Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The little swatch that grew

I had an idea for a summer crocheted cardigan, so pulled out my yarn and hooks and started swatching.

Now lately I've become a big fan of the "photocopy a large swatch as an aid in shaping intricate stitch patterns" method (described previously -- it's a technique from Lily Chin's Couture Crochet book) so I try to make a fairly big swatch. My first attempt at matching yarn, hook size and pattern was pleasing to me (and don't you just LOVE when that happens?) so I stitched merrily away at my large swatch. And then the penny dropped.

This particular design that I'm imagining will have no shaping in the lace part. As in -- I won't need to photocopy it. As in -- I don't need quite as large a swatch. Now, swatching is a valuable thing, and never is a waste of time, but still...I could have been working on the actual sweater instead of (such) a large swatch.

Dame Fortune was smiling on me that day though -- lo and behold when I blocked then started measuring my hefty swatch I was pleased to discover that it was just the right size to be a front piece. So that's just what it became --

Aren't happy endings wonderful? And here's a close up of the lace pattern --

This time I'm using the Knitware sweater design program from Great Knit Designs to give me basic stitch and row counts. In the past I've been a fan of Sweater Wizard, but it doesn't accept typical crochet gauges (in other words, rows taller than stitches are wide) and it isn't always easy to use "work arounds" to fool the program when you're using intricate stitch patterns or shapings. So, we'll see how this other program works out for what I need.

Other pattern specifics: I'm using Silk City Bounce yarn -- it's a fingering weight cotton/nylon blend that has a crepe texture. It's not the easiest yarn to hook (due mostly to that very texture, I think), but I like how it's working up. I'm working with a size F hook (4.0mm), which may be a bit larger than usual for such light weight yarn, but I want a nice drapey effect, and it seems to work. As always, time will tell.

1 comment:

emy said...

That's pretty; can't wait to see when it's finished!