Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Test Swatch and Tentative Verdict

Top photo shoes the "Print o' the Wave" pattern I've published here once or twice recently.  Bottom photo is my attempt to reproduce it

Can you tell that the difference is (other than that mine is so inexpertly stretched and pinned out)?  That could be fixed. What can't be fixed is that it still needs to be knitted more loosely; viz., on even larger needles. (These are US 11s.)

The other difference is that in real life, my sample here is probably twice as large in scale as the lavender one. What I actually need is not larger needles, but finer yarn. And of course, real wool instead of acrylic, so it will block. This is fingering yarn and I need laceweight.

Verdict:  I don't think I will bother. First because I've never knitted with such fine yarn before and feel intimidated. Secondly, and more importantly, because I don't know what I'd DO with the pattern. It's too sheer to be good for a blanket or sweater. Can't be attached to a solid backing without spoiling the effect. I don't wear shawls. I wouldn't want curtains out of this because (a) I'd be afraid moths would get to the curtains and ruin them and/or (b) I'd have to block them all over again (and blocking is a royal pain) every time they were washed or drycleaned. And finally, the pattern, with its 17-stitch repeat, takes so much concentration to knit that all the enjoyment of doing it is spoiled.

Lesson:  there are many reasons, other than gauge, that it's important to knit a test swatch before undertaking a project.


Sarah in Indiana said...

Yes, this is a good reminder of the value of swatches. I love this pattern, and I actually would like to knit a shawl for myself, but I think I might find the 17 stitch tiresome as well.