Stitches Midwest 2015 – Day 2

Saturday Purchases

Today was my second day at stitches and I did buy some yarn but not too much!  Like I promised myself I also have patterns picked out for these.  First I’m going to make the Meisi Gloves with the 2 Guys Yarn Company Signature Fingering in Black Cocoa Creme.  This color matches my favorite scarf I bought in San Diego a few years ago.  I’ve had a really hard time finding something to match it so I couldn’t resist this yarn when I found it.  I’m getting the swift ready so I can wind the yarn and cast on tonight!  For the Miss Babs Katahdin green yarn I’m deciding between two patterns: Alicia Beth and Cecily Jacket. Any votes?

Before shopping, today started with the Estonian Style: Nupps and Starflowers class with Denise Bell.  I started this class a little more frazzled than yesterdays since a room hunt was involved.  Fortunately I found the spot and sat next to a really nice mom & daughter pair in the area!  That made the class a lot more enjoyable.

The class was all about learning these two Estonian techniques.  The starflower was fairly easy, the nupps didn’t go so well.  As you can see in my swatch below some turned out not quite right but I was assured they would look better after blocking. Denise was very smart and provided enough yarn for a second swatch.  In this one I knit two rows of 5 nupps then 2 rows of 7 (5 or 7 is the number of stitches knit  into the one stitch to produce the nupp).  Next swatch I’ll either practice all 7s because that’s what the Percy Shawl needs or I’ll try 7 and 9 to challenge myself.

Nupp Swatch

I’ve got one more day left to shop and go to my last class, Anatomy of a Yarn with Laura Bryant.  This is the class I was looking forward to the most.  I know which yarns feel nice but I don’t know beyond that which yarns are best for which projects.  I’ve already had a few failures from picking the wrong yarn so I’m hoping this class means I never do that again!



Suri Dream Yarn Giveaway Winner!

Thank you everyone who participated in the giveaway!  You’ve all given me a bunch of great yarn ideas to explore and we had a great turn out with just over 80 entries.

The winner is Linda, Lmecoll, on Ravelry!! Congratulations!  I sent you a message on Ravelry and e-mailed you.  I’ll need your mailing address within the next 72 hours! Congrats!

Suri Dream Giveaway Winner

Yarn Giveaway! – Closed

Suri Dream Giveaway

While working on my WIP inventory last week I found this stash of Knit Pick’s Suri Dream yarn (color: Grass).  I have eleven skeins I know I’m never going to use.  It was intended for a lap blanket for the couch many years ago but I personally didn’t end up liking the feel of the knitted yarn. So here are the rules for the giveaway!

  1.  The giveaway will run 6/1/2015 Noon through 6/14/2015 Midnight (US Central time)
  2. To enter leave a comment with your favorite yarn on this post. Comments on any other post will be ignored.
  3. For a second entry “like” my Facebook page or post. Be sure to include in your comment that you liked my Facebook (or add a second comment).
  4. At least 25 unique entries are required for the giveaway. Otherwise it will be canceled or rescheduled.
  5. The winner will be e-mailed and given 72 hours to reply with a mailing address.  After that a second winner will be chosen.

International entries are welcome.  Let all your friends know if you think they’d like this yarn.  Good luck everyone!

My First Sweater – Gauge

Last week I mentioned how I made swatches for all my yarn possibilities for my first sweater.  I used those swatches as gauge swatches.  The gauge itself wasn’t important when picking out the yarn but it sure was before I could cast on for the sweater.

As I made each swatch I didn’t just measure gauge from there.  Nope.  I knit it, hung it up in the closet for a few days, washed it a few times, and then measured.  Why do all this?  Because you need to measure your swatch after it’s had the same treatment as your finished project will have.  Otherwise the gauge swatch will lie.  Sometimes it still lies anyway.  For example, the sweater is knit in the round but I have my swatches flat.  I know I’m going to have to be careful with that as it will change my gauge.

After all of this I decided that I wanted a tighter gauge then the pattern calls for.  The looser gauge wasn’t dense enough for me.  I don’t want anyone seeing through this sweater.

Now the tricky part is using this pattern with a different gauge.  It’s fairly simple but also very tedious.  The entire pattern needs to be converted into inches and then converted back to stitches using my gauge.  I lucked out a bit because after doing this math I found that I was close enough to use the stitch count for a few sizes larger to cast on.  It also meant no extra math to make sure the new stitch count would work in pattern.

This should get me through the first few inches at the bottom and once I’m ready for the next instructions I’ll have to do that math again to see if I can still follow the larger size or if I need to make adjustments.  I have to remember that I may need to be altering the pattern to fit my measurements as well as my gauge.  Luckily my math skills are up to this even if my patience may be a bit more of a challenge!

First Sweater Posts:

1. My First Sweater – Measurements
2. My First Sweater – Yarn
3. My First Sweater – Gauge
4. My First Sweater – Casting On
5. My First Sweater – Waist Shaping

My First Sweater – Yarn

As I’ve posted I am starting my first sweater: the Briar Rose Tunic. After getting all my measurements ready I had to decide what yarn to buy.  I picked four different yarns and made swatches (from bottom to top):

1. Malabrigo Worsted – Sweet Grape at $10.75 for 210 yd skein

2. Dream in Color Classy – Purple Rain at $19.95 for 250 yd skein

3. Timothy Street Yarns – Dark Blue at $13.00 for 145 yd skein

4. Swish Worsted Superwash – Dublin at $4.49 for 110 yd skein

Of these swatches only the top two, the Timothy Street Yarn and the Swish Worsted, were washed on a delicate cycle in my front load washing machine. The other two were both hand washed only.

The Malabrigo yarn is nice and exactly the color I wanted.  Unfortunately I really don’t like single ply yarn and that took away from it. I also thought after washing the swatch it would fill in a bit but it still felt pretty thin and easily seen through after a few washes.  It would be my second choice and there’s a good chance I would use it in the future.  I’ll just need to adjust the gauge so I can’t see through it.

The Dream in Color was darker than I expected.  It also didn’t stand out much.  It was a little stiff feeling while knitting with it and even after washing the texture wasn’t better than average.  It’s an okay choice but for the price I doubt I go seeking it out.

The Timothy Street Yarn was the clear winner.  I love this yarn.  It felt amazing to knit with.  I liked petting the swatch.  I didn’t get any itchiness out of it.  Plus my stitch definition was great.  I did start to see some fuzziness in the swatch with a few machine washes but I did not see it on the second swatch I was hand washing.  Sadly it’s a pain to order.  The store is in Canada and you have to call in the order.  That meant international shipping for me.  The other downside is this yarn gave me the hardest time while winding. The yarn liked to fly off the ball and leave me with a long tangled strand I had to redo until sometimes I gave up and finished off by hand.

Lastly, the main reason I tried to the Swish Worsted was to look for a cheaper yarn that I could throw in the wash with the rest of my laundry.  As you can see this didn’t work out.  It started felting in the first wash and by the third wash I gave up on it.  I do keep wondering if I ordered the wrong yarn somehow but so far I keep seeing that it was indeed the superwash. This is not the yarn I would use for my sweater.

In summary, I of course picked out the most expensive yarn per yard that I tried.  I ended up buying 9 skeins of this for 1300 yards which I very much hope is enough after I’ve played with the gauge.  This sweater will be the most expensive thing I have knit!

First Sweater Posts:

1. My First Sweater – Measurements
2. My First Sweater – Yarn
3. My First Sweater – Gauge
4. My First Sweater – Casting On
5. My First Sweater – Waist Shaping