Public Service Announcement: Your swatch doesn’t count if you don’t block it.
Remember the photo of the swatch I showed you last time? Take a look at it after a little soak!
Totally different beast (with a whole stitch per inch difference in gauge). If I’d started the project without blocking the swatch, the finished project would have been way way way too big. I also feel like blocking the swatch helped me decide which color to go with (which was proving unreasonably challenging when I was just staring at the yarn).
- February 5, 2016
- tags: space cadet
The other day I had an idea. It led to swatching (always a good step). Then came an email to Stephanie (of SpaceCadet fame) with a bit of a plan. We’re still working on a few of the details but a plot is now definitely afoot.
Yarn showed up (the gray is Cressida in Dark Skies, the pink-y orange is Capella in Tantrum and the purple-ish blue one is Capella in Molten Cool).
Every now and then I find a yarn that knows a special magic trick. It somehow manages to be more than one color at once. I don’t mean more than one color over the length of the yarn (that’s easy enough). I mean more than one color at any given spot in the yarn. Sort of like this.
(This is surprisingly hard to show, so you can click to see a bigger version of the picture if you want to peer at it a bit more closely.) See how it all seems to have a base color (whether that’s purple or blue or teal), but then there’s also a sort of secondary color (I read it as a very reddish purple, but accounts differ) that carries across all of it? You can see it most on the sort of haze of fibers that stick up off the surface of the yarn.
You can see it even more clearly if you untwist the plies and look at them individually. See how the primary color is sort of a lovely teal, but just at the edge of kinks (the spots that were on the outside of the strand when it was all twisted up) you can see just a tiny hint of that purple business?
It’s kind of magic. I swear every time a yarn does this I end up loving it. So two questions. First, dyers, how the heck do you guys do that? Do you dye the regular stuff first and then toss it back in to the haze color for a quick second go? I’m terribly curious.
Second, do you guys know of any yarns that do this? Skeinny Dipping does it sometimes, as does Blue Moon Fiber Arts. But by far the most consistent one I’ve found is String Theory (and I think it’s part of why I love them, that’s their Caper Aran up there). But there must be others. And you guys have got to know way more yarn than I do so…point me towards it!
You know how, when you’re knitting, there’s always a little voice saying ‘you know, you could also try it this way…?’ But you never get to really indulge that voice because if you did, you’d never actually finish anything? Well, Changeful are my attempt at indulging that inner voice!
But as charming as that is, sometimes you don’t actually want to knit the same thing for a whole sock. And there just happened to be a couple of points where you could clip the zig-zag and transition nicely into a rib. One like this if you were feeling the stockinette vibe.
And thanks to an awful lot of help from Stephanie over at SpaceCadet, I could play with all three versions. That’s her Oriana in all the socks and it’s the perfect choice for these. The structure of the yarn (a zillion teeny tiny plies) gives you beautiful stitch definition which really makes the cables pop. And of course you know I love all her amazing colors!
Changeful was initially available only as a little goody for folks who preordered Fine Things, but now it’s out and available to everyone! If you, too, like the idea of playing with some variations on a theme, you can use the code INDECISIVE to get a dollar off the price through the end of the day Friday.
There was just enough yarn left after I finished the first cowl that I couldn’t quite justify letting it go to waste. So I figured I’d play a nail-biting game of yarn chicken and see if I could squeak a shorter cowl out of what I had left.
Totally worked! Much more of a ‘light chill’ version (as compared to the first one’s ‘arctic blast’ rating), but still totally the sort of thing that lives happily in a coat pocket for when you find yourself wanting a little something warm.
Oh and if you’ve been waiting, Changeful will be available to everyone tomorrow (they were initially exclusive to folks who preordered Fine Things). If you want a heads up (and a shiny coupon) when they come out, be sure you’re on the mailing list. Someone always asks, so full disclosure, the discount code the mailing list gets is different/bigger than the one I post here, so do sign up if you want the extra spiffy one.