Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Swatching for the "Princess Shawl" (What do you mean I don't have enough yardage?)

The Princess Shawl pattern is being mailed to me and so I am trying to anticipate what I might use to knit this shawl. I went to the Heirloom Knitting Site to check out yarn recommendations and yardage only to end up a little confused. The yardages and needle sizes are all over the map. Now I'm trying to use my stash for this and it matters to me that I don't run out of yarn for this shawl because some of the yarn is no longer available. If I run out of one of those, I'm up the creek so to speak. Hence my trepidation.

Above I have a few swatches from my stash. In the top picture on the left hand side you have Lacis Tussah Silk 60/2 knit on US 000 (cone holds 5,600 yards). Pleasant to knit, a little "sticky" rather than slick, nice drape. Goes over the joins of my Addi Turbo needles very nicely and it's strong. If I ran out, it is still available. Downside, not very soft :-( My sister liked this one the best. On the right I have ColourMart 50/50 Cashmere/Silk from ColourMart 3/84 NM 4,600 yards on this cone. It feels amazing, knits nicely, has a lovely halo and also goes over the joins without any problem. Downside. If I run out of yarn, there is no more in this color to be had :-( Both these yarns are reasonable in cost.

Next picture. All these were also knit on US 000 needles. On the left I have swatched Habu orgazine degummed silk which is indigo dyed (NS-18J, 21d/102 colour # 5) Strong, lovely to look at, great body not at all limp, blocked and stayed blocked, soft, shimmery, and not nearly enough of it for Princess Shawl. I'd have to buy about 3 thousand more yards if I want to do the Princess in this. Downside. drop a stitch and it wants to run away :-( On the right side you have ColourMart 65/35 cashmere/silk 2/60 NM and 5,000 yards on the cone.Pretty nice to knit though it wants to split a little, pretty colors, blocked OK. Downside. If I run out there is no more to be had. It's also kind of light in weight and sort of wants to stick to me with all that hair. :-( Maybe it would drape better if it was a large piece of knitting but all in all I'd rather knit with the ColourMart 3/84 instead for this project.

Last picture. I just put a swatch of Colourmart smooth silk. It's the one on the site from a french mill with 4 plies. It's too big and the wrong color for this project. It's out of the running but I put it next to the 2/60 cashmere/silk for you to see how much bigger it is from the others. That would look nice for something that requires sections of solid knitting to flesh out a motif, like a Niebling.

As for yardage estimates they vary with needles, what you select to knit with and are confusing to me to figure out if would have enough if I knit from the stash.

Original was knit with DMC Crochet Cotton # 70 on 2.25/UK13/US 0 or US 1. It says they used 13/20gm balls at 330m/20gm ball (4,290 meters or 4,692 yds). Based on this, you would think I'd need less yardage on smaller needles so I could use stuff from the stash. However, other estimates vary from 5,150 meters using Shetland Supreme 1 ply on 1.5mm/UK16/US 000 or US 0000. Using Gossamer Merino they suggest 4,800 meters on 2.00 or 2.25mm needles and for the Cashmere Silk (70/30) using 1.50mm needles you are supposed to get 5,800 meters of yarn.

So ultimately I'm still undecided but it's fun to swatch. If you want to see more swatches you could go over to fleegle and see what she's tried out :-) She gives lots of information and you really get to see that not all gossamer yarns are equal once they are knit up, in spite of their similar weights! By next post I hope to have done one end of the Legends of the Shetland Seas Shawl and have started the other end. It goes without saying that I am trying to avoid the edging for the Sampler Stole but I promise I will eventually finish it. For those wondering about the Peacock Shawl it's slated for de-construction this weekend. Why you ask? Because I cast-on something else this year if I get rid of it, that's why! Hmmmm. I wonder what that project might be? Good evening and good knitting!

16 comments:

fleegle said...

I agree that it's fun to swatch this one, which is odd for me at least, as I usually hate swatching.

Have you at least decided on a color or it is going to just be whatever yarn you decide on?

I can't understand the yarn variation either, but I understand it's possible to knit fewer border repeats, which would bring the yarn requirements down some.

