Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Swatching Saga ...

Finally found the time to sit down and swatch a small piece of the sweater vest. This is a Fair Isle pattern, which I've never down before and will now attempt for The Knitting Olympics.

I'm an English style knitter (I've linked to someone who does it very much like I do), but a month ago I started practicing to knit Continental style. It was a way of preparing myself for fair isle knitting since I'll be holding yarn in each hand as I knit across. I'm getting pretty good at it I think.

My first swatch was really too small but I did discover a mistake in the pattern from KnitPicks. It says to check the gauge using the size 3 needle in the pattern stitch .... but listen guys, it's suppose to be worked in the size 5 needle. Only the ribbing is worked in the smaller size 3 needle. I discovered this when I checked out the additional extra patterns they included at the end of the pamphlet for the left over yarn.

Well I then swatched in the 5 and then the 6 and then back to 5 again. The difference between the 1st & 2nd time I used the size 5 needle was the fact that I did a bigger swatch and I got better at the fair isle technique. Practice makes perfect! The top half of the swatch in the picture to the right is done in the correct gauge using the size 5 needle. Hurray, I'm ready for them to light of the torch!

I'm even happy with the back... well maybe it could be better, but I'm going to have to practice with some old yarn from my stash in order to perfect my skills in fair isle before the games. Maybe this weekend, if I can get both of the baby blankets done. I have to start at least ONE of the baby sweaters as well.... so when will I have time? Goodness, the pressure....

Does anyone have a trick in finding the yarn end to start a pull-out skein?

As you see in this batch of yarn balls here, I had trouble finding the end on a few. Gosh, I hate that!! I like my yarn coming neatly out of the center, don't you? But it either takes forever to find the end or I get frustrated and pull out the whole center trying to find it. Does it happen to you?

There must be a trick to this that no one has told me about yet!


Jess said...

Your fair isle swatches look great! I can't believe how even your strands are. No saggy loops, no tight loops puckering up the fabric, just nice, perfectly-tensioned strands of yarn. Fantastic work!

Rhonda said...

Geeeee, thanks for the compliment, Jess! I think it's because I'm a relaxed (or is that numb?) knitter... so my tension for either left or right hand is the same.