Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Laziness is the Mother of Invention

I am loving your comments on my last post! You all are really making my day... and are even bringing back a few memories of my own that I'll have to share in return some day soon. Please keep the comments coming and I'll keep the contest open until Friday afternoon, say 8:00 pm Pacific Time. This will give you plenty of time to embarrass yourself this week if you, like me, don't have a clear memory of the past.

On to knitting... After months of searching for the perfect pattern to use up a respectable amount of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran that was one of my first aquisitions to end up as stash, I found the perfect pattern in one of the first pattern books I ever bought. The pattern is Grace from the Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora book. When I purchased the book a few years ago, this sweater was way beyond my skill level but I think I can tackle it now.

I took Maria's advice for a sock pattern and have started some Groovy Rib socks from Sock Pixie with my ever fabulous Dream in Color Smooshy. Great yarn... great pattern... yada yada.... (Plus I love copying Maria.)

Finally, I'm going to share my most ingenious (probably not) sock swatching idea that I mentioned last week. Let's start with the fact that I rarely swatch for sweaters let alone socks. (Nope, I didn't even swatch for the sweater above... it's a big squishy cabled sweater... it will be great... and the gauge looks good so far... besides I've found that superwash wool stretches and/or shrinks as needed.) Anyway, since I have found some benefits to knowing your stitch count when selecting a sock pattern (and especially since I was bored), I decided to follow Cat Bordhi's swatching instructions with my DC Smooshy and cast on as if I was knitting a toe-up sock using Judy Becker's famous instructions.

However, instead of stopping once I had determined my proper gauge and needle size for the DC yarn, I decided to switch to some Chewy Spaghetti yarn to determine it's gauge. I quickly determined that my needle size was too big so I knit a purl row and switched to smaller needles. I still need to knit a bit farther to determine my gauge... and ideally my swatch should be a bit wider (2" would be good), but I figure that I can keep adding to this swatch to test different yarns without casting on each time (this would be where the laziness comes in... but it will save time). Eventually, I'll have a really long sock snake I suppose.

Okay, so my idea is probably neither unique nor ingenious, but I thought it was fairly clever so I'm passing it on. Please ridicule me in private if necessary. (I would hate to be embarrassed!)


Becca said...

Ooooh, is that Smooshy Cool Fire? I love that one, I almost bought it for the Loopy Ewe DC KAL. You are cranking out those cables, it's going to look great!

I do mini sock tubes for swatches like that, but usually I do it to test a pattern. I use yarn I'm not fond of just to see if I like the pattern. I consider my toes my swatches for most socks!

Maria said...

Ooooh, maybe I should copy you! I have lots of Cashmerino, maybe even the same color. I love that pattern!

km said...

I love that Cable sweater. And I I just knit a hat witht he DBCA, so I know that you have to be enjoying every soft stitch. This will be a dream to wear.

Sarah said...

That cast on of hers is brilliant. I can't wait to see that sweater! It looks great!

amanda said...

Beautiful cables and colors. Looks like this one is going to be a winner!!

Yarnhog said...

I love that pattern! I've never seen it before, but it is now at the top of my list. And I know where I can get some Cashmerino Aran on sale, too.