I first saw this sweater on Anna’s blog a couple of months ago and was instantly drawn to the beautiful colors. I just had to make one for myself. The pattern can be downloaded for free from the Phildar website. Immediately I did a Google search for Phildar yarns and quickly found that there really isn’t a good source for Phildar in the North America. So, at that point, the lovely stripped cardigan became a new odyssey.
The original pattern calls for mostly cotton yarn, which seems like a practical choice considering the colors and pattern. I searched local yarn stores and web sites for a good substitute yarn but wasn’t very successful. I found several cotton yarns that would produce the correct gauge but didn’t have all the right colors. Also, it doesn’t seem like most yarn sources in the US carry a good range of cotton yarns in various weights.
When a good substitue didn’t appear, I became determined to find a source for Phildar yarns. I found two web sites that offer Phildar yarn. One is in Dutch and the other in French. The site in Dutch offered all the yarn needed to make the sweater and the site in French only had two of the three yarns needed. Well, I didn’t want to presume that the folks running either site could read or write English, so I chose to order yarn from the site in French. Although my French is rusty, I knew I could probably correspond in French.
I placed the order and corresponded with a woman who indicated that she was willing to correspond in English or French. To pay for the order, I had to wire Euros to her bank account in Belgium. Doing so wasn’t cheap since the bank charges quite a premium for this service. The yarn arrived three weeks after payment.
Just about the time I received my order from the site in Belgium, I found another blog (pknitty) that mentioned this sweater. She ordered the yarn from the Dutch site. It turns out that the owner of this site can correspond in English and will ship yarn to the US. She also takes PayPal! I ended up ordering the rest of the yarn and the pink hook and eye tape from her. I received that package yesterday and was surprised to find a cute Phildar teddy bear included. If I ever find another Phildar pattern that I just have to make and can’t substitue the yarn, I’ll order the yarn from Breiweb.