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Friday, November 5, 2010

Swatches - and tough decisions.

Soho Dress Swatches
I cast on two swatches last night, the Highland Wool and the K1C2 Camelino.  I was lookng for 4  things: 

What the fabric looked like
What it felt like
How easy to knit the yarn was
How fun to knit the yarn was

I switched back and forth between the two swatches so I could get a good comparison. I really like the Highland Wool color - it's a deep russet brown - almost a sassy color. It sort of twinkles, which is something you won't pick up in an amateur photo shot in my kitchen. Knitting it was pleasant with little splitting and a cooperative stitch definition. The fabric created had a nice texture but nothing out of the ordinary. There was still the hint of scratch to this wool, though, that worried me. As the swatch grew I kept placing it on sensitive body parts, hoping to find a definite "Yes" or "No" reaction. It never happened. The itchiest place was right at the base of my neck ... and the dress doesn't really touch that part of my neck. all those other sensitive spots had no complaints.

The Camelino is a softer, duller color. It also knits into a softer plushier fabric. On #7 needles it came in at 4.5 spi in contrast to the Highland wool's 4.25. In either case I have to go down to smaller needles to reach the 5x7 SxR gauge called for in the pattern. Truth is - the knitting pleasure factor of this yarn beat out the previous swatch, hands down. The thought that kept coming to the surface was "Butter!"; not just with the stitches on the needle, but also with the delicious, plump fabric I was making.  And at 10 o'clock at night, I was sitting up in bed thinking "Boy! Knitting this yarn is FUN!"

It's just a wee bit more expensive - but there is another secret savings stash in my house that could pony up the extra $30 or so needed to support my SILM jar contribution.  And when I think of the millions of stitches I'm going to have to knit to make this dress - I believe the actual knitting pleasure is as important as anything else.

So. Why haven't I placed an order yet? Well. I had to get my thoughts in order, of course, which is why I'm writing this out. And then - there is color issue. The Camelino's soft color - which matches the soft fabric vs the Highland Wool's bolder color, and somewhat itchier fabric. I'm more of a big bold color sort of person. Even when I try to mute it down, I tend to pick louder colors than anybody else in the room.

Still and all - this is a WHOLE LONG SLEEVED DRESS. Do I want a lighter softer color all over my body or do I want to go big bold. Well. The highland wool isn't big and bold. It's just a sort of twinkly brown. But it isn't plush. Honestly this is a tough decision,  being pushed by the fact that the yarn is on sale ... and could be sold out quickly.


Decisions, decisions.

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