Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dithering, Part II

So, knitting Valley Yarns Stockbridge on size 8 needles, then washing and drying the swatch, yields a gauge of 19 stitches to 4 inches. Perfect for Twist & Shout. Yay!

Except...except...there's that question of sleazy fabric or no. Remember I told you that trying Stockbridge on size 9 needles yielded fabric so sleazy, so lacking in substance, that I frogged the swatch immediately. The size 7 swatch, on the other hand, is perfect fabric. I would love to knit and wear that fabric. It has a good hand; it drapes, yet has a mind of its own; it's good goods. Furthermore, I suspect that Twist & Shout, being essentially a jacket rather than a cardigan, may need fabric like that of the size 7 swatch - something that won't just droop into formlessness.


This is a photo, on a convenient lamp shade, of the size 8 swatch on the top and the size 7 swatch on the bottom. Note the greater light coming through the upper swatch. It's a little sleazy. A little formless. A little worrisome. So I am dithering. Should I do as Laurie suggested, and refigure the numbers for a size 7 needle? Maybe the alpaca/wool yarn called for the pattern is more substantial than the alpaca/wool Stockbridge? (Ravelry research is called for.) Or should I bail on this pairing of pattern and yarn altogether? Once this rootlet of doubt took hold in my mind, I began to remember Norah Gaughan's Lite Lopi Pullover. I could spin the yarn for the body of that sweater, maybe for the yoke colorwork as well - certainly, it would take longer than a month to spin and knit even a fairly simple sweater like this, but then I'd have a sweater that worked. And I'd have an excuse to spin a lot, maybe even starting tonight - making the yarn for a November sweater ahead of time isn't against the rules, is it?

What do you think, dear readers:
a) Twist & Shout, Stockbridge yarn, size 8 needles, ignoring the worrisome sleaze factor;
b) Twist & Shout, Stockbridge yarn, size 7 needles, with recomputed stitch counts - anybody seen my calculator and graph paper?; or
c) The Norah Gaughan pullover, from handspun; in which case get cracking.


Margaret said...

I vote C. Get that wheel oiled and get cracking. And I agree the swatch on 8's looks sleazy. For Twist and Shout, esp if you are going to have to re-figure the pattern, I'm afraid I'd have to break down and knit a much larger swatch, including some of the cables to get a better feel for stitch AND row gauge, as well as how much it's going to droop vs drape. Some alpaca/wool blends like Ultra Alpaca hold their shape really well, more like wool than alpaca. But, you'd want to know wouldn't you?

Kathy said...

Well, admittedly I am biased, but "A" is definitely out. The fabric is sleazy. Stockbridge is meant to be knit on a #7 unless your knitting is overly tight or loose.

I say "B", but there is more legwork for you to do as Margaret states. The cables will be beautiful - we have done a couple of cable things in Stockbridge and they're beautiful. You just have to make sure you've got gauge based on your recalculated #'s.

Honestly, C might be best for now.

Enjoy either way!

WEBS/Valley Yarns

Laurie said...

A sweater is sleazy gauge (size 8) with alpaca in the mix is a recipe for DOOM. Your options are B or C.

Batty said...

All I can say is that I really, really like the size 7 swatch. I don't like the sleaze!

Bezzie said...

I say go for 7 and roll the dice! Recalculating? Pish! You never! (Ha ha, yeah I realize what one lousy stitch could do but I'm a lazy knitter!)