Monday, July 30, 2007

Swatching for the Sand Dollar Sweater...

I started to swatch for the Sand Dollar Sweater. Substituting the Starmore yarns is a nightmire. No wonder people get so frustrated. The pattern calls for the Scottish Fleet yarn which was a 5-ply Guernsey yarn (no longer available). The Starmore's relaunched the Scottish Fleet as a worsted weight yarn recently, so even though the yarn is called the same, the weight is different, therefore additional modifications are required to use the new "Scottish Fleet", these will be included if you purchase the yarn from their website. ( Buying the yarn from them is worth it if you want to avoid the gauge issue and you have plenty of money to spend in yarn. This model is over $150 for the medium size. I personally would consider saving money to buy it from them if it wasn't for the fact that I don't like any of the only 3 colors they have available. (a navy blue, a forest green and cream, no pink!). My strategy here is to go by the gauge and forget about yarn weight. Since the gauge is 28 St, I purchased a beautiful 4 ply Rowanspun yarn (now discontinued) that is fine weight and knits up to 28 or 30 st.
My first swatch that I made last night was knitted in a size US 3 needle. The fabric was too airy for my taste and the swatch way bigger than needed, so I ripped it off and started all over again with a size US 2. I like the fabric look but the swatch is almost one inch wider than needed as you can see in the pic. My other problem is that I am missing an inch vertically (in the row count). This could be a problem unless I manage to calculate how many repeat rounds I would have to add to achieve the same length. Unfortunately, the pattern does not tell me the length of the work as it goes, only the number of rounds. Therefore unlike most patterns, having the right number of rows in this case is critical. My next try will be knitting double stranded in size US 1. I am hoping that by adding one strand I will achieve the right number of rows and by going down one needle size, I would be able to get the horizontal gauge.
The issue with this yarn is that the original yarn used by the Starmores is very fluffy and bouncy, giving them the capacity to be knitted at many different gauges, therefore even though the yarn is "heavier" it can still be knitted at the same gauge of a lighter weight yarn. I don't know of many yarns in the market that will do that. In my case, using a fine weight yarn is ideal because I live in California and I don't want my wool sweaters to be too dense. Anyways, I will let you know if my idea worked...
Empecé a tejer la muestra para el sueter de la estrella de mar de dollar, pero no logro conseguir la misma medida. Ya lo intenté con aguja número 3 y número 2. Ahora voy a intentar hacerlo con doble lana usando Rowanspun 4 ply en aguja número 1. Es un problema substituir la lana original porque ya no existe. La nueva versión de esta lana es más gruesa lo cual cambia la cantidad de puntadas, se puede conseguir en el sitio de las diseñadoras ( junto con las modificaciones necesarias, pero los colores son muy limitados y lana bastante cara. A ver como me va... ahí les contaré.

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