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Yes, swatching AGAIN

It’s not a nag this time.  It’s a how swatches teach you something.  I’m playing with some yarns to make some cardigans I have sketched.  I need to know if the yarn will work before I cast on.  Yes, before.  So sad to start a project and the yarn be wrong for the pattern and you ignore that even though you suspect it but you keep knitting hoping the yarn will magically change and be perfect even though you know that didn’t happen last time and surely won’t happen this time.  Do you think I’ve had some experience with this?

This is a Hempathy swatch.  I bought the yarn at Charlotte Yarn.  The pattern is as k5, sl 1 row followed by a purl row.  I want to make a cardigan that is unstructured and will roll under at the front edge.  It would have 3/4 sleeves and some kicky little detail on the sleeves.  The yarn needs enough body to hold some simple shape, but be nice as the edge rolls.  It’s a transitional season kind of garment, so I am not interested in wool.  My transitional seasons aren’t that cold.

The swatch shows the pattern with a size 6 needle, then I knit a row on the wrong side to make a row of purls and tried a size 5 needle which was better.  Still uncertain. I washed it and it is a wonderful feel, but may be too light weight for what I want.  This will go up on the bulletin board to await further thinking.

This purple cotton from Jaegar came from the stash.  I bought this off ebay during the Stone Age of internet knitting.   The yarn is named Pure Cotton DK which is no longer made.  Jaegar Aqua would be close to it.  It is a multi-plied mercerized cotton with a slight sheen and it feels so good in your hand as you knit.  Neither yarn is new so you might find a great bargain if you Googled either.

After knitting a few inches in stockinette stitch, I switched to garter and then to a pattern with a purl thrown in every few sts, every few rows.  I was looking for an Aha!

I really like the occasional purl st pattern.  It felt good in my hand and made the yarn drape just a bit.  I knit the entire swatch with a US# 7.  How can I remember?  Like this.I count the knots in the cast on string.  I know folks who will do (yo, k2tog) along an early row to show the needle size, but I always forget.  I’m too anxious to get some stitches on the needle.  Most times I can remember near the end to tie off the same number of knots as the needle size.  Two things I can assure you: a sticky note won’t stay stuck to a swatch, and without something, you won’t remember what needle you used.

Here’s both strands from the Hempathy.

Swatch to see what the fabric feels like.  You won’t be sorry.

More later–

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2 Responses

  1. I love the idea of placing knots in your yarn end to remember the needle size! I never seem to remember to code it into my swatches.

    I’m wondering about Hempathy. I knit two darling watermelon tops for my granddaughters out of it and told my daughter and daughter-in-law not to dry it. Have you dried it? That would make things so much easier. I’d like to knit something with it again–maybe the Summit shawl.

  2. I have dried my Hempathy handtowels. They looked better before the drying, but are usable as they are now. They were the chocolate brown color and knit in seed stitch. I suspect a lighter color and more stable stitch would do better. The color is still good, but they are super drapy.

    Sent from my iPad

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