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A skein of Chamonix
Jaeger Chamonix once knitted up

Yarn Profile: Jaeger Chamonix

First Impressions
Editor's Note: It is with great sadness we note that this yarn has been discontinued, as of fall 2005. What follows is the original review.

If you've ever fantasized about being able to work in your pajamas without getting funny stares from your coworkers, order a batch of Chamonix and start knitting.

Chamonix was introduced in the fall of 2001 by Jaeger, a British luxury yarn manufacturer that—along with Rowan—is owned by yarn conglomerate Coats Patons. Chamonix is one of the loftiest angora blends I've encountered. What looks like a strip of dense, homemade spaghetti is actually as lightweight and airy as popcorn.

My only regret is that it's only available in a few colors, almost all of which are wispy pastels. Let's hope Jaeger gets the message and adds more colors.

Knitting Up
Rarely do I have luck with cable-spun yarns -- they inevitably unravel or snag. Although Chamonix is cable spun, the yarn's fibers are so dense that they didn't snag or unravel on me. I even tried knitting quickly and sloppily, but the yarn stayed right with me.

Chamonix has a fair amount of elasticity to it. As a result, I had to pay close attention to my gauge to make sure it was even on both knit and purl rows.

This was the only potential issue I had. Otherwise, Chamonix was pure perfection. It didn't even leave fuzz all over everything, which many other angora blends do.

Blocking / Washing
As with any soft, lofty yarns, I always worry that they'll lose their fuzz with wash. In the case of Chamonix, the entire washing process was reassuringly uneventful.

My swatches emerged from the wash intact, drying almost instantly. With only a quick pat of a towel, the swatches were firmly blocked.

Once dry, they returned to their original soft, airy texture. Washing hadn't matted down the fibers, and the gauge stayed absolutely constant.

Angora is one of the warmest fibers available. The addition of merino helps keep Chamonix at a wearable temperature while providing the elasticity that angora lacks.

Angora and merino are both relatively delicate fibers, but the cable spin and 5% polyamid help to fortify the yarn.

Once I began the brutal but necessary thrashing process, Chamonix finally began to shed small amounts of fuzz. After a few minutes, the swatches began to form small puffy pills that were easily removed.

Even after more pills and more fuzz, the swatches still looked remarkably good.

This is the first yarn I've liked so much that I've ordered a stash for myself before even finishing the review. As adults, we aren't supposed to carry around security blankets -- but that doesn't mean we can't wear security sweaters instead.

Depending on where you live, an hour with a therapist could run you $100. Meanwhile, years of comfort from a Chamonix sweater costs only $135. For me, the math makes sense.

My only caution: If you do go with Chamonix, be prepared for total strangers to come up and touch you!

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