Thursday, July 13, 2006

Swatching mania

I'm not sure what came over me last night. I was thinking about possible and probable Garment CALs at Yahoo crochet-a-long - which ones I am doing, which I am skipping, and which I should offer to moderate etc. I had myself so confused, I decided that I needed to figure out what yarn I could use for which patterns... the next thing I now I'm a swatching fool. So here's what I did (these may or may not end up as CALs).

First I started with Twyla - when I saw this stitch detail I fell in love. Even though I knew I'd be changing the pattern a bit to taper the arms and maybe change the edging width (I'm a pattern tweaker, what can I say), I wanted to make this sweater as I loved the texture & pattern of this stitch in the photo. It calls for Berroco Softwist - a rayon & wool blend ww with 100 yds/50g. I have the Wool of the Andes in Mulled Wine that I originally intended for the Spring Crochet Cardigan and thought that would make a great Twyla. So I grabbed my Brittany 5.5mm I hook and did the 8 cluster repeat for 5 rows.... well, it was 5 inches long and just barely 2 inches high (short & fat!!). I frogged that and tried again still using the I hook , but with a pretty tight starting chain and hit the gauge this time. After all this, I realize (once again) that this is a yarn eating stitch pattern and requires 1700 yds ( I have 1540 yds of Mulled Wine). In all honesty, this yarn didn't accentuate the stitch pattern as much as I would like...maybe I will make the Spring Cardigan with this yarn after all!
So next yarn ... Sirdar SalsaDK in Flamingo (this time I checked yardage first - I have over 1900 yds). I grabbed a Brittany 5.0mm H hook this time and worked up a gauge swatch. Even though it's DK insteak of WW, I think it will work fine. The gauge swatch looks nice and I like the pattern in this wild yarn! I hope this will be a September CAL.

Second pattern I swatched was Robyn's Crystal Lace Bolero - likely to be a CAL in August. Robyn also used Berroco Softwist, but I wanted to use up some stash for this so I went with some basic acrylic in a dusty rose color. Once again grabbed the recommended hook size and started hooking. Well, again I was huge! My square was closer to 5.25" than 4". (Hmm, maybe Softwist is more of a light ww). I could go with some Simply Soft I have in stash, but now I like this color, so I tried again using my Addi 4.5mm G hook. This time, crocheting rather tightly, I have a 4" square.

Well, I was on a roll now and it wasn't midnight yet, so I grabbed the third pattern, one I'm now dying to do myself, Drops 68-15 Summer cardigan and the Catania Cotton in Marine from my stash. The width of the repeat is right on gauge, and as best I can tell, the height is okay as well (the clock struck midnight, my dh groaned that my light was still on and I put my crochet down and went to sleep!)


Norah said...

Wow, you pick some realy beautiful patterns to make! I hadn't seen that Summer Cardigan before.....beautiful!!! Now it's on my WIM list. Beautiful yarn too. Can't wait to see the finished results.

Mimi said...

I agree, that Garnstudio summer cardigan looks great! Thanks for your swatch, I might be doing it too ;)