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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mainly Swatching

Do you swatch? I never used to. I know every pattern says 'knit a tension swatch' but I, like most knitters, never used to. As a designer and teacher I always say: 'You must swatch'. As a designer a swatch is an essential tool. It allows you to see if the stitch pattern, yarn and needle size work together. It's a chance to try out different shaping methods and elements of the design you might be sure about. Editors need to see swatches to decide if they want to commission your design or not. And most importantly, designers need a swatch to  measure tension to help them grade the pattern. So this weekend I did some swatching. I swatched for several new designs. I swatched and I frogged. In the end I had very little to show for my efforts but what I did have was mostly good. Then Monday and Tuesday I did more swatching. I can't share any of it though. It's all top secret for now.

Between swatching, mainly when we  were out and about I did some rows on my Simplicity shawl. It was a lovely, easy, relaxing knit after last week's slightly complicated design and this weekend's swatching.

Some lovely stuff arrived in the post on Saturday. Some bags from Split Yarn. The pink houndstooth bag is small enough to pop into my handbag and will hold one sock or other small project. at the moment it's holding my Simplicity shawl.

The little one in front now contains my colouring pencils. Yes, I use them to colour in my sketches sometimes. I've got a tiny one in the same design as the front one which I use for my painkillers in my handbag.

the other surprise parcel which arrived on Saturday was this gorgeous fibre from Sweet Georgia.
It's the February Fiber club installment. I love it. The colours a gorgeous and I love the BFL/SILK blend. I'm desperate to start spinning it but I've not finished my purple 'Painted Tiger' fibre yet. I'm working on it though. yesterday, at Spin A Yarn, I got some merino fiber in the same bright pink colour as the SG fiber and i'm thinking about spinning each batch into singles and then ply them together so I end up with 200gr of one ply BFL/silk and one ply merino.

I wasn't sure if I could talk about this yet but as Jeni has posted about it on her blog I will. Jeni from Fyberspates has asked me to design a wedding shawl to go with her special Royal Wedding deal. she's doing a skein of luxury lace yarn in a colour to match the engagement ring to commemorate the wedding.  I'm really excited about this commission and it's one of the designs I was swatching for this weekend and the one I ended up frogging and redoing. I'm almost happy with it now, just a few small adjustments to make and final approval from Jeni.

Today, I've finally cast on for a design in Manos del Uruguay's new yarn, Serena. this will be launched here in the UK in March and I'm doing 4 designs to go with this gorgeous yarn. I've dyed some yarn today. I had planned to do some last Friday but that never happened and Monday I was busy writing patterns. But today I dyed some more Twinkletoes, Merino Plus TWIST and a few skeins of Royal Lace in some really rich, saturated colours. I'm hoping I may get some of them dry to go on the website tomorrow afternoon/evening.  Watch this space!


Sea said...

Must belovely to just have to knit for your work :)
Mind you...I do get to help kids cooking in my job, so it's not all bad..

Dori said...

How exciting that you're doing a shawl for Jenni! I'm getting her special wedding yarn, so I'll have to get the shawl too.

Gorgeous fibre. Have fun spinning it.

Jheral Tinzy said...

I usually only swatch if it's a garment and size is crucial.

Congrats on your new commission! I've been tempted several times to sign up for the Wedding yarn and now I think I'll give in :-) I attended one of Jeni's dyeing workshops at Get Knitted - it was inspiring and so much fun.