Good Swatch, Bad Swatch

Bad light pink swatch. Good fuschia swatch.

In good news/bad news situations, I try to get the bad news out of the way first. That way, after I survive the bad news, I have the good to brighten me up. So I’ll start with the bad swatch.

While reading one of Margaux’s posts at tentenknits last week, I realized that I wasn’t as far along in my swatching with the light pink Shelburne yarn as I had thought. I can be pretty cavalier about row gauge, but thanks to Margaux I realized that row gauge is pretty important in a V-neck. I had stitches per inch, but rows per inch was off by an entire row (4.5 rpi vs 3.5 rpi in the pattern). Not good. I also knit the swatch the way I’ve knit all other stockinette swatches: flat. The sweater is knit in the round (a new thing for me). Not good. I tend to knit tighter in the round than flat. Really not good. So I knit on some WIPs (but that’s a different post) and swatched for a fuschia scarf.

The fuschia chunky baby alpaca from Plymouth Yarns made a good swatch, a very good swatch. I used the Piecrust Basketweave from Vogue Stitchionary, Volume 1 (pattern #33). I charted the pattern because the repeat of 8 stitches plus 10 confused me. It really is a repeat of 8 stitches plus 2, the swatch in the book has wide borders which is reflected in the 10 stitches for symmetry. The Piecrust Basketweave is a narrow, horizontal basket weave. To look good in a scarf, I thought it would be best to cast on the length and then knit to the width. My lovely gauge swatch indicated that I was getting 3.5 spi, and I wanted a 60-inch scarf. My calculator told me that would be 210 stitches which is a multiple of 8 + 2. Destiny! I cast on 212 stitches so I could have a knit stitch at each end for making a picot selvage.

I’m almost half done!

I used a cable cast on, which looks nice given that the first row of the pattern is a WS row, so the decorative look of the cable cast on shows on the right side. I need to look at some bind offs to see if there is a good one to use as the opposite of this cast on. Montse Stanley has always come to my aid before, I hope she can again. If any readers have a suggestion, I would be happy to hear it!

Right now, I need to block the Sea Silk Berry scarf from Victorian Lace Today so I can send it to Grandma Adeline. Pictures to follow soon. I’m going to make another wide-bordered scarf from VLT next. I want to do the diamond insertion (p. 90), but I can’t decide between two different wide borders (Diamond Lace border, p. 90; Clarence border, p.82). Unfortunately, both work with the diamond insertion, and both are really pretty. Decisions, decisions!

Happy Knitting!

5 thoughts on “Good Swatch, Bad Swatch”

  • I always have row gauge issues. I’ve had to fudge knits a little to get them to work out b/c it is very rare that I can get both row and stitch gauge. Good luck with the V-neck.

  • well, even if the light pink swatch didn’t turn out, that yarn is still awesome! 🙂 and i really like the fushia scarf…it’s turning out very nice!

  • I hear you- the row gauge thing is a big mystery.
    The VLT book is one of the best I have seen in a long time. Whatever you choose, it will be pretty.

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