Well then, it seems that some of you are taking entertainment pleasure in my Am Kamin swatching mania, but I think that maybe y'all are starting to *get* me. Well, maybe *get* is too strong a word. It is *get* in that nod and smile to my face, and roll your eyes at each other as you walk away. But it is fun for you to watch, and hey, isn't that what I'm here for? So, a little backround. I swatched some DK weight yarns because the buzz around the internet among other swatchers led me to believe that an aran or worsted weight might upsize too much for me and I am going for a cardigan that is a little smaller than the written pattern. So far I think I am going to try and do it in a worsted, if that doesn't work I will revisit the DKs and resize in a redesign. I'm really trying to avoid that. You know, to save the time and effort. I heard that........
Size 6 needle
Washed swatch measures 9 1/8", 32.5 sts over 4"
Over patt section only measures 7 1/4", 33 sts over 4"
This swatch knitted up beautifully, if a bit stiff. But oh, what it does after a good soaking! It softens up and has a wonderful drape. The stitch definition is incredible and if it would only knit to gauge, I would use this yarn in a heartbeat. As it is, I may stash some for a future project. Here's the sucky part. I had stashed a bunch of this in a great sale sometime in the past and in a fit of decluttering and destashing I sold it all off, probably at a loss for me. Now that I have actually swatched it? (Insert mental head-banging here.)
Size 6 needle
Unwashed swatch measures 8 1/2" across, 6 5/8" over pattern only
Washed swatch measures 8 3/4" across, 34 1/4 sts over 4"
Measures 6 3/4 over pattern only, 35 1/2 sts over 4"
You know, I have really loved almost every yarn I have swatched, but maybe this one the most. Personal preference plays a big part in this though. The yarn loves being knit and the stitch definition is great. It is a little rough and stiff to knit though, and that may turn some off. Not me though! The great thing about this yarn is what happens in the wash. It softens up a lot and the stitches bloom and a lovely, light fuzz develops giving a gorgeous halo that doesn't obscure the stitches at all. I keep picking it up and carrying it around the house with me and planning a project with the little bit that I have in my stash. It won't be Am Kamin, but it will be something. I'm not sure I have enough for a whole sweater, but I have a couple of ideas in mind. Anyway, this knit up a bit too small for me, and I don't think I would like the fabric if I knit it on a larger needle. Total bummer.
Size 7 needle
Unwashed swatch measures 8 3/4" across, 6 7/8" over patt only
Washed swatch measures 9" across, about 33 1/4 sts over 4"
Measures 7 1/8" over pattern only, 33 3/4 sts over 4"
You know, the yarn snob in me always sort of looked at this totally affordable yarn as probably a bit, well, you know. If I don't pay a ton of money for it, how good can it be? How wrong I was! If this swatch is any indication, this yarn is a sturdy, firm yarn that knits up pretty well (the only problem I had was that with all of the twisting and travelling stitches and the really pointy needles I used, there was a little bit of splitting-a pain in the neck as I was fixing stitches a little too often for me. But then again, I'm a whiner and twice in a whole sweater might garner complaints from me). The washed swatch is soft, the stitches are even and soft to the touch. I may swatch this yarn again on a size 8 needle, though again, I worry that I won't like the fabric as much. I may have knit pretty tightly, thinking that I wanted to force the yarn to measure what I wanted it to, so this yarn is in the running. And have you seen the FORTY GAGILLION COLORS that it comes in? The only hard part is finding it, as everyone carries Naturespun and some other worsted work horse. I want this one! I will knit with this someday for sure. Actually, the more I look at the measurements, the more I think I could get the 37ish inch sweater that I am looking for. Maybe.
Size 7 needle
Unwashed swatch measures 9 3/4" across, 7 3/4" over pattern only
Washed swatch measures 10", 30 sts over 4"
Measures 7 7/8ish" over pattern only, 30 1/2 sts over 4"
I have waxed all poetic about this yarn before. When knit tightly it is practically bullet proof, hardly pills, shows stitches up loverly, and is *sniff* sadly discontinued *sniff, sniff*. I'm almost ready to cast on with this stuff tonight. I knit this swatch a bit relaxed, I know I could tighten up a little bit and get a jacket/cardi that will be in steep competition with my Rogue Cardigan for the most grabbed sweater in the wardrobe. There is a problem with this swatch that the photography hides. The color sucks for this sweater. Aside from my obvious obsession, I emphatically suggest that you swatch in the pattern stitch and in the color of yarn you want to use for the sweater. This Magpie is really a blue that leans wildly to gray, with a hint of green thrown in for good measure. It really does not reflect the light well and though the stitches are well defined, they get lost in the dull hue. I love the color for another sweater, and I have plenty of it, so back in the stash it goes. Luckily, if I choose to use this yarn, I have a few other colors to choose from. After washing, the bullet-proofness subsides a bit (you know, maybe BB gun bbs, or a handgun, but not a semi-automatic).
I also swatched Rauma Strikkegarn on a size 5 and I really didn't like it. I have knit with it before, done color work and really liked it, but for this the roughness of the yarn felt too hard for me and there were spaces between the stitches that may have filled in with washing, but I didn't get that far.
Okay, next up: Cascade 220, maybe another shot at the Brown Sheep. I want to get going on this, but I also have another sweater that I have been finishing and I want to finish it before next Tuesday. I may need an intervention here, as I cannot stop swatching for Am Kamin! If there is a Swatcher's Anonymous, I don't want to know about it. Yet.