I would hate to run out of yarn on this one, though. This is truly a *better safe than sorry* piece.

Janice in GA said...

My favorite of your swatches is the Habu lace one. But I'm also partial to that color, so that might affect my perception. :)

Opal said...

I'm with Janice, my favorite is the Habu lace. I'm even in love with the color and that isn't normally within my color range!

Laritza said...

Pretty swatches. The yardage has me confused too. That is why I ended up with the spreadsheet for my stash. I am going to knit it with what I have the most. Either will be pretty. I refuse to buy more stash! I would love the cashmere silk I have from Galena but I know I do not have enough. No risking here either!

LittleBerry said...

Thanks for the swatching info, it's interesting reading despite already having my yarn and know what needles am using so better buy the pattern this week....

BTW I like the Habu one best too... I have some of the French silk and while nice as you quite rightly said not for this project....

BadCatDesigns said...

You certainly don't want to run out of yarn on this piece! I am excited to watch you and Fleegle work on this project. You are severly tempting me but...I...MUST...RESIST...

Jane said...

Dear fleegle,

You know what I ordered now, but I also have some of the 3/45 in "Signature" which is like a blue/black color. See what you want to do with yours and if we pick the same color, I will do a different center than you :-) I'm going to stick witn US 0 and not use any of the ones I swatched in the blog since I don't have enough yarn in the stash.

Jane said...

Dear janice in ga,

You have great taste! LOL! I love the color of the Habu too but to make the Princess in it, i would have to have about 6,000 yards or more and that is more than I want to spend. I will likely use the Habu for the Spring Shawl instead or a Niebling L-)

Jane said...

Dear Opal,

It's not a color I usually get either but it looked so pretty when I saw it in person and it blocked really nicely. Still, I have about 2,400 yards and I don't want to have to try to make Princess from it because that would mean I'd have to buy more and lets be real. It's Silk! I could stand to do a shawl with the 2,400 yards but not with 6,000 yards. I'd go crazy!

Jane said...

Dear Laritza,

I know what you mean about not risking it. I do not have that much yardage of any one thing in my collection so I did place an order with ColourMart for enough to do the Princess. US 0 needles I think and 3/45 cashmere/silk in deep lavender. I'm waiting for it now but swatched it that yarn in a different color to be sure I would like it. I'll post the swatch but you already saw the same yarn on fleegles blog. That's what convinced me to go bigger and enjoy myself more. I don't need more tortue!

Jane said...

Dear littleberry,

I think the Habu is beautiful too. I think I have enough to make the Spring Shawl with it so that or a Niebling project is what I will do with that yarn. I though I knew what I would knit the Princess in until I got the yardage information and saw fleegles blog. She's a great source for information and informed knitting choices. It's why I'm changing to US 0 and the 3/45 cash/silk. I think it will be lots more fun in the end. I will check your blog to see what you are using for Princess!

Jane said...

Dear badcatdesigns,

I caved in. I was not going to start it until next year then I realized I was punishing myself for not getting the WRS done yet. I have decided not to make myself suffer and I will just be knitting both of them. I hope to get the other stuff done soon though. Sorry to tempt you like that. But maybe if you decided to knit it later you will be able to use the information on swatching to your advantage?

Soo said...

Although I know you don't have enough of the Habu - I'm selfishly pleased you swatched it as I love it - and will definitely look to add some to my stash.

Can't wait to see the Princess get underway.

Kim MacKenzie said...

If the yarn on the cone is a bit sticky, try taking a few yards and washing it. After reading about this on the Yarn Harlot, I would do that everytime. The yarn could become softer.

Jane said...

Dear Soo,

The Habu is really nice. I think I might have enough to do the Spring Shawl with it or maybe another Niebling. I'm waiting for my yarn for the Princess since I have the pattern. It looks like an interesting challenge!

Jane said...

Dear Kim,

I did wash my swatch after I knit it and then blocked it. It's one of those yarns that will age better than it feels at the start I'm sure. It's not my favorite, the Lacis, but it's thin and sturdy. I'm sure I'll find something to make with it eventually. Just not the Princess :-)