A reader asked in a comment recently about whether I like Cascade 220 or Cascade 220 Superwash better. Both of those links are to the yarns at Love Crafts. They almost always have good sales going on for their yarns but they change pretty rapidly. When I started writing this post a day or so ago, 220 was on sale. Yesterday or day before, 220 SW was on sale so always check to see if what you want is on sale there. I’ve ordered from them many times and am happy with their yarns and service.
If you aren’t familiar with superwash vs. non-superwash yarns, Lion Brand has an excellent article here.
Another thing I’d like for everyone to remember . . what I write here is my opinion. For ever yarn I don’t love, someone else does love and for every yarn I love, someone else doesn’t love so I encourage you to read what I write, then try the yarns or at least try to go somewhere that you can actually feel the yarns
For the most part, I am not a fan of superwash wools. I like the feel of the non-superwash wools better. A great exception: I love Malabrigo Rios and it is superwash.
The jacket I showed recently is made with Malabrigo Rios and I think, even from this picture, you can see the great stitch definition.
The Skogajfall sweater Cascade 220 (non-superwash).
Rita’s sweater is Cascade 220 Superwash.
Can you tell the difference in the two Cascade 220/superwash projects? Probably not. There is a difference in the way it feels. I think the superwash version of Cascade 220 feels thinner and, to me, it feels more acrylic than wool, though it is not acrylic. Both versions of Cascade 220 are 100 grams for 220 yards.
The superwash version can be machine washed and dried, though I do not machine wash and dry and of my hand knitted items. I have seen some of Addie’s knitted items that were machine washed and dried and I don’t recommend it but I do know that some people just have to machine wash/dry. Superwash yarns have a tendency to grow terribly if laid out to dry so I will hand wash those items, roll them up in a towel and step on it to get most of the water out, then put it in the dryer for a few minutes to get more water out but I let it finish drying by being laid out.
The non-superwash 220 will felt terribly if washed and dried in the machine.
I do see beautiful projects that have been made with both 220 non-superwash and 220 superwash. I don’t think one is better than the other – it’s just a matter of personal preference and my personal preference is non-superwash in most cases.