Friday, March 14, 2008

Swatch this!

I didn't start too well. After all the notes I've made about doing this I started swatching with the background colour in my left hand and the pattern colour in my right instead of vice versa, DOH! Not the end of the world as I realised after the 4th row. The pattern is not especially helpful as the chart shows dark colours as light boxes and light colours as dark boxes. How silly.

Here's the reverse of it before washing and blocking. I love the way the woven threads form their own pattern. It was very curly and hard to stretch out!

The front before washing and blocking.

I washed it in a gentle liquid wool wash then rinsed it and patted dry. When I first saw all the colours in the flesh I thought they looked rather drab and I was a bit disappointed. Now I've seen them together I've totally changed my mind as they really sing out. They are beautiful!

Having done the swatch I have several questions:

i) I'm using the pattern colour in my left hand and background colour in my right hand. When there is a big block of colour in the background colour (say 5 or more stitches) I can easily catch the pattern colour in to secure it. BUT, how do I do it when it's reversed? I don't see how I can catch the yarn in my right hand under the left hand yarn. Do I need to worry about it?

ii) Some of the rows use just one colour. This means the fabric is thinner as the patterned sections have 2 yarns. Is this OK?

iii) The Shetland Spindrift is very variable in thickness. The Old Gold is really chunky but the Shetland Black is incredibly thin and weedy. Does this matter in the scheme of things?

At least my gauge is OK. I've noticed that people have recommended knitting a size smaller than their actual bust measurement as it is meant to be close fitting. My actual measurement is 39" so I think I shall knit the 37" version as I don't want the neck to gape which it might if I did the larger size.

The other thing I wondered about is whether to increase the length a little. I'd better make a decision on that soon!


Leah M said...

I promis to post my pics soon. In the meantime, here are my thoughts, a week after wearing my sweater.

I didn't catch any floats in mine. 5 stitches were fine for me.

I didn't find any problems with the single color rows. It can make your sweater want to "fold" along those rows but it isn't noticable on mine.

The yarn does vary but if you look closely at your swatch, you should notice a subtle fulling in the fabric so it lools more even after washing and blocking.

Definately knit to a smaller size. If I could redo mine, I would also shorten the armscye by starting the shoulder decreases an inch sooner. Otherwise, it fits very well. And if you are a novice like me, you want to watch your row guage constantly. Mine varied periodically.

Lastly, I added length by adding a band of the sunrise/madder to the body. Totally the right decision.

Good Luck and Happy Knitting.

Susie Hewer said...

Thanks Leah, I've decided to knit the 39" but make the ribbing on the neckline tighter (as suggested by Anne from She Ewe Knits. I looked at the measurements that Cheryl posted having knit the 39" and I think I'll be OK with that size now on reflection as I don't want it to be too tight.

I'm glad to mentioned the extra band of sunrise/madder as I was thinking of doing that too.

Can't wait to see your photos!