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)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Swatching for Lighthouse Gansey

The Lighthouse Gansey has been on my mental want-to-knit-that list for several years now, but I didn't even have the pattern until a few days ago.

The pattern seems to be well-written and follows the Gansey traditions of knitting all in one piece, no seaming, underarm gussets, and drop sleeves.

A few weeks ago I bought two skeins of Knitpicks Cotlin, a DK weight 70% Tanguis Cotton, 30% Linen yarn. I like a firm fabric when knitting cotton so I figured I'd want to knit it at about 6 stitches/inch - the same gauge as the Lighthouse Gansey. So I picked up some #3 needles and knit a 70 stitch swatch.

Gauge was perfect! The knitting was pleasant and the stitch definition good. Cotlin looks like a great yarn for this pattern if it passes the laundry test.

This is the swatch after laundry.

Unlike my winter woolens, my summer sweaters are laundered frequently and I have no patience for hand washing or other special care in the summertime.

The swatch went through a regular warm load of laundry and a regular warm cycle in the dryer. It came out just slightly damp and looking good. It retained its shape and stitch definition. I was so pleased, I signed right on to Knitpicks and ordered enough for the Lighthouse Gansey.

A couple cautions:
1-There was no shrinkage in stitches/inch but I forgot to measure the rows/inch before washing. There may have been shrinkage in rows/inch. I plan to do all my length measuring by counting rows and using the washed row gauge to calculate the measurements.

2-The washability and other desirable characteristics of this yarn are based on a 6 stitch/inch gauge. That's a nice, firm fabric. Knitting at a looser gauge may result in bagging and/or stretching that I didn't experience.

Pattern: Lighthouse Gansey by Anne Bosch.

Yarn: Knitpicks Cotlin. 70% Tanguis Cotton, 30% Linen. DK weight.

Color: Glacier.

Needles: Options #3.

Gauge: 6 stitches/inch, 8.5 rows/inch in pattern.

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