the length not changing, the row count did. I now had 30 rows instead of 26. Weird, I know. To figure out how much the swatch shrank in width, I divided the smaller number (10.25) by the larger (10.5) and the result was that the swatch had gotten 1% wider. Math, you know. 

I then wanted to see what would happen if I washed it on a regular cycle. The dimensions changed yet again, this time to 10 ⅜” x 5” so it was somewhere between the initial 10.25 and the previous 10.5. But the length got shorter. Again, using the math, the swatch shrank by 1%. Not too bad, I'd say. And the gauge changed again, to 19 stitches X 31 rows. And the total square inches of the swatch, after the two blockings, changed from Approx. 54 square inches/348 sq cm to 51.25 sq inches/ 330.7 sq cm. 

The final result was a fabric that had a little less stitch definition but a lovely slightly haloed effect. And it's sooooo soft. So yes, until the next one comes along, this is my new favorite yarn. 

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