Posts tagged Knitted Swatch
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!


PROJECT

Swatching Grace by Denise Bayron using Semilla Grosso and Silky Kid

Loom & Spindle - Grace Swatch

AIM

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

SKILLS

  • Casting on

  • Casting off

  • Knitting flat

  • Working a simple cable pattern

  • Translating pattern instructions into swatch parameters

TOOLS

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

MATERIALS

 

DESIGN

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

DEVELOPMENT

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

FINISHING

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'')

INSIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITIES

GAUGE

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

FABRIC

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

FINAL THOUGHTS

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

THANK YOU FOR READING!

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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Swatching with Cotton Fine: A knitted sample of Tegna by Caitlin Hunter
Loom & Spindle - Cotton Fine - Tegna Swatch-2.jpg
 

Swatching with Cotton Fine

A knitted sample of Tegna, by Caitlin Hunter

Here at Loom & Spindle, we’re proud omni-crafters! Passionately dabbling in all things fibre.

Today we’re taking a look at our first knitted swatch for Cotton Fine. Specifically, a sampler of Caitlin Hunter’s popular Tegna pattern.

We thought this light-weight summer style would be a good match for this sumptuous blend of Pima cotton and merino wool.

We knit the swatch to explore the interaction between gauge, knit fabric and fibre and assess the suitability of the yarn for a knitted project featuring lacework.

Below, we’ve included our notes on how we interpreted the pattern to become a swatch and our thoughts on the resulting fabric.

This ‘recipe’ is a great starting point if you want to have a go at swatching for your next knitting project.

P.S. At the end we’ve detailed the yardage required for all sizes should you wish to knit your own!

Loom & Spindle - Cotton Fine - Tegna Swatch-5.jpg

PROJECT

A knitted sample of Tegna by Caitlin Hunter, using Cotton Fine by Brown Sheep Co.

AIM

Knit a swatch in Cotton Fine to explore:

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

  • The suitability of Cotton Fine for lacework, and

  • Knitting garments in Cotton Fine

SKILLS

  • Casting on

  • Casting off

  • Knitting flat

  • Reading charts for lacework

  • Familiarity with decreasing, yarnovers, knitting through the back loop

  • Translating pattern instructions into swatch parameters

TOOLS

  • 3.25 mm (US 3) circular needles (we used Chiaogoo Spin Bamboo Interchangables)

  • Scissors

  • Tapestry needle

MATERIALS

 

PLANNING

We focused on setting parameters for the piece and interpreting the pattern to accommodate the swatch.

SIZE

  • Working with the patterns suggested gauge of 22 stitches over 10cm (4'') in stocking stitch and the stitch count for the lace repeat, we decided three lace repeats would provide a reasonable sample size and a visually balanced sample.

  • 60 stitches were required for the cast on.

SETUP

  • Cast on: Long-tail method

  • Cast off: A tapestry needle to thread the yarn tail through live stitches

LACEWORK

  • The pattern details the lace repeat both written (worked in the round) and as a chart.

  • We chose working with the chart as the visual aid was convenient when working the swatch flat.

  • We used stitch markers to define the beginning and end of each lace repeat.

NOTES

  • As 3.25mm was the needle size suggested in the pattern, we thought this would be a good starting point to explore gauge.

  • Our swatch will be knit flat as noted above. Please note the Tegna pattern, as written, is worked in the round.

METHOD

STEP 1

60 stitches were cast on using the long-tail method.

STEP 2

The lace repeat was worked flat until the end of the chart.

STEP 3

Approximately 10cm (4'') was knit in stocking stitch to complete the swatch.

STEP 4

The live stitches were secured by simply threading the yarn tail through the loops using a tapestry needle.

FINISHING

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 matt, attention given to opening up the lacework and aligning the stiches that frame the lace detail.

GUAGE

The final measurements were:

  • 22 stitches over 10cm (4'')

  • 28 rows over 10cm (4'')

  • Overall dimensions, 20cm x 25cm (8'' x 10'')

INSIGHTS AND OPPORTUNITIES

THE GAUGE

Amazingly, we got gauge! When does that ever happen ;)

Though, it’s important to note that we worked the swatch flat. Working in the round could produce a slightly different row gauge.

Based on these results we’d go ahead and knit the garment on 3.25mm needles, monitoring row gauge and adjusting the body length in the stocking stitch section if necessary.

Loom & Spindle - Cotton Fine - Tegna Swatch-7.jpg

THE FABRIC

At this airy gauge, Cotton Fine has produced a soft drapey fabric with a smooth hand-feel.

The cotton/merino blend offers great stitch definition, the detail in the lace panel is clear and structural elements well defined.

The resulting texture is feminine and cool.

Loom & Spindle - Cotton Fine - Tegna Swatch-1.jpg

FINAL THOUGHTS

The lacework was intuitive and the pattern easy to follow. Using stitch markers definitely helped us track the lace repeats and catch those missed yarnovers!

Cotton Fine worked up nicely and we think it has great potential for light-weight knitted garments.

Tegna is an exciting introduction to both lacework and knitted garment construction and is highly recommended to anyone motivated to give it a try.


THANK YOU FOR READING!

Tegna by Caitlin Hunter can be found on RAVELRY.
Knitting in Cotton Fine? Here’s what you’ll need:

  • X-Small - 4 Skeins

  • Small - 4 Skeins

  • Medium - 5 Skeins

  • Large - 6 Skeins

  • X-Large - 6 Skeins

  • 2X-Large - 6 Skeins

  • 3X-Large - 7 Skeins

 
 

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