Swatching

It appears one cannot have a knitting blog without posting at least once about the joys and perils of swatching.

I am not a swatcher. BUT, I am completely ok with pulling out a ball’s worth of project on the discovery that it is going to be too big (it’s never too small).

You would think that, by now, I would have just learnt to go down a needle size, but it’s not every project! and, to be honest, if i do swatch, I almost always get gauge. SWATCHES LIE!. I think when i knit a swatch, I’m so keen to get it done that i knit furiously and therefore my tension is tighter. Also, I tend to knit on circs, and when i swatch, the stitches stay mostly on the needles and i am SURE this affects the overall tension. So instead I tend to just start knitting, wait until i’m a decent way in (1/2 – 1 ball usually) and then measure. If it’s way off, I’ll start again. If it’s slightly off, I’ll persevere, maybe try it on if i can to see how it’s going.

Then of course there’s the garment that’s perfect as one knits it, but too big once blocked. But generally i find after a wear or two they spring back, not to mention the fact that again, if i knit and wash a swatch, it’s usually fine, but doesn’t take into account the weight of the garment as a whole. Then there’s patterns and knit flat/ knit in the round considerations and i just can’t be doing with it all!! There’s always lovely friends of all shapes and sizes to gift to if worse comes to worst. Also? Knitting can be pulled out and started again. Not ideal with a cardi or jumper, but eh, life rarely gives you do-overs, so look at it in the best light (after swearing a lot)!

This is a tale of a swatch though.

Yes, I swatched! but not so much for gauge, as for colour!

I’m planning on doing little birds by Ysolda Teague. I bought the pattern ages ago when she was donating funds to help Haiti. Since I’m in the UK and my local LYS has Jamieson and Smith shetland, I thought I’d pick out some colours and if not start it while i’m here, at least have it ready to go. I bought a few colours to play with about a year ago (whoops) and finally got around to the onerous task of swatching.

Ignoring the fact that my birdies are completely screwed up (this was more about tension and colour than getting the pattern right) I’m really happy with this.

First tension – I’m getting 14 stitches over 2″ in colour work – the required amount is 28″ over 10cm. Booyah! Also, if anything my tension is a bit tight on this, so it will be a nice change to be able to knit the size i think i am for once!

secondly, colour. I bought a couple of different colours to play with, with the intention of doing the colour scheme I did above, but if it didn’t work, to pick the two or three colours I liked. I honestly thought I would be doing the 2 different colour birdies with just the one colour ‘leaves’. I wanted a bluey green for the leaves (those who know me will not be surprised by that) so thought I’d go a nice contrasty purple for the birds. The middle colour is much more in keeping with the tone of the purple that it shows in the photo. It’s less red and the purple is not quite so blue. So the effect is a row of birdies and leave in a rich, dark colour, then a row of birdies and leaves in a slightly less saturated colour. I really like the effect in real life. In this photo it’s a more stark contrast.

Here’s another photo…

Everyone i’ve showed it to in person thinks that it looks great with the four colours. In the photos i’m not so sure it works. Which is a pity, because i really wanted your opinions on it!! So if you want to give an opinion, just take my word that the raspberry colour is not as rusty as it looks here, but a pinker, slightly less saturated colour.

when I first knit the row of teal, I wasn’t sure against the neutral background, but actually it looks great.

Oh why is this so hard!

help!

A new year, a fresh start

I want to change the name of my blog. I know what i meant by the title, but it never sounds right. It kinda makes me sound like a junkie and i don’t want that.

so…

here are my suggestions, and i’m willing to take suggestions from the crowd.

I will  make a decision tomorrow night after SnB

 

Crafty like a Fox

Knitickyboo (it’s already the blog address)

binkabooknitty (a play on my extended online alias, binkabookitty)

Knitty Kitty (i do love cats so)

A Yarn or Two

Crafting my life

 

these are all pretty lame, so give me ideas people!

 

 

Calling out to Test Knitters Everywhere…

Hi lovely knitterly people…

I am looking for two or three test knitters who like fingerless mitts…

I recently finished these*, worked in some of my delicious souvenir yarn – Zitron Opus 1, a smooshy worsted single with aloe vera and jojoba (hence their ravelry project name…)

Finger First Mitts sans buttons

I have been envisaging a new way to knit mitts for a while now, and have finally tested it.

I wrote up the pattern today and would love to get some people to try it before i offer it on this blog. I am debating whether to charge a very small fee for these, since they are my 3rd public pattern now… like, $1US or something.

But first things first… anyone want to make sure it makes sense?

You will need about 150 – 200m of worsted/aran weight yarn, maybe something like Noro Silk Garden, or Rowan Kid Classic or the new Silk Twist or DB Cash Aran… Or maybe something rarer? Trust me, these are perfect for that one-off special skein. You will also need about 20 – 22 buttons. I can’t offer payment, but we can maybe discuss a yarn donation to your stash?

*Rav link