I’ve been swatching —
and I am rather allergic to swatching, being a ‘let’s knit that and see what happens’ kinda knitter! I usually figure that, unless it’s sweater-sized, I will just rip out the project if it’s wrong — like a sock. I mean, by the time you do a circular swatch, you could just as soon have started the sock!
Anyway, a swatch was part of preparation for MS3, and when considering something as large and intricate as a lace stole — yeah, swatching makes sense! Especially as I was deciding what yarn to use.
So without further ado, here are swatches:
Now, neither of these is actually the color that I’m going to knit the stole in! The suggested colors are black or white, or related colors (cream, gray, etc.). But the yarns are the ones I’m strongly considering.
The first swatch is KnitPick merino lace, which I had previously hand-dyed (Kool-Aid, anyone?). I ordered the same yarn except “Bare”, undyed, so an off-white. But I didn’t have it yet when I swatched, so this is the same yarn, same weight, etc, just multicolored. I knit this swatch on size 4 vintage plastic circs, which worked amazingly well — not slippery and with a reasonable point, which has a little ‘give’, very comfortable! If you look closely at the swatch picture, you will see that it’s still on the circular needle — that’s because after I practiced beading on this, I liked it enough that I’m going to make it into a scarf! I’ll use only simple lace stitches due to the variegation, but I think it’s going to be cool. For the MS3 stole, I am still awaiting the beads coming for this yarn in the natural color (my ? LBS ? –Local Bead Store– didn’t have beads I liked with off-white, and I ordered some that are more pearly from an eBay store). This swatch measures 6 1/4 inches in width.
The second swatch is Cherry Tree Hill Supersock merino yarn. I am unexpectedly very pleased with this! This is fingering weight, not lace weight, and the swatch measures 7 5/8 “. However, it’s very easy to knit and I like the look. It will take more yardage of yarn, and I may have to take advantage of an opportunity to shorten the stole as it will be proportionately longer, but I really like how it blocked, and it will go faster, I think, than the lace weight. I started the first pattern repeat with size 3 needles, but quickly realized that that would be great for lace socks, but not for a stole. I then used Addi Turbos size 6 for the rest of the swatch, which worked fine, though I may try the Addi Laces in size 5. The 8-0 beads were harder to put on the fingering weight yarn, but not too bad. I would be knitting the stole actually with Black Supersock, which is also coming from an eBay purchase, and the 8-0 beads I have on hand and in mind (from my LBS) are a very dark metallic purplish-black, almost gunmetal. I also have some 6-0 beads coming with my bead order which I can also use if I like the look; those will be easier to place on fingering weight yarn. This would be more a wrap than a stole (basically a rectangular shawl).
So I like both of these, so I have a decision to make, and you know what? I may do both!! One may be my primary focus, but they will have very different characters and rather different sizes; my thought right now, sight unseen, is that I would keep the black one as a wrap, and give the other as a gift. But we will see what all my plans come to!
It’s been fun planning and reading the thousands of posts on the MS3 Yahoo Group! What a concept, to be knitting with over 2000 knitters from around the world! You can still sign up, up to July 6, if you are interested.
A few garden pictures; particularly pretty tonight after some rain earlier this week, and now a lovely afternoon and sunset: