Swatching for Amanda

Feeling like a person showing up to a party at 3am, here I am joining the Fringe Association knit long.  It took me forever to get the right yarn but when it was here, I was prepared.

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I chose to knit with Berroco Ultra® Alpaca in light gray.  I wanted something soft with a gracious halo and also something that I could wear against my skin… I am still testing what I am sensitive to.

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I swatched the honeycomb patter on 4.5mm needles and got gauge. Started on 4mm as I am a really loose knitter but found the yarn less springy than the Madelinetosh I knit with before. The pattern is tight to knit, but using the cable-less knitting technique was quick once I got a hang of it.

One aspect of Amanda that I wanted to change was the center cable on the spine.  The original design had a long braid down the center and the diamonds isolated with slipped stitched felt a bit siloed and didn’t hit the mark for me in making the pattern cohesive.

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I had recently received a copy of Kazekobo’s 200 Favorite Knitting Patterns in the mail and right on page  68 I found the solution to my dilemma. Yes, the book is in Chinese, but it’s so highly and wonderfully illustrated that you really don’t need to worry that you won’t understand it.

So I restructured the back pattern.  I set up a template in Illustrator, creating all the symbols and snapping to a set grid made the pattern creation quick.  I was wondering at this point if the different types of moss stitches would not work together. However, it was actually kind of magical to paint with the stitched, but now, the moment of truth… so what did that look like in real life?

I didn’t swatch the whole back, just the right side of the back, showing a bit of the honeycomb, slipped stitch, diamond and the changed back braid.

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I have to say I really love this result.  The whole back will feel more cohesive and integrated. The only one issue I did notice that the changed braid will have to be worked on the WS of the work.  The yarn needs to be slipped in front and the cable is done with purls.  However, on the positive side, the cable rows are not as tight, unlike when you do them all on one row.

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Now, onward to the sleeves!

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