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29 January 2013 @ 07:15 pm
Actual Yarn Content  
Four of the swatches I'm going to need to submit are supposed to be done with the same yarn and same size needles, basically as a set - and it struck me that these four swatches would be a pretty good diagnostic.

Seed stitch. Nice and even. When I hold it up to the light there's only one "hole" that seems bigger than the others, maybe two. Given that this is my first shot at the seed stitch swatch, and most people seem to have more trouble with it than with any of the others, that's probably a pretty good sign. The catch is: I seem to have cast on too loosely. There's visible gaps between the cast-on row stitches, and the purl bumps that were made from those stitches are a little lumpy.

Stockinette stitch, back side of swatch. The big problem here - if you look at the edge of the swatch that's towards the top of the photos, there's these vertical lines running through it. Oddly, these go away as you get towards the other end of the swatch - there must be something funny about how I tension my yarn near the beginning of the row? Also, my 1x1 ribbing could probably be a little less sloppy, but if you knit your ribbing on the same needles as your stockinette stitch it will always look sloppy by comparison. All things considered this may be perfectly cromulent 1x1 ribbing.

Garter stitch. My garter stitch is awesome. It is all purls rather than all knits but I don't think that will make a difference. What is not awesome is the 2x2 ribbing at the bottom of the swatch / right of the screen: the second stitch of each pair is really loose. Advice on fixing this varies from "Try Combination knitting" to "Yank just a bit as you switch from knit to purl" to some techniques from TechKnitter that seem to involve running that stitch down and laddering it back up with a crochet hook.

Horseshoe cable. Just a big mess - I don't think those holes are supposed to be there, nor the vertical lines down the middle of each cable. I was using a really skinny cable needle and I wonder if that threw me off - I should see if I can find a standard DPN a couple sizes smaller than the needles I'm knitting with. Also, same problems with rowing out at one end of the stockinette stitch and loose stitches at the knit-to-purl transition, but even worse.

So. That's where I am. Let's see where I can get to...

...also, I've started writing the research paper. I have several paragraphs on Putting Thy Knits Into Storage For Ye Summer. I got distracted researching moth repellents - the good news is that there are, indeed, some proven ones, but the bad news is that they're also human repellents. The ultimate takeaway might be "If you like lavender and/or cedar, go ahead, won't hurt anything, your knits will come out of storage smelling like something other than musty sheep, but they're not miracle cures."
Current Mood: intimidatedintimidated
stitchy_stitchystitchy_stitchy on January 30th, 2013 02:12 pm (UTC)
Not really - all these swatches have been blocked. I didn't stretch the ribbing out at all, which might have helped the 1x1 a little, but the standard for the swatches is that the ribbing should be relaxed.

If you're knitting with wool, though, you really can block stockinette stitch to stop curling.