But first, some homey weather pix.
The icicles and the bits of “ice dam” connected to them have been sliding down from the roof. The one in front of that window looks to be almost as thick as my arm and reaches down past waist-high.
And it looks like my Christmas Cactus (which my botanist neighbor says is actually a Thanksgiving Cactus, because of its pointy leaf-tips) will bloom soon!
Maybe we should dub it a “New Year’s Cactus”!
Knitting-wise, I’ve finished a cap.
Most of the yarn came from a collection of multi-stranded mystery-yarns I received as a gift a few years back. This one started as a ball of black, white, and red (2 shades) yarns combined into one. When the first ball ran out, I took a ball of just the red and black, and added a strand of off-white from my stash. When that too ran out, leaving only the 2 red shades, I added some of the charcoal I’ve been using lately and another, thinner, off-white. That made the lower portion blacker than the earlier-worked upper portion. But I think it works!
On to the new yarn from Kollage.
Stockinette Gauge Swatch
This is the yarn that Cast On asked me to use to make up a cap for their summer 2010 issue; called “1/2 N 1/2” (say “half & half”). It’s 50% milk and 50% wool. The yarn looks like a thick fingering-weight, but the label suggest a DK-weight gauge of 22 stitches in 4 inches. Here’s my first swatch, searching for the gauge to suit the project best (holes indicate needle size: 4, 5, and 6).
The size 4 needles yielded a nice, even, firm-but-not-stiff fabric, at almost 7 stitches/inch.
Size 5 was a bit uneven.
Size 6 (4 mm), though, gave a nice texture that was looser and more drapey than that on the 4’s. About 6 stitches/inch, and fewer rows/inch than the 5’s. I decided to go with this fabric, and not go on to try 7’s.
Smocking Stitch and Stockinette on 4 mm needles
Here’s a swatch with both smocking and stockinette stitches.
I tried out 2 different methods of bundling the stitches and chose the 2nd.
Also tried out different transitions from the smocking to the plain knitting; chose 2nd from left.
From these 2 swatches I calculated gauges, and ideal stretch-factors, and calculated my cast on.
I made an error the first time, but the second one will, I think, be the one to go with.
More as developments warrant! Stay tuned!