Light Touch CAL: Choosing Yarns
A stack of crochet swatches and a crochet hook. One swatch is marked with a slip of paper that says "Right Side."

Have you ever seen a pattern that just won’t leave you alone? It begs you to make it, morning, noon, and night? That recently happened to me when we reviewed pages the pages of WeCrochet Magazine, Issue 3. After seeing Natasha Robarge’s Light Touch Pullover, I couldn’t get it off my mind. So, naturally, when I saw that it’s was the choice project for our latest CAL, I jumped at the chance to work the project along with all of you.

a model wears a hand-crocheted sweater in dark red

In the mag, our Brand Director Sara Dudek recommends three possible yarns for this sweater. Here I’ll explore those three options and share their properties to help you choose the yarn that will work best for your needs. I’ll also share some interesting things I learned through the process. At the end, I’ll reveal what yarn I decided to use for my project.

Each of the swatches shown were worked following the swatch pattern provided in the pattern itself, which consists of 23 alternating rows of Single Crochet and Double Crochet. I used a U.S. size G/6 (4.25 mm) hook.

Capretta Superwash

A crochet swatch blocking on a mat. Capretta Superwash in Meridian Heather
Capretta Superwash in Meridian Heather

The first yarn I swatched for this project is the one that was recommended in the pattern. Capretta Superwash is a deliciously luxurious yarn. It’s a blend of fine, superwash Merino wool, Cashmere, and nylon. This yarn is so soft and blooms beautifully when blocked. (Note, “blooming” is when a fiber plumps and sort of fills out when blocked.) It also developed a lovely halo the surface of the fabric that’s pretty dreamy. It reminds me of mohair and I really love it.

This yarn is a great choice if you want to create a sweater that’s as easy to wear to the office as it is a special occasion. It’s sure to become a wardrobe staple that will last for years to come.

Stroll

A crochet swatch on a blocking mat. Stroll in Dove Heather
Stroll in Dove Heather

Working up this swatch was the first time I had the pleasure of working with Stroll. It comes in at a mid-level price point and it’s a blend of fine, superwash Merino wool and nylon. As you hold this yarn in your hand, you wouldn’t know it doesn’t contain the cashmere that Capretta has. It’s just as soft. As I worked with it, it felt like I was crocheting with feathers. It’s incredibly light without being too delicate. It didn’t bloom when blocked, instead it retained its sharp stitch definition and the drape is just amazing.

This yarn has quickly become a personal favorite. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for a sweater that will layer beautifully and works well as a transitional piece of clothing. With its airy quality it will wear just as well over a camisole in August as it will over a blouse when the weather cools in October.

Palette

A crochet swatch on a blocking mat. Palette in Clover
Palette in Clover

Palette is the best yarn when you’re looking for something affordable, that comes in about a million colors, and is 100% wool. It is more rustic in feel than the other two yarns, but not the least bit itchy. It has a bit of tooth, meaning you can feel it grab and want to connect with the fiber around it. That means you’re going to be careful how you wash it! This would easily felt, so be sure to block your FO in cool water and lay flat to dry.

A sweater in this yarn is a must if you’re looking for a workhorse garment. It won’t feel precious in the sense that you’ll want to save it just for special occasions. You’ll want to wear it for all occasions, whether you need a warm layer when hiking or something to stay off the chill when working in the garden.

Tips for Getting Gauge

The biggest tip I was reminded off when working these swatches is to check your gauge after blocking! It’s the most important step in the process of crocheting a garment if you want it to fit your body. Don’t assume anything when it comes to swatching, yarn choice, hook size, and gauge.

Before blocking, all my swatches got gauge. After blocking, they did not. All three of my swatches grew in size. Which means I crochet more loosely and I need to use a smaller hook. If my swatch was too small, I would need to use a larger hook. Does that mean I need to make another swatch? Yep, it does. If I want my sweater to turn out the size listed in the pattern schematic, I need to get gauge!

The Big Reveal: The yarn I’m using is…

There is so much to love about each of these yarns, but if I said it was hard to choose which one to use, I’d be lying. I knew the moment I stitched the first DC that Stroll would be the yarn for my Light Touch Pullover. I’d love to hear what yarn you decide to use for yours! Be sure to share in the comments below and tag your posts on social media #lighttouchCAL.

Join me next time when I’ll share what color Stroll I decided to use (and why!), what hook finally got gauge, and how the first stages of the pattern are going.


4 comments

  1. Marit Fox / May 8, 2020 / Reply

    I had several skeins of the Stroll yarn in my stash so I decided to use it. The color is Electric Blue Stroll Brights. I love blue anyway and this is so beautiful that I figure it would be great for this pullover.

  2. Donna / May 11, 2020 / Reply

    Maybe third time is the charm – I’m still waiting to hear about a non-wool option for the CAL. I tried the “Contact Us” section on the website and this comment section in the last two weeks but haven’t gotten a reply from either. I’ve been a KnitPicks customer for years and a recent WeCrochet customer. Feeling a little blue.

    • Heather Mann / May 11, 2020 / Reply

      Hi Donna, Sorry to hear it’s taken so long to get your question answered. Our customer service department has been experiencing an unusually high demand for the past several weeks. My response to your question is in your previous comment, and I also emailed it directly to you. Thank you for participating, and thanks for your patience!

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