Swatch this space

Today I decided to get down to the business of swatching for a potential pattern. I think the idea for this came from petting various shades of angora. Whilst describing a vague idea to my mother on a napkin in the M&S café about two weeks ago, I came up with a shape that might work very well. This would be the hem detail for the bottom of the body and the sleeves. In my swatch, I used angora as the contrasting yarn of the hem.

I thought it would be really nice to extend this contrasting hem detail into a turn-up cuff on the sleeves.

By turning up the cuffs, you get a three-quarter length sleeve. But you know how there are still plenty of chilly gusts in springtime… I thought it would be really nice to have a cozy cuff to roll back down over your arms, and you still get the pretty hem peeking out.

The yarn I used for this swatch is (main colour) Donegal Tweed by Kilcarra Yarns. This is from the neolithic strata of my stash. I got it in Clifden about three years ago when I was on a trip with Alb. It is 100% wool and a bit too scratchy for the real thing but the colour is what I had in mind. The pink angora is Adriafil ‘Carezza’ and is 70% angora, 10% wool and 20% polyamid. I love the softness of the angora but I don’t really like the colour. You get the idea though. I think this top would work well with other colour combinations – navy cotton and blue angora or green cotton and cream angora. Or go mad with burnt orange and bright red! I’m undecided about neckline. I’ve got four options, and I think all would work – it’s more a matter of personal taste. Maybe I could knit the sample with the one I like best, and just write up the other three options to include with the pattern.

Thermal is inching its way along. Can I just say again how much I love the scrunchiness of the fabric?! Jaeger’s the way to go, man.

I had a very enjoyable read of my new Fitted Knits in bed last night and came away with two definite conclusions. One is that I really need to learn about sewing construction. I need to take a class or something. I know alot from reading tonnes about knitting technique and knitting up and adjusting patterns myself, but shaping taken from sewing is prevalent throughout Japel’s book and it works very well. It would be really good to know. The other conclusion is that I think I’m going in the right direction. My piano teacher always tells me to trust my instinct because it will never let me down – and it never has, not with piano anyway. So I’m going to keep going, see what I come up with, and if other people like it, then all the better! If anyone has any suggestions for change or improvement here (re: the swatch etc), I’m all eyes and ears.

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