EZ Swatching

Like most knitters (I think), I don’t especially love to swatch. When I start a new project, I always go back and forth as to whether I really *need* to swatch, and if I do, how small of a swatch can I get away with.

And on nearly every skimpy-swatching occassion, I end up with a garment that doesn’t fit very well. Argh.

So, I’m starting a new sweater project (a KAL with the lovely Espino) and here I go again debating if and how much I should swatch. The Devil on my shoulder says, “oh just make a little square, back and forth, it’s close enough.” The Angel on the other shoulder says “you better make your swatch in the round or you *know* it won’t be accurate!” And then Elizabeth Zimmerman walks up behind me, swats the Devil/Angel off my shoulders, and says “why not knit a swatch cap?” Oh you wise and wonderful woman.

I’m not sure why – but the swatch cap doesn’t *feel* like a swatch. It’s a hat! I’m not knitting for calibration (which really isn’t a bad reason to be knitting), I’m knitting a future finished object that will have a practical-wearing use. And, I’ve also learned the hard way, if you don’t block your swatch, then why on earth did you even bother knitting a swatch?? The swatch cap is a perfect little blocking garment too (dries fast).

So, I’m half way through my Merle/BT Loft swatch cap and I’m so glad I listened to EZ. Granted, I’m going to take a little longer to get to the sweater (sorry, Espino, I’m knitting as fast as I can), but I’m confident that this sweater is going to fit me (and not the poor person I gift it to because I can’t bear to see this beautiful sweater just sitting in my closet).

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The Yarn Blob

The Yarn Blob

I cast on for a triangular shawl, got bored with it, increased like a mad-woman, joined the round, through in eyelets wherever I felt like it, switched between st st and garter st and st st and more garter st, and now here she is. I have no idea what this “will be” after I cast off, but I’m not sure that it really matters. Did I mention I have yet to throw in two more colors?

Sometimes knitting needs to be beyond pattern free.

Hitchhiking

I’ve been obsessed with Martina Behm’s Hitchhiker pattern lately.  I love the simplicity of the pattern, but even more so, the way this pattern brings out the best in every variegated yarn.  I have three versions on the needles this week.

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Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label, Lucky Penny, US 4

 

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Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label, OOAK colorway (can’t remember name), US 5

 

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Regia Jacquard, Color 07204, US 3 – and my first attempt at using Hitchhiker with a self-striping yarn.  I think the result is going to be incredible!

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New Pattern – Vibranium

New Pattern - Vibranium

Captain America goes nowhere without his Vibranium Shield; you will go nowhere without your Vibranium Shawl. Knit using Brooklyn Tweed, this shawl is tough enough to deflect villain super powers. And you’ll be very stylish while doing so.

Materials
400 yds Brooklyn Tweed Shelter or other worsted weight yarn in three colors (130 yds each)
(Colors postcard, camper, faded quilt shown in picture.)
US 8 needles, 32” circular

Measurements
60” wingspan / 16” height at center

Gauge
15 sts / 34 rows = 4” in garter stitch

This was a fun, simple project that was really hard to put down! Shelter is a wonderful material to work with, everything about it is a wool-lover’s dream.

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Springy Hat

Springy Hat

Spring is just around the corner…or at least it seems that way here in the Bay Area. Temps are warming up, rain here and there, things are green and buds are appearing! I enjoy this season for the fresh, creative feelings that seem to be stirring about.

This fun Spring-y hat was inspired as only one can be post-Stitches. So much to take in over just one weekend! I was so pleased to discover Big Bad Wool’s weepaca. Oh my goodness, this yarn is SO incredibly soft. It’s a 50/50 fine washable (!) merino / baby alpaca blend that comes in a pretty decent selection of pastel colors. The line is designed for baby stuff, but trust me, there are many things for ME I will be making in the future using weepaca. It’s glorious.

So, here is Springy, available for $5 at the website and on Ravelry.

http://www.materialsciknits.com/patterns.html

You’ll need roughly 135 yds of weepaca (or other worsted weight yarn) in 4 colors. I used Leaf, Bleach, Coral, and Ashes. Check out bbwool.com for more options. You’ll also need some extra yarn for the pompom. I knit this using US 6 needles in about a day or so. It has not left my head since it came off the needles (ok, ok, I didn’t wear it to work).

Happy Stitching!