She’s a Swatching Madwoman

After last week’s less-than-spectacular swatching results with the Knit Picks Merino Style and Gleek’s comment about how thick Merino Style is stranded [aside: all stranded work feels thick to me, so I'm really glad she pointed it out!] I went looking for other yarn options to try for Eunny Jang’s Deep V Argyle Vest.

I finally came around to one of the quintessential yarns for stranding: Jamieson’s.

Jamieson’s swatching: Coffee and Plum on the left; Moorit and Dog Rose in the center

Each of the swatches was knit on US4 bamboo dpns. My gauge is still off with the Jamieson’s: 22 stitches and 24 rows per 4″ square. The pattern specifies 22 stitches and 30 rows per 4″ square and there’s just no way I am going to meet the row gauge. I’m not even sure how I would change the way I knit to meet the row gauge but not adjust my stitch gauge! Luckily the pattern is simple enough that I should be able to adjust the row counts without having to rechart everything.

Oh, the colors? I like the way the lighter, heathered colors look together (Moorit and Dog Rose). It’s not what I was thinking of, but I think the recipient will like it. The other two colors look so awful together that I didn’t even finish a full repeat of the pattern. I didn’t think they were going to look good, but it’s hard to tell sometimes when ordering from color swatches online.

The Jamieson’s is definitely sticky (hooray for steeks) and I had a bit of trouble stranding using my normal method (both yarns in my left hand, foreground color held over my index finger; background color held between my index and middle finger). It got easier as I moved through the swatch so I think I can make it through a vest without too much trouble.

Of course, Jamieson’s is going to be a good deal pricier than my other options, but it is a gift and the perfect yarn is hard to come by — so much easier to rationalize.

[PS: finished Rogue. Washed her again. Hopefully I'll be able to fix some of the funkiness at one shoulder seam and top of the hood decreases. Mostly happy, though I really need to stop overestimating how big I am as Rogue is biiiiig.]

6 Comments so far

  1. Kristina on September 11th, 2006

    The moorit and dog rose look great together. Good choice!

  2. carrie m on September 11th, 2006

    you are a saint for knitting this for someone else. and you’re also such a responsible gauge swatcher! i love the moorit and dog rose together.

  3. Stacey on September 11th, 2006

    The swatch looks great – I love how the pink is a bit varigated and heathered – so pretty!

    I have no idea how to change row gauge either – maybe someone will come up with something!

  4. gleek on September 11th, 2006

    yes, the heathered yarns look much better together. the row gauge is much easier to adjust in the pattern than the stitch gauge so getting stitch gauge is much more important.

    oh, and about the merino style. yep, it was definitely very heavy stranded.. and THEN you add the steeks on top of that and it was just bulky beyond belief. better to go with something lighter!

  5. Andrea on September 11th, 2006

    I like how Moorit and Dog Rose look together. :) Man, you have *tall* stitches. I thought in a previous post you said it was supposed to be close to square stitches? I’m confused.

    Hmmm… perhaps run the strands looser and use a smaller needle? (To get the row gauge smaller, and allow the stitches to stretch more sideways.)

  6. Lotta on September 15th, 2006

    I’m also working on the vest (go see my blog!), and ended up using a yarn with much smaller gauge than the pattern specifies. I think what she used was really thick for DK, and I like a little smaller gauge anyways. I did end up doing the math and basically recharting it all, since both my stitch and row gauge were so far off. I just took all the numbers (say 7 decreases over 35 rows, or on row 65 start the neck steek), divided by her gauge and multiplied by mine (for example 35/30×32=37, so 7 dec over 37 rows, or 65/30×32=69, so start steek on row 69).
    I also like the lighter color combination best!