Tuesday, February 13, 2007

If not Knitting, at least swatching

I haven’t knit since Friday. I just can’t muster the energy.

Last night, to try and change my mood, I mad a swatch the Quellón chenille, to see how it worked up. This stuff wormed in the hank--so I went with the smaller needle size, (US 6) and cast on.

Checking the gauge was part of my thinking, but which stitch to use was almost as important. I am going to wash (machine wash gentle, dry cool) to see how the yarn handle normal wear and tear, too.

I made a second swatch, double knit , one side cotton, (Pehuén, another Araucania yarn) one side the Quellón chenille, since I was thinking how these yarns would make a lovely little vest for Granddaughter. I am, though, reluctant to burden her with high maintenance clothing. I want the finished garment to be relatively easy care.

Her mother knits herself, and knows how to care for hand knits, but I remember ‘fancy clothing’ from my own childhood. I remember, wanting to be a kid, too, and getting in trouble for messing up the clothes. It’s not that I don’t knit fancy stuff for my grandchildren, it’s rather I often knit machine washable, easy care stuff. Wool is lovely to knit with… But poncho’s of Red Heart yarn are loved, and worn frequently, and thrown into washer and dryer and worn some more! There is never much of concern about them. Everyone ends up happy.

It’s interesting how the swatches worked up..
The first swatch is 30 stitches and almost as many rows of the chenille.
The firmest stitch gauge is not ribbing, or seed stitch, or even garter, but stocking knit!
The chenille has no memory, and the back and forth movement of the yarn, that normally makes seed or ribbing tight, and elastic , instead adds ease.
(Top of swatch is garter, next down, 1X1 ribbing, then stocking knit, and finally seed stitch)

The double knit swatch, 12 stitches each side, is a bit looser, but it looks good. The Pehuén and Quellón yarns are very similar in color, making it hard to see the square with in the square design in the smaller double knit swatch.. But I like how it work up.

This shows the chenille side, with a center square of the cotton boucle. The cotton square is just barely visible.

Neither yarn is very warm, but a double knit vest, with air trapping layers would make a nice thermal vest. Warm enough to make mother happy, but comfortable to play in.


Sonya said...

Hey, not only do I knit, but I knit things for my own kids with regular wool. I need to get back a cable knit sweater made out of lamb's pride from my sister-in-law. I made it for Beatrice and she wore it all the time. I probably washed the thing three times. Wool really does have stain resistatnt properties AND no rinse wool wash makes care pretty simple. So bring on the washable and unwashable. I'm game!

Anonymous said...

Glad it's not just me with the lethargy. What a zombie week! The weather? The planets? WHAT?????

Also... I've been reading back numbers of Annie Modesitt's blog, and while I can barely dream of matching her energy and enterprise, this post about King Midas syndrome sure hit home for me, and I bet it will for you too.