EXCELLENT. Expensive at first, affordable long-term

Reviewed by Dandy like a Dandelion from Texas on Monday, June 23, 2014
1. The higher the gauge number, the finer (as in “thinner”) the yarn. Gauge reflects how many stitches it takes to knit (usually) a 10 cm wide pattern; the thinner the yarn, the more stitches are required. This has nothing to do with softness of a yarn. This cardigan, being of 21-gauge, is a thin, lightweight sweater (nothing to be considered for -20F winters but something to be enjoyed for layering in +60F).
2. Johnstons of Elgin, through centuries of manufacturing, has earned its reputation as a maker of world’s finest cashmeres for a reason: its yarns are superior to others’. While, at first, this sweater may not resemble the softness in touch of the Chinese cashmere and it feels more like merino wool, that’s a good thing! Once you wash this JofE sweater (BTW wash it only by hand or in a true hand-wash cycle in lukewarm water with very delicate detergents and lie it flat to dry), these long strands of yarn will bloom afterwards (“blooming” is a knitting term for threads to loosen up, open up in a wash) giving you the softness expected from cashmere. Now, you can enjoy wearing (and washing) JofE sweaters for 10, even 20 years with them continue to look fine throughout the years, not pilling up, not stretching, not fading. Try doing that with lower-end cashmere – you’ll understand and appreciate the reasons why Johnstons of Elgin has the reputation it has.
3. I think that these cardigans are made true to size – I’m speaking only about size XS and S, I don’t know how M, L, etc. measure. I’m 34”-25”-35” in chest, waist and hips respectively (5’4” and 100 lb) and I favor size XS but I’m equally comfortable wearing these cardigans in size S as layering over a blouse, etc.
4. Colors are somewhat off from what they appear on Sierra’s site; midnight blue hints on gray-ink, sapphire is more of a jade (nothing of the purplish navy in it, unfortunately for me), marine is heathery strong aqua/watery color, and sand is simply the best: it’s a delicate camel color.
5. I couldn’t be more thankful to Sierra for making these Johnstons of Elgin sweaters available at great discounts. 5***** for Sierra and 5***** for these JofE cardigans.
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