Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Olympic Training

I've completed my swatching for Zig Zag:

I'm substituting KnitPicks Merino Style for the incredibly pricey (but doubtless lovely) Lana Gatto Feeling. In theory, the two have the same gauge in stockinette. However, when I did swatches in pattern, I got a very different gauge.
The pattern is supposed to knit up to 23st./4in. double-stranded. I got closer to 20. I did a single-stranded swatch, and got 24st./4in. I blocked the two, and will have to do a final check when they dry. The row gauge is SPOT ON, although I'll need to double-check that as well after it dries.

Single-stranding also has a few other advantages:
- it gives a much nicer fabric. The double-stranded swatch is very stiff, since it's essentially an aran weight knitted on size 6s.
- it uses less yarn. I might even have enough left over to make another garment. Yay!
- it is infinitely easier for the cabling without a cable needle method. Doing that with double-strands is a serious pain.
- it is much more comfortable to knit. With the double-strands on proportionally small needles, I felt like I was wrestling with the yarn.

In other news, I had my a spinning lesson today with Lucy from my most L of LYSes. It was extremely helpful; I finally understand what I'm doing. It'll obviously take some practice before my hands get the hang of it, but I feel very well equipped for that practice. I spun a few yards of yarn using the drop spindle and Blue-Faced Leicester my lovely secret pal sent me:

Thanks, SP; this is really fun!
Lucy also showed me how to spin on a wheel. I had a really hard time using the double-treadle model we started with, but got the hang of it much more quickly when we switched to a single-treadle Saxony style. I think I'm going to need one of those in a few years...

It is awfully late, so I won't be showing pics of MY FIRST HAND-DYEING. I'll post those soon...


Blogger Theresa said...

I can't wait to see you knit this - It's been on my to-do list for a while, but finding an appropriate yarn was holding me back. They really called for it double stranded? Egads!

9:25 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Oooh! I've also been wanting to make this as it's so PRETTY and a nice classic aran sweater without looking bulky and boxy. Can't wait!

As for your gauge issue, is there any way to go up a needle size on your single stranded swatch, or will that screw with the drape/density of your fabric or change it too much?

1:40 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

I'll probably swatch the next size up, depending on how the washed swatch measures up. I don't think it's critical, though. If I run with 24st/4in, I get a bust circumference of 36.5 in, which will probably be more flattering than the pattern's 38, particularly since I'll be getting a stretchier fabric. I could probably also sneak an extra stitch into the repeat under each arm.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Atla said...

I'm assuming the bottom one is the single stranded one. It looks wonderful.

Did you hand dye roving or yarn? I've done some yarn dyeing, but only solid colors. The "painting" multiple colors makes me quite nervous, and I've not ventured into dyeing roving yet at all, though this tutorial seems very well put-together.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Jess said...

Hi Atla. I dyed yarn to be self-striping, using several jars of dye in a larger pot of water on the stove (rather than the painting method). It worked out pretty well, although I learned a few things by making mistakes. I'll be posting on that (including links to the tutorials I used) soon.l

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh shiny! I'm so glad you got to try out the spindle. --SP

ps: I'm knitting Olympics style too - so know I'm out there secretly, rooting for you to finish!

5:19 AM  

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