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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Yes and No

This weekend I spun up 20 yards of the blue Merino/Silk top I was thinking of using for Rosemarkie. When I spun it, I just guesstimated the size I spun the white Merino/Kid Mohair last fall. It turned out to be a good thing that I was too lazy to run upstairs and get the skein of white, because the blue turned out a different size than the white, but its perfect for the project.
Here you can see the little swatch I knitted up. I didn't knit it in the round, I just broke the yarn at the end of every row so that each row is knitted - AS says this is OK in Celtic Knits. (That's why I have the fringe on the sides. You can also see the difference in size between the blue and white yarns in the fringe.) The swatch told me a couple of things: Cabled yarns do work in stranded color work types of designs if the yarns are the correct size and the white yarn is too small and firm for this project. See how the blue sections seem to almost melt together? That's the look I want. The blue yarn is squishier than the white yarn is so it squishes into the stitch space but then fluffs up against its neighboring stitches, making a soft but dense looking fabric. The white yarn isn't doing any fluffing and combined with the fact that its a bit smaller than the blue yarn, it isn't really filling its own stitch space either. It looks like to me that the white yarn needs smaller needles. In this swatch the white stitches just look too open and if there's one thing that can make stranded color work look tacky it's having the color that's being stranded behind show through - its like visible panty lines in knitting.

The verdict? I will spin up all 12 ounces (more than enough) of the blue Merino/Silk as a cabled yarn. (I've decided to stick with the cabling because the cabling will control pilling and it really shows off all the colors of the top, making a beautiful heathered yarn.) I will set aside the white Merino/Kid Mohair for a different project and I will order some white Merino/Silk in the same blend (80% Merino/20% Silk) and spin it the same way as the blue. I do love the crispness of the blue and white in the design and I think it will make a beautiful vest. Anything else I should be thinking about here?

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Blogger Connie Peterson said...

I LOVE the blue and white together but I can see your point!!

I have decided to not do my Merino for awhile (I posted why on my blog yesterday) and am going to concentrate on Icelandic and Mohair .. and I am learning to process it myself with a drum carder and English combs.

Keep the spinning going - I love to see what you are doing!!

8:22 AM  
Blogger Sherie said...

This is why I love visiting your blog Melanie!! You are a very thoughtful knitter, going through all the ins and outs of a project. And you explain it all so well too. I love the visual example of the different sizes of yarns and how they work (blue) and don't work (white) for the stranded knitting. This is going to be one gorgeous vest when you get it done.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

As always, your work is gorgeous! Wow!

10:53 PM  
Blogger Kary said...

Very, very cool Melanie! Can't wait to see more. Hugs!

5:33 AM  
Blogger cindy said...

Thanks for showing me your yarn and swatch. The swatch is lovely using the Rosemarkie design.

Cindy D in RI

3:43 PM  

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