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Posts Tagged ‘swatch’

Swatching

Starting where the last post left off…

I cast on 20 stitched on US size 9 (5.5mm) needles. That’s a huge size for fingering weight yarn, but felting/fulling always starts on large needles for the yarn.  Three rows of garter, three stitch garter border on each side, 10 rows stockinette, 3 rows garter. Switch to US size 8 (5.0 mm) needles and 3 rows garter, 10 rows stockinette, 3 rows garter, then did the same again with US size 7 (4.5 mm) needles and bound off.

By this point, the only thing I’m sure of is that the yarn is gorgeous, so the swatch has already let me know that I can make a shawl out if it even if I don’t like the felted fabric for a bag.  Except that mohair is really scratchy…

Doing the Math

So I took the swatch and my “Knit Check” and measured gauge.  I measured in a couple of different places on each stockinette band, so I’m fairly confident of my results.

FGF swatch

Unfelted Swatch
needle size stockinette width stockinette height stitch gauge row gauge
US 9 3.625″ 1.75″ 14 st/4″ 20 rows/4″
US 8 3.5″ 1.625″ 16 st/4″ 22 rows/4″
US 7 3.25″ 1.5″  17 st/4″ 24 rows/4″

Looking at the chart – the math just doesn’t work out.  I know that each stockinette section is 14 stitches wide and 10 rows tall, so the counted and calculated gauges don’t match up.  Obviously I have a measuring problem of some sort, I’ll just try to be as consistent as I can and hope for the best.

Then I found a tutorial about hand felting, because I’d been advised that mohair doesn’t do well in a machine, especially when it’s thin.

Then I felted my swatch.  Note to self: mohair felts fast!  I didn’t time it, but I probably should have.  I stopped the scrubbing while I could still make out the stitch definition, because I want to be able to compare before and after.  I might make my bag a little bit bigger than the measurements require, so that I can just keep going if I chose to at the time.Felted FGF swatch

 

Felted Swatch
needle size stockinette width stockinette height stitch gauge row gauge
US 9 3.125″ 1.625″ 20 st/4″ 24 rows/4″
US 8 2.5″ 1.625″ 25 st/4″ 26 rows/4″
US 7  2.5″  1.375″ 24 st/4″ 26 rows/4″

Once again the numbers seem a bit off.  Maybe it has to do with how I blocked the swatch, or how I pulled at different sections while felting it.  In addition, even though I didn’t felt completely, it’s kind of hard to count the fulled stitches.  Clearly there’s some leeway as far as how the fabric felts.  It does seem to shrink more in width than in height, which means I don’t have to worry about a repeat of the Seaglass tote (beautiful, but weirdly squat).

Now to look for colorwork patterns I like…

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the Expression Fiber Arts June giveaway, the Ergo crochet hooks or Beaded Lace Knitting book from Mooglyblog or the  scissors fob from Lisa Bogart.  I entered her July giveaway for a copy of Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders (31 July) and a sock pattern giveaway from Snapdragon Crafts (3 July)

Doing the Math (again)

I’ve been tracking the giveaways I’ve entered since last April.  According to my spreadsheet, I’ve entered 79 giveaways and won three of them (stitch markers and patterns).  That’s almost a 4% win rate.  Not bad at all.

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Rethinking the Plans

Tapestry Mohair

Flying Goat TapestryI got four skeins of “Tapestry Mohair” yarn from Flying Goat Farm’s booth at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this year. Long term readers may recall that I have a complicated relationship with mohair yarns in general, but I also have a weakness for locally produced fiber, and I just fell in love with the colors (I think I’ve been going on a brown-orange kick lately).

FGF tagNaturally, when I got home, I went to add my new prizes to my Ravelry stash page.  Unfortunately, this yarn hadn’t (and hasn’t) yet been entered.  I opened one skein enough to plop a ruler down by it and guestimate 12 WPI, which would make it sport weight yarn.

FGF WPIFair enough.  400 yards of sport weight mohair should make a really cute felted bag.  I did a pattern search, found a pattern for a no-sew felted bag, which called for worsted weight yarn but listed sport, figured it would work,  and popped it in my queue.

The Problem

This morning I decided it was time to at least skein, if not cast on, the project.  So I took out my trusty nostepinne…

The distance between segments is one inch, so it’s pretty clear that this isn’t 12 WPI. 16 to 17 is more like it.  Which would make it light fingering to laceweight yarn.  The Ravelry database still hasn’t been updated.  I went to the Flying Goat website, and didn’t find a listing for the yarn, but there was a blog post which mentioned tapestry yarn.   What she describes certainly looks like what I have, and it’s a light fingering. So now I’m not at all sold on using the pattern, at least not as is.

The Solution

I realized I have to swatch and felt before I make up my mind.  I really don’t swatch as much as I should, so something that forces me to do it isn’t all bad.  It’s just a different process.

 

Yarn Diet

There are two large projects I’m considering once my self imposed summer yarn diet is over.  One is a cricket sweater for my husband (he’s a ‘universal’ sports fan, and the Peter Davidson is “his Doctor”), the other is the Aidez sweater for me.  I’ve already priced out the yarn for these projects at my LYS, and planned to use my accrued ‘frequent customer’ discount for both.

Craftsy currently has both these yarns on sale for 40% off.  I was very briefly tempted to break the diet, but when I compared the sale price to the LYS price with discount the totals (for each project) were within a dollar of each other – not counting shipping.  So I’ll stick with plan A.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I’ve entered a drawing for a skein of Madelinetosh Merino Light from This Knitted Life (3 July)

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