Posts tagged Bulky Weight Yarn
Swatching Grace by Denise Bayron: An experiment stranding Semilla Grosso with Silky Kid
Loom & Spindle - Grace Swatch

Swatching Grace by Denise Bayron

An experiment stranding Semilla Grosso with Silky Kid

It’s been an exciting year here at Loom & Spindle, we’ve spent many happy hours sourcing unique yarns and fibres from all over the world to bring you a fresh palette of textures to explore. 

One of our new favourites is the GOTS certified, Semilla Grosso by BC Garn. A smooth round yarn with exceptional stitch definition.

We’ve been enjoying the process of swatching and planning projects with Semilla Grosso and we’re eager to share all our experiments with you.

Today we’re taking a look at our swatch for the Grace pullover by Denise Bayron, as featured in Laine Magazine Issue 8.

This swatch almost didn’t make the cut. Grace is knit in a super bulky weight yarn at 2.75 stitches per inch. At a standard gauge Semilla Grosso knits up much finer at around 3.5-4.5 stitches per inch. 

Our pre-swatching suggested that we just weren’t going to get gauge using Semilla Grosso, but we had one last trick up our sleeve…

Read on to find out how we untangled this ball of yarn + how to get a 10% discount on the Semilla Grosso range!


Swatching Grace by Denise Bayron using Semilla Grosso and Silky Kid

Loom & Spindle - Grace Swatch


Knit a swatch for the Grace pullover to explore:

  • If an appropriate gauge can be obtained using Semilla Grosso

  • The fabric’s hand-feel at the resulting gauge, and

  • The suitability of Semilla Grosso for a pullover intended for a ‘super bulky’ weight yarn


  • Casting on

  • Casting off

  • Knitting flat

  • Working a simple cable pattern

  • Translating pattern instructions into swatch parameters


  • 5mm (US 8) knitting needles (we used Chiaogoo Spin Bamboo Interchangables)




The swatch was based on the Grace pullover by Denise Bayron, as published in Laine Magazine Issue 8.

The swatch itself was to be very simple, we wanted to test Semilla Grosso in the knitted fabric and also work-in a 1x1 rib and one cable repeat to see how the design details would translate. The resulting swatch was knit over 26 stitches incorporating these design elements.

Loom & Spindle - Grace pullover Swatch-3.jpg


The pre-swatch – Semilla Grosso

We tried a few different needle sizes on some pre-swatch swatches. 

Using the needle size recommended in the pattern, 9.0 mm (US 13), the resulting fabric was extremely loose and airy and was not going to be suitable for garment construction.

 Sizing down, the fabric was more cohesive but lacked structure.

We found a satisfactory fabric was obtained on 4mm (US 6) needles, with a resulting 5 stitches per inch. The fabric was smooth, felt durable and had spring. Unfortunately, at this finer gauge the pattern as written would become unworkable for our intended size.

Loom & Spindle - BC Garn - Semilla Grosso - White 01-2.jpg

The final Swatch - Semilla Grosso stranded with Silky Kid

Before giving up we tried one last swatch stranding Semilla Grosso with Silky Kid by Kremke Soul Wool. Our theory was, that by adding a strand of mohair we could knit at a looser gauge with the mohair halo filling in the ‘gaps’ to help maintain the structure of the fabric.

So finally, on 5mm (US 8) needles we discovered a soft silky fabric that had both stitch definition and structure, was surprisingly drapey and had a luxurious halo. And, the resulting gauge would allow us to work the pattern as written with only a few minor adjustments!

Loom & Spindle - Grace Pullover Swatch-1.jpg
Loom & Spindle - Grace Pullover Swatch-8.jpg
Loom & Spindle - Grace Pullover Swatch-7.jpg
Loom & Spindle - Grace Pullover Swatch-10.jpg


The swatch was soaked in a bath of cool water for around 5 minutes, the excess water pressed out using a towel. The swatch was then pinned out on a blocking mat, attention given to straightening the cable detail and aligning the stitches before being allowed to dry.

