Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sometimes you have to kiss a lot of frogs, or frog a lot of swatches

I love swatching stitch combinations, except when I hate it.

I love and live by stitch dictionaries, and I have no problem with just taking a nice stitch pattern and plunking it onto a basic sweater/scarf/ whatever. Even that is more work than the uninitiated might imagine, what with calculating repeats and considering edgings and evaluating suitability to the characteristics of the intended yarn. And then considerations of who the pattern is for: the beginning knitter, the adventurous intermediate, the traditionalist, the fashionista? (Well, OK, I don't aim much for the fashionista, not being one myself.)

But what really gets my juices flowing is playing around with stitch patterns and tweaking them and combining them to see if I can come up with a combination that I haven't run across before. It may be a question of how do I transition smoothly from a lace section to stockinette. Or it might be a "what if" as in "what would happen if I stacked this repeat on the diagonal?".

It's all great fun, except when the vision I have in my head simply won't translate into yarn. Sometime the pattern just doesn't "pop." Sometimes the combinations don't behave the way I expected. And then it's simply as frustrating as (there goes my G rating) hell.

This last week was spent in a good deal of the latter, but it wasn't without it's rewards (especially after I had the sense to walk away from one idea and follow up on another.) I've finally come up with a combination I like, and an idea of how I want to incorporate it into a finished object.

doesn't include the frogged/flung away attempts

Which leads to a question. I now have an acrylic swatch that I rather like and intend to refine and work up in nicer yarn. I'm looking for something suitable for a child's garment with good stitch definition. So what is your favorite smooth, sport weight, machine washable wool?

Speak up now......


YarnThrower said...

I haven't used a lot of sport weight washable wool, but I do like Falk (Dale of Norway), and imagine that KnitPicks has an equivalent?

Your stitch patterns look very interesting!

Cindy G said...

Umm, hadn't thought of the Dale. Thanks.

Any other favorites out there?

Elizabeth said...

If you want to go finer, Dale Baby Ull! I love that stuff!

There's an Encore sport, too, I think, if you want a blend.

When I see you on Tuesday, I might have some more ideas for you.