Monday, January 09, 2006

happiness is....

- the sun warming up the garage door enough for it to defrost and unstick
- ruby red grapefruits
- my friend Katie saying "I'm not sure if the pattern is called 'My First Cabled Sweater' because it's for a 6 month old or because it's in a beginners knitting book."
- thinking I've finally gotten the right swatch for Rogue

The swatches and their respective yarns. (colors are a bit off because I'm relying on artificial light)
The sweater (folded in a tealy-green color) is one of my store-bought favorites and the Bartlett yarns (in a teal/blue color and a blue/purple color) are sitting on top. (I thought the color looked familiar...) I think I got the right gauge in this yarn, but I need to wait and see what it looks like when they're really dry. In the middle is an olive greenish cascade 220 and it was the most difficult to get the right stitch count. On the far left (sitting next to my new favorite face cloth from Theresa) is the icey purple Jo Sharp yarn. Getting gauge with this was a big stretch but I thought I'd try.

All in all, I can get 5 stitches to an inch with multiple needle sizes and multiple yarns - getting 4.5 was nearly impossible.

I know that swatches can lie and hemming and hawing about half a stitch per inch might not be a good use of time, but I really want to get this right. Tomorrow they will all be dry and I can measure them without bias (just picture me trying to force them into the sizes I want and then trying to feel the resulting fabric to see if it's sweater-able). I know blocking can help and that might ultimately be what I need to rely on. The bartlett is a thicker yarn and I thought it'd be easier to get the right gauge but even that swatch feels a little bit thin to me. The cascade is thinner but sleeker and softer, and though the "right" swatch feels thin to me, it might feel different when it's dry.

With any luck I'll have two sleeves on the needles tomorrow...


Blogger Katy said...

One of my first (successful) sweaters was made with Bartlettyarns, and it has worn really well. Not quite as soft as the Cascade, though; but maybe a bit firmer fabric at that gauge? Ah, choices, choices!

7:52 AM  
Blogger Pumpkinmama said...

You are so dilligent! Thats the kind of work I always know I should do, but have a hard time doing.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Theresa said...

Wow - a celebrity facecloth!

You and I were having opposite gauge issues with Rogue - by the time I finally got gauge it felt too "thick" to me, although now it seems fine. Any luck with the sleeves today?

10:12 AM  
Blogger Carole said...

I love Rogue, although I won't make it for myself because I don't think it would be flattering on me. I'm going to enjoy watching you knit it.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Cari said...

I used Cascade for one sleeve of Rogue before abandoning the project about a million years ago. I got gauge with it, but the resulting fabric didn't have as much body as I thought Rogue should have. If I give it another go, I might use Peace Fleece.

Good luck with the final swatch evaluations!

1:41 PM  
Blogger Norma said...

I made my daughter's Rogue out of Cascade, and it's all right, but Cari's right -- not enough body for my taste. I would not use it for that sweater again.

When you said "ruby red grapefruits," my brain gave a little yip of pleasure. I think it's time to go shopping for grapefruit....

4:34 PM  
Blogger margene said...

Make the swatches big enough you can wash them and see how much they change. I've had more sweaters that don't fit after being washed.
It sounds like you have had some time to enjoy your knitting.
I'm having a cup of tea with you tonight and I'm feeling much better;-)

7:31 PM  
Blogger Laurie said...

Yay for you and washing swatches. The other tip people give is to hang the swatch for a day or so, to see how gravity starts to stretch it. I wish I had done that for the alpaca sweater for the DH.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous jess said...

you are such a good and diligent knitter... I have yet to swatch... but then I have yet to complete anything that is not an accessory.

Good luck (and thanks for comment too!)

12:25 PM  

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