Thursday, May 10, 2007

Swatch, ho!

I'm on the homestretch for my Level II swatches.

Swatch #1 - Stockinette seam

It looks a little off. I think I'll rip it out and re-do it.

Swatch #4 - Single rib seam - swatches knit but not yet seamed. Well, they were seamed, but like the stockinette seam, I was off a half-stitch, so I ripped out the seam and re-did it. Then I realized I'd seamed it with the same color as the swatch. Sigh.

Swatch #5 - Double rib seam - swatches knit but not yet seamed
Swatch #7 - Horizontal to horizontal seam - knit but not yet seamed

Swatch #8 - Twisted blended decreases

Swatch #9 - Twisted full fashioned decreases

My thoughts on twisted decreases are that if I were to use them on an actual project, I'd choose the decreases on the left of each swatch for blended decreases and the decreases on the right of each swatch for full-fashion decreases. The instructions called for decreasing at either end of the same rows, but the best matches are decreases that are not worked on the same rows. Decreases for swatch 8 were worked from the stockinettet side. Decreases for swatch 9 were worked from the reverse stockinette side, so while they lean in one direction from the stockinette side, they lean in the other direction on the reverse stockinette side, where they were worked. A decrease that is worked from the stockinette side and leans right is the best match for a decrease that is worked from the reverse stockinette side and leans right (but which leans left when viewed from the stockinette side).

Decreases that lean right in relation to the side on which they are worked are less obvious and best suited for blended decreases. Decreases that lean left in relation to the side on which they are worked are more obvious and are best suited for full-fashioned decreases, to my tastes anyway.

Swatch #13 - Lace swatch #3, currently working on something from my Harmony Guide, but I'm not happy. If I could find a decent needle to use with my lace weight yarn I'd be happier with the results.

Swatch #14 - Cable swatch #1 OXOX cable (from The Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches, p 77, but I've seen it in just about every stitch dictionary I have)

Swatch #15 - Cable swatch #2 (from The New Knitting Stitch Library, Lesley Stanfield, p. 66, #105)

Swatch 16a - Cable exercise - done
Swatch 16b - Cable flare swatch - knit except for final seed stitch border. The hardest part of this exercise was figuring out the most aesthetically pleasing decreases to transition from the cables to the final border.

Swatch #19 - Seed stitch buttonholes - still looking for a good horizontal buttonhole. I have an idea that I'll work on after I do the 3rd lace swatch. It's a variation on Elizabeth Zimmerman's afterthought buttonhole. More of a forethought buttonhole with a different cast-off than she suggests.

Swatch #20 - Buttonholes spaced evenly

Swatch #22 - Inset pocket

I plan to do a second one to see if I can improve on a couple things I don't like. First, I intentionally cast off firmly at the top of the pocket because I didn't want a floppy edge, but I think I over did it. Bind off options are somewhat limited because it's worked in the middle of a row. I suppose I could break the yarn, put the live stitches on a holder and then rejoin, but I'm always hesitant to not follow the MK instructions exactly, particularly when they give you the pattern they want you to follow. Although now that I think of it, I could probably work a tubular bind off across the pocket and resume knitting without breaking the yarn. Or even a Cast On/Cast Off, worked in the reverse direction. Hmmmm.

The second problem is that I worked this swatch over a period of several days in varying conditions/positions and I think it shows on the back. Look at all the rowing out:

That's my progress so far. I have started working on my swatch tags, but not a single yarn tail has been woven in yet. I tend to save that for when I'm sure the swatch I have is the swatch I'll submit.