Here is a pic of my latest finished object. This is one of the cashmere scarf kits put out by Jade Sapphire Exotic Fibers and is 100% Mongolian Cashmere in the "Five O'Clock Shadow" colorway. My partner, Andy, loves wearing cashmere and has been - patiently - waiting for me to knit him something with it.
Neither he nor I really liked any of the "7 Manly Scarf Patterns" that come with the kit so I let him flip through the Harmony Stitch Guide books and he selected the Zig-Zag Moss Stitch pattern. It's subtle but nicely textured and he is very happy with the results.
I believe the kit contains approximately 300 yds and I used US Size 7 needles.
and then I watched television...
There is a new cable channel called "Planet Green" that is out to educate us all on how we can live our lives in ways that can reduce our carbon footprint and be more environmentally friendly. Bill Nye (The Science Guy) has a show called "Stuff Happens" and just as I was nearing completion of Andy's scarf... and had ordered a boat load more cashmere for his next scarf & glove combo and for a couple pair of cashmere socks... Bill Nye poops on the party. Apparently "Mongolian Cashmere" like the stuff I had just ordered from Jade Sapphire is not very friendly to the environment. The Chinese cashmere goat farmers are letting their herds get rather large in order to meet the global demand for cashmere. They graze their luxuriously soft fibered goats in the high grasslands alongside the Gobi Desert. Sadly, they do not replant the grass that the goats are pulling up roots and all. This is causing the Gobi Desert to increase in size at an alarming rate and causing major environmental problems... including dust storms as far away as Beijing.
I don't know if I am getting soft in my advancing age or what... but this made my stomach turn. Too late to cancel my order of cashmere now... but I will not order the "Mongolian Cashmere" again. I did check with my local fiber guru (who has a friend on the International Cashmere Board - I didn't even know there was such an organization) and I understand that the Cashmere from Classic Elite is produced in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way. The other recommendation is to seek out small, local cashmere farms and support them. I have found one in Bremen, Maine called "Springtide Farm" and their fiber is AMAZING. Their web site is www.SpringtideFarm.com
Bill Nye advocates that fiber from Alpaca is every bit as soft as Cashmere, is much more environmentally friendly (alpaca only have teeth on the top and therefore cannot pull out the roots of the grass) and alpaca is much more cost effective, too!