Final measurements:

  • 14 stitches over 10cm (4'')

  • 20 rows over 10cm (4'')

  • Overall dimensions, 15cm x 15cm (6'' x 6'')



With our pre-swatches telling us that Semilla Grosso and the Grace pullover might just not be compatible, we were really pleased to find a workable gauge when adding a strand of mohair.

Loom & Spindle - Grace Sweater Swatch-2.jpg


Semilla Grosso delivered smooth well-defined stitches, making the cable pattern pop. The mohair halo supported the looser gauge and provided structure and durability to the knitted fabric. These elements all came together to create a drapey fabric with a lustrous look and silky hand-feel.

Loom & Spindle - Grace Sweater Swatch-4.jpg


The super bulky weight yarn used in the pattern lends a certain look and feel to the original piece. Though we haven’t recreated this fabric, we think we’ve come up with something interesting that could be applied to this pattern with great results.

Ultimately, stranding Semilla Grosso with Silky Kid turned the Grace pullover into a viable project option for these yarns. We’ve done some preliminary calculations on working the pullover at this gauge and think we’ll get some exciting results. Stay tuned!

Loom & Spindle - Grace Sweater Swatch-6.jpg


Would you like to save this swatch for later? 

Add this swatch to your Ravelry favourites HERE.

+ Subscribe to the Loom & Spindle e-newsletter and get a 10% discount on the Semilla Grosso range!


Keep on swatching…

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Welcome Semilla Grosso by BC Garn

Welcome Semilla Grosso

By BC Garn

Semilla Grosso by BC Garn is a 100% organic wool yarn grown, spun and dyed in an environmentally sustainable way.

Sourced in Argentina from guaranteed mulesing-free farms, the raw material is certified under the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), the leading textile processing standard for organic fibres.

Carefully spun and dyed in Italy, the yarn maintains its eco-cred by using only dye stuffs produced according to GOTS standards. That is, they are free from harmful substances such as toxic heavy metals and are biodegradable.

The yarn itself is smooth and round performing best over stocking stitch and cabled details. It’s perfect for satisfyingly uniform stitches and popping textural detail.

With its soft squishy hand-feel and luxurious next-to-skin softness this yarn is perfect for quick winter accessories and cosy wardrobe staples.


Colourways Available


FIBRE CONTENT: 100% Organic Wool
NET WEIGHT: 50g (1.75oz) per ball
APPROX. YARDAGE: 80m (87yd)
CONSTRUCTION: Worsted spun, 6 plies, moderate twist
ORIGIN: Fibre sourced in Argentina, dyed and milled in Italy
CARE: Cold hand wash (see notes below) 


Semilla Grosso is suitable for knit and crochet projects. We’ve included gauge suggestions for these crafts below. You may also like to check out our project suggestions on RAVELRY.

This yarn is spun with an intended soft and squishy hand-feel. This is achieved by using a fine staple fibre and milling with a looser twist, both elements that can contribute to pilling. We recommend working the yarn at the firmer end of the gauge spectrum to reduce pilling. 

The colours used to dye this yarn are produced according to GOTS standards, this includes restrictions on certain chemicals that aid light-fastness.In exceptional cases, placing yarn or projects in direct sunlight for extended periods of time may affect light-fastness.


The gauge information below can be used as guidance when planning your projects. We always recommend that you swatch to determine a configuration that results in the ideal fabric and hand feel for your project.


14-18 stitches over 10cm, using 4.5 - 5.5mm needles (3.5 – 4.5 stitches per inch, US size 7-9 needles)


11-14 stitches over 10cm, 5.5mm - 6mm hook (2.75-3.5 stitches per inch, US size I–9 to K–10 ½ hook)


BC Garn is a family run business based in Germany. They are known for their selection of natural fibres and extensive colour palettes. They produce a collection of GOTS certified and eco-friendly yarns.