Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Swatch The Deck, Matie!

Lately I have been in love with Lion Brand Wool-Ease, mostly in worsted weight. And even though I bought a whole bunch of skeins of black on Sunday, yesterday I got a hankering to buy more yarn. So I rushed down to P&S with only 25 minutes left before they closed and stood in front of the Wool-Ease looking for the perfect colors.

Then I saw the first one -- chocolate brown. It was just right. Not to red. Not too yellow. And the thought of a cute striped sweater with a bateau neck came to me and I started looking for another color to go with it. Pink? Not the right shades. Peacock blue would have been perfect, but they only had one skein left. That's when I picked up one color that looked like a long shot, but the more I looked at it, the more it looked better with the brown. It's this strange green that's called Seaspray. It's not quite green, but I also wouldn't call it a seafoam. It's quite ambiguous, but I can't wait to start knitting it up! (Especially since this will be my first sweater design.)

While I was there I also took a look at their circular needles. P&S doesn't have the best circular selection. It's pretty much just bamboo and Susan Bates. Lately I've been shying away from bamboo (probably because I've been doing so much acrylic knitting) so I went to the Susan Bates. They had the sizes I needed in air-travel-freindly lengths so I grabbed an 8 and 9. I was about to grab a 7 when I saw the 10 and decided to get it instead. Even though I made my test swatch the night before I decided that trying the 10 wouldn't hurt.

What a difference! I cast on the same number of stitches as the 9 swatch, but the 10 swatch 1.5" longer. The thing that ticks me off, though, is that, on the 10s, I was still able to get 8 stitches per 2 inches into the swatch guage, as directed in the instructions. BUT, I'm still getting 11 rows per two inches instead of 10! Is it because I'm not using two strands held together? How is this going to effect the sweater? Will it be too long or too short? Is it going to be terribly baggy?

I'm still going forward with it, though, on the 10s, because part of me is saying that I never paid attention to guage before, so why should I start now. I'll know by the 26th what this daredevil knitting philosophy will mean for the finished item.


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