Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Swatch Test

Designing anything takes a bit of detective work. I ventured back into the Dan shirt and I looked at other patterns. I actually finished the front panels and the collar but eventually decided I hated it, so I ripped it into ramen and then let it rest for a few months. I initially did this in Tunisian stitch with a cro-hook, but it was about as thick as a carpet runner. I wanted a pattern that resembled woven fabric. I explored slipped stitches. I went online, hit the books and I found these two: Tweed Stitch (aka Woven / Linen stitches) and the Herringbone stitch. These make sense to me for what I'm doing.



The Tweed Stitch

(from
The Harmony Guides, Vol. 2)
Multiple of 2+1 (#9N)
R1: (RS) K1, *yf, sl 1 pw, yb, k1; rep from * to end.
R2: P2, *yb, sl 1 pw, yf, p1; rep from * to end.
Repeat these 2 rows.

The Harmony Guides are good but they don't suggest needle sizes or yarn weights. The first swatched using #6N and medium weight mercerized cotton (Butterfly Super-10). It was so tight that I couldn't remove it from the needle. Then I used a #7 which was not much better, then went right up to a #9 — now this finally worked. I made a 7" X 7" swatch. After washing and blocking it loosened up to became more wide than tall, but the gauge was perfectly square: 4" X 4" area = 19sts X 19sts.



It's not reversible but I do like the moss pattern on the back side. The fabric is also firm enough to make real shirt pockets not those weird saggy afterthoughts that look like man boobs. The swatches above and below were made from Mirasol Coltani (60 Pima/40wool) from Peru. It has a slight heather and it's super soft. I bought this at Stitch Therapy. I plan to use this yarn for a striped Baja beach jacket in "Charcoal" and "Sunny".

The Herringbone Stitch
There are a few so-called Herringbones. I like one that I found online on a few blogs. I have a feeling it's from one of these ginormous Barbara G. Walker stitch bibles, but I'm too lazy to dig through all of them. This particular pattern lends itself to increasing, descrease and turning, where as the other versions of Herringbone resemble chipped teeth.

Any number of stitches (#11N)
R1: (RS) K2 tog, but... *transfer the first st to the right needle, leaving the second st on the left needle, knit the second st and the next st together; rep from * to end.
R2: P2 tog, but... *move the first st to the right needle, leaving the second st on the left needle, purl the second st and the next st together; rep from * to end.



After a wash n' block, the color softened to a butter color which isn't bad if you don't have food issues. This Herringbone is a modified stockinette. It's very compact and requires 200% more yardage than a regular Stockinette. It works best when worked on larger needles. Casting on 40 stitches, 92 yards of Coltani yeild a swatch that is 6.5" wide by 14" tall (40 sts X 56 rows) on #11N.



All these swatches held well up after washing and blocking three times to ensure stability and integrity. There is some shrinkage but only about 2%. I have no idea what I'll do with this pattern.
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