Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Swatch-o-rama, baby!

          Minnie is dragging on...

                       ...and on...

                               ...and on...
I don't particularly like having more than one project on the go at once; whichever one I am working on, I feel guilty for not working on the other, and as often as not, I can't decide which one to pick up, so nothing gets worked on. But Minnie is getting dull; it was my March project, after all, and we're now in May. It doesn't help that its a pure cotton yarn, and it's a bit tiring to knit with for a long time, especially with the beads. Swatches, though, don't count. I almost *always* swatch before starting a project; I'd rather do an unnecessary swatch than rip out part of an actual project. I also don't have 'issues' with what to work on; I can knit a relaxing swatch in one short session, or as a break from beaded knitting in handknit cotton. So recently, I have swatched for:
  • a pair of socks in Regia Ringel (yes, really! I swatch for socks!) This yarn is destined to be Jaywalkers for me; the stripes will be about half the depth they appear here when actually made into a sock.
  • a reverse-rib All Seasons Cotton cardi for J; he says he prefers the 'usual rib' side of the fabric. And maybe he wants a jumper, anyway (this is my April project... hmmm....)
  • 'Lakes' - a fortuitous ribbed sweater pattern from Rowan in All Seasons Cotton. He likes this one*.
  • Evaluating my handspun: I loooove this swatch and have been carrying it around with me ever since I made it! I will keep spinning to this weight, and Navajo plying it. I'm envisaging a snug-fitting cardigan in this yarn; possibly a fair isle as I won't have enough of 'just' this yarn to make one. I'd like this to fill a similar space in my wardrobe to the Noro 'York' cardi, which has had a lot of wear, and is starting to show it (due to softly-spun bulky singles yarn not being very good at resisting abrasion. Read: it's pilling. My tighter-spun 3 ply shouldn't have this problem!)
I keep trying to work out if I can stitch all my swatches together and make a throw out of them, but they're in such different weights and yarns that it might end up being "a strange lumpy thing, more like a flat tortoise than a quilt" (name that misquote!). Still, it might work for keeping muddy dog-paws off the car seat... _____________________________ *I know, I know: these two look remarkably similar; they are the same yarn. The first is knit on 4.5mm needles, in a 3 by 1 rib; the second on 5mm needles in a 2 by 1 rib. I prefer the first; the stitches look so much neater, and the definition is so much better. J prefers the second; the fabric feels softer. Fair enough - it's his sweater!


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