Monday, June 08, 2015

Outfit Along 2015: Swatching for Vianne

I originally thought I would use Knitpicks Comfy worsted for my Vianne sweater.  I swatched with some leftover Comfy yarn from a previous project and got stitches/inch gauge on my first try (woot!)

However, for either of the fabric options I'm thinking (blue flower gingham with the navy blue or the chambray), my preferred sweater color is navy.  A navy blue sweater would work with most of the clothes I wear on a regular basis.  Guess which color is not available for Knitpicks Comfy?

I tried to convince myself that I could use one of the blues available and be very happy with it, but realistically, I knew I would not be.  My next choice of yarn was Cascade 220 superwash.  I've used this yarn before and it's very nice to work with.  The only downside is that it's 100% wool and I was hoping to use a cotton blend for this sweater since it is a summer sweater.  I do think that a wool sweater will still get plenty of wear in the summer since it is often quite cool in the mornings and evenings here in the bay area.  And, of course a warm sweater is useful indoors this time of year since most public buildings seem to think that it's necessary to make their buildings resemble the arctic.

I'm already behind in the knitting portion of the outfit along (the sewing portion hasn't started yet), so I was determined to get my yarn ASAP and make a gauge swatch (or two) so that I could get started.  Fortunately, one of my LYSs, Uncommon Threads, had several skeins of Cascade 220 super wash in navy blue.  I would have hated driving around to every store in the area trying to find the yarn I wanted (especially since I was towing my daughter along with me.

Unfortunately, Cascade 220 super wash is a somewhat lighter weight yarn than Comfy and I didn't get stitch gauge or row gauge in size 8 or size 9 needles. I don't want to increase the needle size more than 9 because even with the size 9s I wasn't completely happy with the resulting fabric.  The stitch gauge isn't so much of a problem.  It's about 4.9 stitches/inch and it ought to be 4.75 st/in.  However, my bust measurement is 41" and the finished measurements nearest that are 37" and 41".  I wanted some negative ease but not 4" worth.  If I knit the 41" model with a somewhat tighter st/in, then the resulting garment should be slightly smaller than 41", giving me some negative ease.

The row gauge is a problem because of the lace pattern.  I need to do a bit more research and fiddling to see how I can make that work.  I'm confident I can do it, I just need to spend some time sorting it out.

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