Saturday, February 24, 2007

Good Swatch, Bad Swatch

Bad light pink swatch. Good fuschia swatch.

In good news/bad news situations, I try to get the bad news out of the way first. That way, after I survive the bad news, I have the good to brighten me up. So I'll start with the bad swatch.

While reading one of Margaux's posts at tentenknits last week, I realized that I wasn't as far along in my swatching with the light pink Shelburne yarn as I had thought. I can be pretty cavalier about row gauge, but thanks to Margaux I realized that row gauge is pretty important in a V-neck. I had stitches per inch, but rows per inch was off by an entire row (4.5 rpi vs 3.5 rpi in the pattern). Not good. I also knit the swatch the way I've knit all other stockinette swatches: flat. The sweater is knit in the round (a new thing for me). Not good. I tend to knit tighter in the round than flat. Really not good. So I knit on some WIPs (but that's a different post) and swatched for a fuschia scarf.

The fuschia chunky baby alpaca from Plymouth Yarns made a good swatch, a very good swatch. I used the Piecrust Basketweave from Vogue Stitchionary, Volume 1 (pattern #33). I charted the pattern because the repeat of 8 stitches plus 10 confused me. It really is a repeat of 8 stitches plus 2, the swatch in the book has wide borders which is reflected in the 10 stitches for symmetry. The Piecrust Basketweave is a narrow, horizontal basket weave. To look good in a scarf, I thought it would be best to cast on the length and then knit to the width. My lovely gauge swatch indicated that I was getting 3.5 spi, and I wanted a 60-inch scarf. My calculator told me that would be 210 stitches which is a multiple of 8 + 2. Destiny! I cast on 212 stitches so I could have a knit stitch at each end for making a picot selvage.

I'm almost half done!

I used a cable cast on, which looks nice given that the first row of the pattern is a WS row, so the decorative look of the cable cast on shows on the right side. I need to look at some bind offs to see if there is a good one to use as the opposite of this cast on. Montse Stanley has always come to my aid before, I hope she can again. If any readers have a suggestion, I would be happy to hear it!

Right now, I need to block the Sea Silk Berry scarf from Victorian Lace Today so I can send it to Grandma Adeline. Pictures to follow soon. I'm going to make another wide-bordered scarf from VLT next. I want to do the diamond insertion (p. 90), but I can't decide between two different wide borders (Diamond Lace border, p. 90; Clarence border, p.82). Unfortunately, both work with the diamond insertion, and both are really pretty. Decisions, decisions!

Happy Knitting!


Christy said...

I always have row gauge issues. I've had to fudge knits a little to get them to work out b/c it is very rare that I can get both row and stitch gauge. Good luck with the V-neck.

Jen said...

well, even if the light pink swatch didn't turn out, that yarn is still awesome! :) and i really like the fushia's turning out very nice!

Lorraine said...

I hear you- the row gauge thing is a big mystery.
The VLT book is one of the best I have seen in a long time. Whatever you choose, it will be pretty.

Rachel said...

Hmmm, can't really help you. I'm one of those bad knitters that rarely checks gauge. Your knitting looks lovely, however!

Kim said...

Can't wait to see what you do with VLT!