Monday, November 03, 2008

It's Called Experimenting

I've been being sensible in spite of myself. After three failed tries at finding pattern and yarn compatible with my vision for a red shawl, I've admitted that all I've been doing is swatching.

The original yarn had a lovely weight and feel, and made the cables the size I wanted, but the alpaca content meant they (the cables) were rather flat. Further, this is the yarn that, when knit up, looked like something had spilled on it.

Paging through the holiday Knit Simple (the same one where I found out about the Special Olympics scarves), I stumbled across a bit about this yarn. There's a pattern for a cashmere sweater and the editors sensibly decided to include some suggestions for alternates.

This is a merino and cashmere blend, with so little cashmere it doesn't actually cost the earth, just a good size landmass.

This is how it looks knitted up on US size 9/ 5.5 mm needles.

The cables look nice, but the reverse stockinette feels really . . . firm. I'm also not sure I like how the pattern is playing out.

It was when I decided to frog this that I ran into trouble. This yarn is not plied. It is, in fact, barely twisted. I'm knitting with roving here, and roving (at least, this roving), doesn't take well to frogging, because roving (at least, this roving), splits when I'm not looking and tangles around itself. I end up with little bits fraying, pulling off and attaching themselves to other, random sections of the yarn. It behooves me to tread a little more cautiously here. Rather than rip this any further (I may still decide to use this combination of yarn, needles and pattern), I'm swatching for real.

Knit on US 10.75/6.5 mm (below the pin) and US 10/6 mm (above). I think I'm happy with the fabric on the size 10's, but I want to play a little more with the pattern before I commit.

And all the while, for some reason, "The Fair Maid of Amsterdam" is stuck in my head. "Oh I'll go no more a-roving with you fair maid, A-roving, a-roving, I'll go no more a-roving, Since roving's been my ruin."


Cathy said...

Finally broke down & ordered my Red Heart Delft yarn. I was surprised that none of the crafty-type stores around here carried it. Oh, they had Red Heart, but not Delft.

So when I was ordering from the Joann Fabrics website, I saw all the comments about this yarn. Most complained about the same thing we did....the yarn just feels
plastic-y. But there were also the rebuttals -- after a couple washings, it's soft as can be.

We can do's for a good cause.

Julie McC. said...

Now if only we could figure out a way to wash it before we have to knit with it . . .

Cathy said...

I've tried coming up w a way to wash it before knitting, but nothing comes to mind that doesn't involve an absolute mess of tangled yarn. Knitting this will just make us appreciate what we normally knit with all the more. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

Joann's shipped my yarn yesterday.