Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Instead of what I'm supposed to be doing

I've got a couple of samples for pattern releases that desperately need to be knit. However, somehow all my yarn and needles and whatnot ended up in the bag with my spinning wheel after the Small Wool Gathering, which got transported to Basingstoke so that we could fit a fourth person plus luggage in the car on the way back to London. So...instead of working on knitting that needs to be done ASAP, I've been enjoying doing other thing.

Things like a little shawl sample for Allison out of Sweet Georgia CashSilk Lace (quite possibly the most gorgeous yarn in the world, just FYI).
Shattered Sun Shawl
I was also very eager to jump into a new sweater project for me - a few weeks back, Knit Edge 4 came out, with the fabulous Ruth Garcia-Alcantud on the cover in her newest gorgeous sweater design, Automne. I'm usually pretty good about not buying yarn on a whim, but I have to knit this sweater. Immediately. My mother had given me some money for my birthday, which I promptly dropped on a sweater's worth of Berroco Ultra Alpaca in a dark green. It arrived with my parents the week before SWG, and when I got back I started to swatch.

Here's where things went wrong: the yarn that Ruth used is very weird in terms of grist (i.e. how many yards there are in a pound). She used Cephalopod Yarns Beastie, which is listed as aran weight, but comes in at a chunky 140 yds/100 g. And the pattern calls for 3.25 sts per inch on US 10.5/6.5 mm needles. Ultra Alpaca is 215 yds/100 g. Somehow I didn't notice the vast discrepancy in grist when I was in the throes of my MUSTBUYYARNNOW!!! fit (bad spinner! No new sweater!). In any case, there was nothing else to do but swatch. So I did.
Swatches October 2013
I was hoping that blocking would cause the alpaca to bloom, but sadly it didn't work out that way. My stitch gauge is spot on but the fabric is really thin and flimsy - not what I want for a sweater-coaty type thing. Bah!

The following days saw much searching of yarn databases and looking for more appropriate substitutes. Sunday saw a trip to John Lewis for my mother to get some yarn for a new sweater for her, and I grabbed a ball of Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky to swatch with - at 66 yds/50 gr it is much closer to the yarn used in the original.
Swatches October 2013
Much, much, much, much better. Still drapey, but much more substantial. But I'm not buying 24 balls of DB yarn at £6 a pop because, you know, my husband would divorce me. After several more days of searching and banging my head against the computer screen I finally pulled the trigger on a sweater lot of Elann Highland Chunky (76 yds/50 g) in Spiced Wine. Sadly, shipping to the UK was almost as much as the price of the yarn, so it's going to Maine and I will have to wait (sob!) to knit my gorgeous new sweater until after I go back to my parents' house. Which is likely to be next August (woe!).

So. Now I have a sweaters worth of dark green yarn to figure out what to do with . Therefore, I have been swatching...
Swatches October 2013
This is only the first swatch. I've got about 7 more stitch patterns to go. I do not think this is going to be done by November. And I get all my deadline knitting back tomorrow. Guess I'd better keep swatching!


Alli said...

Dude - the shawl is GLORIOUS and thank you for knitting it for me! I have a hard time putting it with my other samples and not wearing it everywhere myself. Maybe on a sales call? Thanks again!

porpoise said...

I think it's totally kosher to wear it on sales calls as an example of the yarn knit up - I'm so glad you like it!