Posts Tagged knitting a swatch.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist that title with my lead photo.
My Mum has been visiting and, usually, I save up or start a knitting project to be companionable as she always brings some knitting. However, this time, she has decided she wants to get into sewing and so I have been helping her with some of the basics – and I mean the real basics. She wanted to go into the only local fabric shop so I had to walk past the fabric with my eyes straight ahead (due to fabric fast) until I got to the woolly bit. There’s not much choice to be honest and it’s all Bergère de France stuff which I can take or leave and what stock they do have is of the more
boring standard variety and nothing to get excited about. However, they did have two very large sheep made of wood with thick woollen fleeces. They were a bit pricey but then I spotted the mini one with hanging string and Mum added it to her magnetic pincushion and cord purchases* and gave it to me as a little gift.
I mentioned before that I was planning on knitting a Kim Hargreaves pattern called ‘Drew’ which is from her ‘Storm’ pattern book. It is a little different from the humungus blankets I’ve been knitting in that it is only two strands of wool (not six) and quite skinny wool at that. The needles are 4mm and 5mm rather than 20mm so I’m finding the transition – and rate of growth – a little hard.
From this –
Should keep me going for a while.
The yarn used is one strand of Rowan Kidsilk Haze and a one of Kid Classic- both with mohair – and they are delightfully soft and luxurious and, therefore, expensive. I found the Kid Classic in a pale grey – exactly 11 balls which is what the pattern calls for – on Ebay and bid high (although not as high as it would be full price) in order to knock the competition out of the water. Which I did. Just. Then I found the dark grey Kidsilk Haze from another seller and it was, miraculously, only £4 a ball. So I bought it and waited. Then I got an email to say the Hazy one was out of stock but should be in by the end of the week. Then they cancelled the order and refunded me. I was not a happy knitter. So I sent them an email and complained because I don’t like it when people sell you stuff they haven’t even got in stock.
Meanwhile, I scoured the internet to find some more hazy stuff because I wanted to knit the cardi but didn’t want to pay umpteen pounds for it. Of course, I had to find a colour that went with the light grey as you knit the two strands together. I found a young lad selling some of his mother’s yarn stash and it wasn’t a bad price so I bought it to see how it would look and I figured, if I didn’t like it, a bargain would still have been struck and I could use it on another project.
Then, the seller of the dark grey – chastened by my complaint no doubt – came back and said it would be coming back into stock and, when it did, they would send it to me free of charge. So, to cut a long story not very short, I ended up with both hazy ones and made a swatch with both to see which combination I liked best and I was going to ask you which you preferred.
but please don’t answer me now, unless you were going to say the second one because, as you can see by the continuation from rib into pattern, I decided on the dark grey.
Another problem I had was with the pattern because when I did the swatch, I cast on 21 sts and knit 28 rows over the pattern, as instructed to obtain a 10cm square . However the pattern just wasn’t working out so I contacted the Kim Hargreaves U.K. site and
begged asked for help. Apparently, the pattern is worked out in sets of 4 stitches plus 3 and they suggested I cast on 27 stitches and try again. Which I did and it worked. But, dear knitters, should I have known this? If the swatch is knitted over the pattern is it normal to have to work out the pattern first before casting on for the test square? I have never come across this before. Shouldn’t they just have you do the swatch in stocking stitch or something. Is it me? I will say though, that I was impressed with the speed with which they answered my query.
Now I’m back up to the workroom to help make another *drawstring bag 😉