Merrily we Swirl Along

The SwirlAlong in Leonardtown was quite lively.  Connie and Jeannie both cast on and were able to join in the round.  Sigrid swatched, and Shelly got ready to swatch.  Althea brought in two swatches she had worked so that she could decide which needle size was right for her project.  She had worked one on size 6 needles, and the other on size 4
Here are the two swatches right off the needles.  The swatch on the left was done on size 6 needles; the one on the right, size 4.

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Unblocked swatches

You may be at this exact spot with your Swirl.  It would be tempting to simply measure the gauge here, but it would only give you a piece of the picture.  So much of a Swirl depends on the blocking, and your taste in fabric.  Sandra McGyver gives details on this point in her blog here.  Following Sandra’s lead, I got out the blocking board and we pinned the two swatches into 8×8 squares.  First the swatch from size 6 needles.

As we pinned this swatch, it needed no stretching to get to 8 inches across.  In fact, I felt as if I needed to smoosh it into its 8″ boundary a bit, even with stretching the length to 8 inches.  All pinned out, it looks nice, but really just a tad droopy.

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Swatch done on size 6 needles

The size 4 needle swatch needed a little coaxing to reach 8″ in width, but it wasn’t a fight.  Same with getting it to 8″ in length.  Pinned out, it showed the structure of the alternating merino and Kidsilk Haze welts.

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Swatch done on size 4 needles
Blocked side by side
Blocked side by side

Althea and I discussed the possibility of doing another swatch on size 5 needles but she decided that she was going with the size 4 needles.  I think that’s a good decision, and here’s why:

  • Althea really liked the look of the fabric at that gauge
  • Her fabric already has plenty of drape and will benefit from a slightly tighter gauge overall
  • The fabric lends itself to hard blocking if necessary
  • Althea is petite, and the coat could end up too long if it stretched out, which is more likely in a loosely knit fabric.

I had to rip out my swatch Friday as I had not been paying attention and had done the wrong number of rows in my welts.  Alas…

Lady in Red!!

In a photo courtesy of her Cobb Island pal Bernadette, Beverlie rocks the RED in her freshly finished Krista Tee (they’re both wonderful knitters!).

Beverlie picked the brilliant Revlon-red Phoenix cotton for her Krista Tee—a sale-zone score both gorgeous and budget-friendly.

Take-away wisdom? Two things: First, just as Ellen wrote about in a recent newsletter—Knit in colors that make you happy. Happy colors make us smile (see that beautiful grin on Beverlie’s face?), and a smile is absolutely the most effective beauty treatment ever.

Second: Make sure you stop into the shop regularly, to see what treasures have moved into the Sale Zone! Just for instance, if you’d feel as great as Beverlie looks in a Krista Tee in elegant black, or rich royal purple, I just happen to have Krista-quantities of Phoenix (100% mercerized cotton, with a great sheen; machine wash, dry flat) in the Sale Zone in La Plata, for 40% off!

Plus we have a bunch of other summer-perfect yarns in stock right now, many of which are on sale for 20% off (right in the front of the store). Others are full price, and worth every penny, I promise!

Thanks for sharing the photo, Bernadette. And three cheers to Beverlie, for another beautiful finished project! As one of our favorite designers and teachers says, “Knit what you’ll wear. And wear what you knit!!”

Pat’s Serena Cardigan

About a month ago when the summer Knit Simple came out, Pat Dunlevy admired this smart little cardigan with a lace inset.  She chose Manos del Uruguy’s Serena in  a lovely soft green that flatters her eyes, and got started.  She’s been working away at the shop and at home, and just finished up the finishing. She did a beautiful job, in selecting the fiber, knitting the pieces, and doing the finishing.

Here’s a closeup of the sleeve. That lace inset detail which really opens up the fabric for that perfect summer sweater effect. See how perfectly the shoulders fit her–and the length is just right. Pat’s also done a wonderful job styling her sweater – don’t you love how she’s layered it with a cute camisole!  Pat, you look absolutely wonderful.