Sunday, August 8, 2010

Silk: it is what's for summer

I have always been a lace or sock knitter in the summer months when I am rational. When I am irrational, I have knit heavy sweaters and bulky shawls and almost died in the process. This summer, I am enjoying the process of knitting with very fine silk. It is light and easy on the hands, and doesn't add any heat to one's body.

You probably saw the cone of silk when I was asking for opinions on what to knit for Camp. The swatch on the right is the one I knit before Camp that gave me a slightly smaller gauge than the pattern called for. The one on the left is the one I knit after, with 1 size bigger needle. Now the number of rows and stitches are not the same in the two swatches so they aren't comparable by observation.

Swatch on the right was on 4 mm needles:
  • 36 sts = 5.5 - 5.75 inches (depending on how I pat it out) - not quite 6 spi
  • 42 rows = 5 inches - not quite 9 rpi

Swatch on the left was on 4.5 mm needles:
  • 30 sts = 5.5 inches - more than 6 spi
  • 54 rows = 7 inches - way more than 9 rpi

Pattern gauge:
  • 24 sts = 4 inches - 6 spi
  • 36 rows = 4 inches - 9 rpi
I liked the fabric I got with the 4 mm needles so I am going with that and making adjustments as needed to the garment so it fits. I will also measure the gauge after I have knit a bit of the garment to see if my gauge is different. It is slow going as there are a lot of sts but I am enjoying the process and in no hurry to finish it.

In this photo you can see the top of the shoulder and the front to the left, and the rest of the cardi bunched up on the right. I wanted to show you the raglan line treatment that I am doing. I am not following the pattern on this as I love this particular raglan line. I may also add some lace to the bottom to lengthen it but that is a decision for later. The color is lovely, the yarn is beautiful, it is relatively easy knitting and very relaxing for the summer.

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