It’s been too long!

9 Sep

Since I last picked up my swatching needles.  I’ve spent my time since Saturday trying to decide what to start next.  My current WIPs are Babette, which cannot be my main focus or I go crazy, and Tuscany, which… well, let’s not talk about that.  It may be getting frogged soon, as I cannot imagine where I would wear a magenta shawl, but would make a lovely scarf of some sort.

So I went through my queue, and pulled one ball of yarn for each project that I actually own yarn for, and actually want to make soon (this prompted some reorganization, as I realized that I’m unlikely to make about half the things I had there, so I did lots of deleting.)

Let’s get started, shall we?  Lots of photos ahead!

Yarn: Valley Yarns Williamstown

Gauge: 4.75 st/in on US 6

Swatched for: Old Penny by Veronik Avery, from the Fall 08 Vogue

Notes: I need 5 st/in, and this yarn did bloom with blocking, so I will need to go down a needle size for the project.  This is a soft yarn, although it is not a traditional tweed.  It is very similar to the yarn called for in the pattern.  I really enjoyed making the swatch, and this is a big contender for my next project (besides, maybe it’s time to actually make something from Vogue?)

Yarn: Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran

Gauge: 4.5 St/in on US 8

Swatched for: 28thirty from Zephyrstyle

Notes: I need 4 st/in for this pattern. I may go up a needle size, or I may see if I have enough yarn to knit a size up in the pattern.  I like this yarn knit to this gauge, but it’s bulky enough to go up to 4 st/in.  I love the teal bits in this yarn.  This color is softer feeling than the other colorway I swatched, although both are soft.  This one has better stitch definition.

Yarn: Rowan Kid Classic

Gauge: 5 st/in on US 6

Swatched for: Either Victoria from Kim Hargreaves: Thrown Together or the Grable Tunic from the new Rowan.

Notes: I’ve never used this yarn before, and I just wanted an idea of how it knits up.  Both patterns call for smaller gauges (21 st/4in for Victoria and 22 for Grable, which I think I’m more likely to make.)  I will need to go down a needle size or maybe even two.  It did not change size with washing.  It’s nice and soft for a mohair, a little easy to catch with the needles, but nothing too bad.  I really like the fuzziness, and so far at least I don’t think I’m allergic to mohair, unlike every other furry fiber.

Yarn: Malabrigo Merino in Azul Bolita

Gauge: 19 st/4 in on US 7

Swatched for: Opulent Raglan by Wendy Bernard from Knitscene Fall/Winter 08

Notes: I’ve never made a whole sweater out of malabrigo.  I love this color, which is deeper and more intense than it appears (my camera lies!)  It will pill insanely of course, and trap every piece of lint in the whole world, but I don’t care… I love knitting with this yarn so much!  Gauge is spot on for my needs, with no blooming on washing.

Yarn: Reynolds Whiskey

Gauge: 24 st/4 in on US 4

Swatched for: Olivia from Kim Hargreaves: Thrown Together

Notes: I need a slightly larger gauge, so I will go up to US 5 for this project, should it get made.  I don’t think I’m in the mood for a swingy jacket at a tiny gauge right now.  To tell the truth, I’m not a huge fan of knitting with sport or fingering weights, although I have slogged through plenty of sweaters knit from them.  I love this jacket and want to own it, so sooner or later I will bite the bullet… just not yet.

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino

Gauge: 22 st/4 in on US 4

Swatched for: Ripple from Nectar

Notes: I do love this yarn.  It’s so smooth to knit with.  I need 23 st/4 inches, so I will go down to US 3 needles.  I’m going to need to adjust this pattern a bit – it is knit for Bamboo soft, which stretches.  I also want to make it a bit smaller in the bust.  Again, I’m not sure I feel like sport weight yarn right now, but this one is more likely.

Yarn: Kathmandu Aran

Gauge: 16.75 st/4 in on US 7 needles

Swatched for: Bianca’s jacket

Notes: This colorway is very different from the first swatch above.  It doesn’t really contain different colored flecks, and it has a much more felted appearance.  It also managed to swatch bigger, even though I used smaller needles.  I will go down to US 6 for the sweater – although I achieved the pattern gauge, I actually want this to be a tad smaller, and I don’t want to do math.  I love this color, which is somewhere between blue and purple.

I also swatched for the Bordeaux jacket from Knitscene, but I hated the yarn I was using (Laines du Nord Giunco, which has been in my stash for ages, and which I am only now realizing I don’t actually like.)  I’m going to try it again later with a nicer yarn.  I swatched for Lamour from Rowan 44, but I am apparently not in the mood for lace… I did not feel like even knitting enough to finish my swatch!

I did wind up yarn for one small project.  History has shown that if I want a scarf by the time winter is over I had better start now.  I want to make Haven from Heartfelt, using some Manos I bought ages ago.  We’ll see how that goes… last winter’s scarves all ended up as gifts!

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8 Responses to “It’s been too long!”

  1. Suzanne V. (Yarnhog) September 9, 2008 at 2:58 pm #

    I always love your swatching posts. I find them very inspiring. I have some of the same projects in my queue (I really want to do Old Penny, but it’s one of the few projects I don’t have yarn for), and several of the same yarns. At the moment, though, I’m in the grip of an obsession for a new yarn I just got, so nothing else will be started until that is knitted up.

  2. Christie September 9, 2008 at 4:02 pm #

    That is some serious swatching! I’m sure everything will come out perfectly! Can’t wait to see the progress!

  3. yoel September 9, 2008 at 4:48 pm #

    I’m so impressed with all your assiduous swatching. I vote for an autumn project — you’ll be really motivated to finish it! I love that Kathmandu yarn with the green bits in it.

  4. Renee September 10, 2008 at 6:32 am #

    Old Penny in your Valley Yarns Williamstown be gorgeous on you! I bought that Vogue Fal 08 for that pattern. I’ve got 4 balls of Rowan Cocoon in Alpine just waiting for me to buy 8mm needles and cast on Haven, it’ll be so pretty in your Manos. Thanks for the inspirations (again!). You get my knitting and painting mojos in gear. lol Can’t wait to see which project you decide to make first.

  5. Lora September 10, 2008 at 7:59 am #

    You always inspire me when I see your swatching/pattern posts. I also love your blog anniversary posts where you tell how a yarn holds up, whether you would use it again, etc…. Additionally, I think I’ve added more color to my wardrobe between watching your paint/yarn selection! :) I was never a big blue person not the color grabs me. Thanks!! :)

  6. Jacey September 10, 2008 at 11:01 am #

    The baby cashmerino swatch is gorgeous. I need to buy some of that yarn immediately. It looks like you’ve got lots of great options for your next project.

  7. lisa September 10, 2008 at 12:24 pm #

    Oh, I agree with the other posters, I love your swatching posts and the anniversary posts. You truly inspire me to knit faster!! I enjoy reading your blog and appreciate how much of yourself you share with us. The Valley Williamstown and MMMMMalabrigo a both very beautiful, but I’m certain you’ll choose the right project – just can’t wait for the FO…(no rush here – really)

  8. Jacey September 10, 2008 at 7:02 pm #

    I already commented earlier today on your swatching, but I have to say, you really got me thinking. I don’t regularly swatch, but I’ve come home today and am sitting down to swatch and pick yarn for a new project. Thanks for the inspiration. :)

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