My longstanding love affair with Handmaiden’s Casbah sock is well documented. I’ve knit four pairs of socks with the stuff (Slant, Graupel, Rampant, and the as of yet unnamed socks), which is just about unheard of. I can’t think of any other yarn I’ve used for that many socks. It’s on my list of favorite fat sock yarns, and it’s one of those yarns I like enough that I just sort of buy it whenever I see a skein I love (meaning there’s a fair bit in my stash).
Which is why I was a little worried when I was knitting the most recent socks. And come to think of it, the ones before that too. Something felt…different. The yarn felt thinner. I put it out of my head, I’d used (and loved) this yarn for years. It was more likely that I was knitting differently (my gauge has changed a bit in the last 6 months or so, so I assumed it was me).
Then yesterday, as I reached for some socks to keep my feet toasty, all my suspicions came back to me. I had Graupel on my feet, and they were nothing like Rampant or No-name. My curiosity got the best of me. I dug out all four pairs of socks, the yarn leftovers from all four of those projects, and the extra skeins of Casbah from my stash.
It seems somewhere between 2009 and 2011, the Casbah base changed. I bought the yarn for Slant and Graupel in January and May of 2009. Both of those are the thicker base. I got the yarn for Rampant and No-name in June and July of 2011. Both of those are thinner. The same pattern holds true for my stashed skeins. The one I got in May of 2009 is fatter and the one I got in September of 2010 thinner.
Now, it’s important that I emphasize that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the new Casbah base. Obviously not. I bought three skeins of it and knit it into two charming pairs of socks with it before I even knew for sure it had changed. It’s the same yummy colors (just look at those colors…hypnotizing I swear) and the same wonderful blend of fibers. It’s just not as thick. Some folks will even like it better now that it’s closer to a regular sock weight yarn. I, alas, do not find it quite as much fun to use for socks, but it’s still a lovely yarn for lots of other projects.
Has anybody else noticed the change or know anything about it? Maybe it’s just these three skeins (unlikely, since they were bought in three different cities at three different times, but a girl can dream). Now I’ve got to hoard my one remaining fat skein and not use it until I have socks worthy of its magnificence.