March 02, 2021
Sequence of events:
My long-time knitting friend, Greta, sent me an email, with a link to Casapinka's Powder Wrap. While the wrap is a gorgeous, cozy, worsted weight affair, what's of interest is the sweater Casapinka is wearing in the photos.
We learn that it was a store-bought sweater. But! for our purposes, that color of blue is the star of the show. I am (happily) tasked with finding that color, and a suitable pattern.
Berroco Ultra Wool 3319 is darned close! But I don't have it in stock. However, Berroco's Drop Ship Program is still up and running, and Greta lives in another state.
And Greta said, "Great! How about March 1st?"
And that is how there came to be a new pattern in my Ravelry library, a small pyramid of Ultra Wool set aside, and some leftover Ultra Wool in another color cast on for a swatch! Even though I'm NOT done with my Deliciosa sweater, AND I cast on two other projects this week!
(Note: the pattern is written for a wool/wool-blend DK, and the designer's yarn was a superwash in a 4 oz put up with 250 yards. Although we often use Ultra Wool as a worsted, it comes in 3.5 oz (100g) skeins with 219 yards, which is an equivalent yardage/weight ratio! Lanas is the same, but not superwash. Murky Depths Neptune DK is slightly lighter, but would also work well, I think!)
(Additional note: while work to correctly align the color swatch images with the drop down menu choices continues, when you choose a color name/number from the drop down menu, it will bring up a large image of the appropriate color. When you click on one of the color images, it does not (yet) advance you to the correct option in the drop down menu.)
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One of our favorite cotton yarns, Malabrigo Verano, has been in short supply for quite some time, with no immediate resolution on the horizon. (I have a few colors in stock, but the only color available for wholesale delivery for the past several months has literally been "Mud.") So when I received notice that some back ordered colors of Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok (including Loon Lake and Mossy) were ready to ship, I was happy to see that their Printed Organic Cotton Worsted was also available. Like Verano, it is a Peruvian cotton with a very soft hand, and the gentle spattered colors are great for babies, but sophisticated enough for adults. (See the baby cardigan I'm making below, or the Crosslake Cowl and Seven Sisters Top for adults.)
4 samples, 4 different styles,
same yarn, same number of rows & stitches,
same needles, same knitter
used with permission of TECHknitter
Something I try to stress with newer knitters is that we will get the most consistent results if we use our needles as our primary tools for controlling the size of our stitches--with the goal of forming stitches that slide easily along the needles, but aren't significantly larger than the needles themselves.
Still, from knitter to knitter, we find differences in gauge--and not just stitch gauge, but row gauge. Two different knitters might have the same stitch gauge--and their swatches will measure the same width-wise, but different row gauges, so those swatches will measure differently, top-to-bottom.
WHYYYY though? The TECHknitting blog is perpetually engaged with these questions, in an enduring quest to foster understanding of how we can best achieve knitted fabric that meets our expectations. (What, exactly, your expectations are is a separate question, and there is no one correct answer to it. There are lots of perfectly good reasons to knit or crochet, and it's a-ok if we have different goals.)
Enter this post from TECHknitter, which offers a detailed analysis of how stitches are formed, and why they might come to be taller or wider. If you're a certain kind of stitch nerd, I hope you'll find it as fascinating as I did!
Though the pattern is graced with a girls' name, the styling of the Etta Cardigan is simplified and appropriate for babies of any gender. With Blue Sky Fibers Printed Organic Cotton, I needed US 6 needles to get the pattern gauge, though with a less dense yarn, I might have used US 7s. The cardi is knit from the top down with raglan increases, and integrated button holes. The sleeves are knit flat as you get to them, and other than weaving in ends and sewing on buttons, the only finishing work is sewing the sleeve seams. It's a really sweet and simple design!
When I first spotted the Roadrunner DK pattern, I immediately thought of Murky Depths Neptune DK and Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio DK--a single skein would make a really wearable accessory, and as it happened, I had a partial skein left from making The Rose That Grew From Concrete shawl last summer. (Ravelry project link here.)
April 13, 2021
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