Let the past sleep, but let it sleep in the sweet embrace of Christ, and let us go on into the invincible future with Him. (Oswalt Chambers)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Swatching Failures

The sleeves on the Red White Gansey are progressing slowly.

One reason they're taking so long is that I'm in no hurry because I don't have yarn to start my next project.

I don't have yarn to start my next project because I don't know what my next project is going to be.

I don't know what what my next project is going to be because none of my swatches are satisfactory.

Current plan, always subject to change according to my knitting whims, is to knit these two sweaters from the Japanese knitting book The New Style of Heirloom Knitting. I'm not going to knit them at the same time, so I need to pick one and buy yarn.

Potential project A is Autumn Song, fondly called the Acorn Sweater.

I have a nice swatch for it in Louet Gems, a yarn that costs more money than I want to spend. But I feel myself weakening.

A second swatch I knit with Knitpicks Swish turned out awful. I used #3 needles, making the fabric too firm. It curled into a ball when I washed it. I'll spare you the sight.

It's possible I'll knit two more acorn swatches, one in Swish with #5 needles and one in Patternworks Bretton. Some test skeins of Bretton are on the way, but if they're as dark as they look in the catalog I'll use them for socks, not acorns.

Potential project B is this gansey from Heirloom Knitting.

The Japanese patterns only come in one size. This one has 296 stitches around at a gauge of 8 stitches/inch giving it a circumference of 37 inches.

To get it to fit, I need to knit it at 7.5 stitches/inch so it will be about 40 inches around.

The violet swatch on top is Louet Gems sport weight knit on a #1 needle. I was sure this would get me close to the right gauge, but it missed the mark by a lot. The gauge on that swatch is 8.5 stitches/inch after washing. It was 9 stitches/inch before washing. The fabric isn't tight enough that I want to go up several needle sizes. The stitch definition is mediocre. I'm passing on this yarn for the gansey.

The gold swatch is Patternworks Bretton, a DK weight yarn knit on #1 needles.

It knit up 7.9 stitches/inch after washing. If the colors I've ordered aren't too dark, I'll try a second swatch on bigger needles.

Is anyone still reading? If so, you get a cute dog picture.

For some reason Sunny decided to bury herself in the laundry this morning.

I didn't see her do it and was amazed at how nicely she fit herself into my dirty clothes.

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