In my last post I talked about tension, why it’s important and how to do it properly. In this one I’m sharing two projects that inspired me to swatch. In that post I mentioned that it’s a great idea to upload your swatch data to your Ravelry account for posterity, which is already proving handy today as I’m writing from home, without my swatch at hand! All the patterns today are beginner friendly, accessible and affordable.
This is the pattern that got me swatching, Over Easy. I thought it would make a great, quick ‘n easy fall knit, especially for the less experienced knitters. It’s knit in the round from the bottom up, the upper front and back are each worked flat, the shoulders are seamed, and then the sleeves are picked up and knit from the top-down. It’s worked up on BIG needles, and the yarn is fuzzy and hides a multitude of sins.
The yarn I was testing out is Drops Melody, a super soft, light and fluffy blend of alpaca and wool. What I really love about this yarn is that it looks like a bulky mohair, but it feels like a baby’s bum! Seriously, every time I touch a ball I’m shocked that it doesn’t have new-baby smell. The reason I was testing it was because I recognized that it would look great worked holding multiple strands together, but I didn’t precisely know how it would respond on different sized needles, or the difference between holding two or three strands together. It turns out my first instinct was right, I think this pattern would work best with12mm/US17 needles and holding two strands together. If you find you knit tightly on larger needles (some people do, but I don’t) then you’ll want to go up to a 15mm/US19 needle.
- Sizes: 1 (2, 3, 4)
- Body circumference: 64 (69, 76, 76)”
- Sleeve length: 8.5 (8.5, 7.5, 7.5)”
- Length from shoulder to bottom: 18 (18, 21, 23)”
Use the following as a general guide for sizing based on bust measurement:
- Size 1: if you have a 28″- 34″ bust
- Size 2: if you have a 36″- 44″ bust
- Size 3: if you have a 46 – 52″ bust
- Size 4: if you have a 52″ + bust
- Drops Melody (holding 2 strands together): 5(6, 7, 8) balls
- 12mm/US17 – 32″ circular needles (15mm/US19 if you knit tight)
- 12mm/US17 – 16″ circular needles OR double pointed needles (15mm/US19 if you knit tight)
- Stitch marker to indicate beginning of round
- Tapestry needle to weave in ends
- FREE Pattern
This is the other sweater that got me swatching, Kelowna. This one is knit in the round from the top-down, and is approachable to everyone- at any knitting level. For this sweaterI’d use two strands held together and whatever size needle gets you gauge (my swatch was closest with a 9mm/US13, but you might want go bigger … it’ll be a great opportunity to practice checking your tension!
This might be my next COVID sweater (I haven’t been especially prolific), but I’m not sure which colour …maybe the petrol green?
- Drops Melody (holding 2 strands together): 6 balls
- Check the pattern for exact needle size and lengths (they suggest 8mm/US11, 9mm/US13, and 12mm/US17)
- Stitch markers (4)
- Tapestry needle to weave in ends
If fuzzy isn’t your thing but you like the bones of this sweater check out Frid by Tara-Lynn Morrison – You can use Malabrigo Rasta or Cascade Spuntaneous. If those options are a little too spendy for you right now, try Drops Andes and go down to a 9mm/US13 needle and go up to the larger size).
Kinikin is a cardiganzied version of the sweater above with a looser tension. Based on my tension swatches I’d use 12mm/US17 needles instead of 15mm/US19 and hold two strands of Drops Melody together.