I discovered Cestari Traditional 2 Ply while I was visiting Tolt last year. It was a yarn I’d never noticed before, though it isn’t new. When I picked it up I was immediately intrigued by its unique feel - soft and buttery, but very woolly and rustic at the same time. I could feel and smell the lanolin still in it and once I cast on, I was delighted to discover the occasional bit of straw as I worked. It wasn’t constant or anything, but each little speck was a sweet reminder of the life the sheep who had grown that wool might have lived. In researching Cestari further, I found a delightful sentiment on their website about this very experience. Company owner, Francis Chester was quoted as saying, “If you put his yarn to your ears, you can almost hear the sounds of life within it.” I couldn’t resist naming the sweater Sounds of Life after that wonderful quote.
I had been throwing around the idea of a good, solid workhorse of a cardigan, something versatile and wearable with a stand-up collar and functional pockets - the perfect PNW sweater, in other words - and when I discovered this yarn, the idea solidified.
I was originally a bit skeptical about the marled colors, even though I was also really drawn to them. I worried that the finished fabric would end up muddy or ugly. I was so wrong about that, though. The fabric is tweedy and interesting and beautiful in all the best ways. Several of my testers used Cestari for their sweaters too, a couple of them in the black/white marled colorway, and I’m now a complete convert to marled yarn. I even got myself another sweater’s worth of the marled black/light gray the last time I was at Tolt - stay tuned for more on that!
Photo courtesy of Andrea Rangel Knits
I've worn the sample quite a lot - it was hard for me to put it in the mail and let the folks at Tolt borrow it! At first glance, this sweater might seem somewhat plain, but here are a few of the special details that I really love:
You can get the printed pattern and the yarn at Tolt Yarn and Wool soon. You can also buy it now as a pdf download on Ravelry and on my website.
working in the round, increasing and decreasing, picking up stitches, seaming, including setting in sleeve caps
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