Filatura di Crosa Superior
Well, my swatches turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. To the touch, that yarn was (and still is) pure unadulterated heaven. But when I tried to knit with it, the yarn behaved like an indignant Siamese cat being forced to do something against its will. It had no intention of obeying my needles and becoming cohesive fabric. It just sat there, limp, waiting for me to go away.
Fast-forward to the beginning of this week when I received a box of new Filatura di Crosa yarns for fall. My eye scanned the skeins and immediately stopped at this yarn. More brushed cashmere! But this time they did it right. They slimmed it down to a lace weight and paired it with slinky, shimmery, substantial silk at the core. I gasped, I grabbed, I swatched.
Superior is so new that they haven't even printed labels for it yet. You probably won't see it at your LYS for several more months. But you need to be prepared. And if you are as susceptible to cashmere as I am, you may want to keep some smelling salts handy.
While Superior is somewhat similar to Rowan Kidsilk Haze, the comparison only goes as far as their both being lightweight brushed yarns with a silk core. Where Kidsilk Haze has an almost icy luster, Superior retains a more mossy look, but with a shimmer poking out from beneath. (Here's a swatch with Kidsilk Haze on the top and Superior on the bottom.)
I started swatching with slick aluminum needles but couldn't finish my cast-on row, the yarn was so slippery. I switched to Addi Turbo Lace needles, whose fine resin coating helped the yarn adhere to the needles. Still feeling like something was lacking, I moved on to Crystal Palace bamboo needles. Bingo! Then I moved from simple stockinette to more elaborate lace patterns, and the yarn performed beautifully with each stitch.
Some brushed mohairs and alpacas have long clumps of loose fiber that can snag on your needles and produce irregular stitches if you aren't careful. The cashmere fibers in Superior are so short and delicate that there were no such snag problems while knitting. It was tricky to undo, however. You'll want to think twice before frogging an entire project made from this yarn.
Blocking / Washing
My swatches dried almost instantly. Those that had been washed didn't show a significant bloom compared to the equally fuzzy unwashed swatches.
This yarn knits up into paper-thin translucent swatches. But the minute I put them against my skin I could feel them warming up. The cashmere halo traps still air and retains body heat beautifully.
In terms of touch, this Superior is sinful in its quest for full-body contact. I can't imagine a more heavenly yarn for a knitted camisole. Or for more public attire, one skein would make a glorious little lace scarf that you could wrap around and around your neck. But a word of caution: You'll never want to take it off.
But within the realm of feather-light, lace-weight, fuzzy yarns made from sumptuous fibers, it lives up to its name in every respect. And within that same realm, at $25 per 330 yards, it's a steal.
Filatura di Crosa
30% shappe silk
None given. This yarn can range dramatically in gauge depending on the effect you want, from lace to worsted. I'm guessing 18 to 25 stitches and 23 to 34 rows per 4-inch (10cm) square using US 3-8 (3.25-5mm) needles.
Average retail price
Where to buy online
Weight/yardage per skein
25g / 330 yards
Country of origin
Manufacturer's suggested wash method
No label yet. I had no troubles with a lukewarm bath using mild soap, rinsing in lukewarm water and blotting out excess moisture with a towel before laying flat, reshaping, and letting dry.
Color used in review
Tahki Stacy Charles