Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Swatching for the Seed Stitch Scarf

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Here you go, proof positive that a swatch is a GOOD idea - even for a scarf! Remember, back in this post, I said I was going to do a seed stitch scarf from the Paton's Katrina that I scored in Hobby Lobby's knitting section? And I was going to do it on Size 8 US needles?

The former is in progress. The latter didn't happen. I cast on, knit one row plain to give myself a substantial edge to knot the planned beaded fringe on, knit the second row in pattern and stopped to brag about my score online. When I started the third row--oops -- I re-learned the basic lesson that for a pattern with a 2 stitch repeat knit flat, you cast on a multiple of 2 stitches plus one stitch! There went version one. Add a stitch to the cast on number, MUCH better.

Pattern now becomes Sl1, (k1, p1) on each row. I happily knit along till I have about four inches (see the picture - the swatch on the left on the Crystal Palace needle with the knob end). I stop to evaluate my progress on what would shortly become swatch #2.

Chain edge - VERY nice, good stitch definition, nice dense fabric. Hummmm, maybe a bit TOO dense. I hold it up and turn the needle parallel to the floor. Oh my, the knitted fabric sits there like a mini shelf. It has NO drape at ALL.

Now as planned, this scarf will be about four inches wide by whatever length I can get out of two balls of yarn, with beaded fringe on both ends. I'm hoping for at least 60 inches of knitting, 72 plus fringe would be even better and if it's more? I'll take it.

My sister is an artist. No, she's an Artist. She can be all about the drama at times. I want her to be able to channel Bett Midler (who she rather looks like, in fact). This is going to be a Diva!Scarf. So it MUST have DRAPE, with a capital D!

On to the other end of the ball and up to size US 9 (the center swatch). It was obvious after just a couple of inches that while it was an improvement, it wasn't enough of an improvement. Swatch #3 bites the dust.

Up to US 10.5 needles and two less stitches cast on. Oh yes, that's more like it. We have draping, but the chain selvage still looks good. The stitch definition is sufficient and all is well in ThreadBndr's part of the world. Swatch #4 becomes start of scarf - Finally.

And yes, I'm going to knit the whole thing on those Clover dpns. I have the dpns left from a bulky sweater (cuffs) and the width of the scaft fits well enough and the needles don't slide out. I probably won't ever use 10.5 straights for anything else, so why clutter up my knitting bag with another set of straight needles.

By and large, I use circs back and forth for flat knitting, but this piece is so skinny, that would just look silly *G*.

So by now the failed swatches have been tidied back into a ball and I'm happily adding inches to my Seed Stitch Scarf. In fact, I'm so happy to add inches to it that I worry that it won't be enough to keep me busy on the trip at the end of the month. Maybe I can start another house sock on my Brittany US2s.

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