Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Swatch You Talkin' About Willis?

It is a universal knitting truth: Swatches lie.

Sometimes, though, swatches tell the cold, hard, inconvenient truth. Swatches say things like

"700 miles of stockinette in this color will make you look like a blotapatomus."


"This is not an appropriate yarn for a man's sweater."


"All the hard work of your beautiful cables will mean nothing after one wash."


"Surely you are not contemplating a knitted skirt for your rather amble hind end."

All sad, painful truths, none of which (thankfully) were uttered at my house this weekend.

In the case of this hemp swatch
the truth telling went something like this: "Dude, we are talking yarn investment here. Are you really prepared to make a $135 baby blanket?"

The hemp yarn is very nice. All the things I said about it before are true. When it comes right down to it, though, I am not prepared at the moment to make such a significant commitment of the yarn budget.

So I turned to the stash.

Cascade 220? Right out. (A [non-knitting] mother operating under "new baby" conditions cannot be trusted to insure the baby blanket doesn't felt.)

Dishcloth cotton? Nope, not this time. (Though there are baby bibs to make....)

Brown and black eyelash? Nope. Destined to be a hedgehog.

In the end, I knit several swatches and returned to a yarn that I have loved from the very first moment I held it in my hands. Yarn that, indeed, I knew I would love even before we met.Misti Alpaca's Pima Cotton Silk. So soft. So cushy. So full of good mojo from Kim and the International Scarf Exchange 3. So doesn't require a $135 investment. My only concern (and it is a minor concern) is that it wants to shed a little when I am knitting with it. I noticed that before, too, when I was making Kim's scarf but one good trip through the wash seemed to remedy that so I'm not going to worry about it.

I have decided to stick with the plan to do the Moderne Baby Blanket from Mason-Dixon Knitting. Of course, this yarn knits to a very different gauge and on larger needles than the pattern calls for and will thus be a version of the Moderne Baby Blanket, but the adjustments should be pretty straight forward. I am very happy with this plan.

All that remains is making a decision on the palette. They are having a baby girl but I have decided against the pales and the pinks. I've decided springy and warm and still feminine. (I've borrowed these color pictures from the Misti Alpaca site.)

Option 1: Black, Lavender, Eggplant, Buttercream

Option 2: Black, Kiwi, Buttercream, EggplantWhat do you think?

Before anyone asks, yes, I have already made up my mind about the black. I know conventional wisdom and tradition dictate that a baby blanket should be black-free but I am throwing caution to the wind here. (And, yes, I realize how that statement reflects the absence of much excitement in my life.)

Today's Quote:

“Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before.” Edgar Allan Poe


Laura said...

Oh nice! I like the second palette. And so... how many skeins will it take? Four?

I'm planning a baby blanket (my design) but I haven't truly got the slightest idea how much yarn it's going to take???

Leslie said...

I'm with Laura - the second palette. The kiwi keeps it from sleeping.

Kniterella said...

I'm voting with the majority - the second palette. Also, as lucky recipient and frequent user of that wonderful scarf, it is a fabulous choice. The weight is perfect and so soft - I have not noticed shedding either!

FFC said...

Well, I can agree to the use of this type of yarn as long as you don't knit in my car with it. I am still finding blue and black fuzz from Kim's scarf in my car and house.

I like the second option better. There would be to much purple in the first one that I know you woulnd't like it. Plus, I am a sucker for kiwi. But I am not sure I like the Buttercream. Maybe I need to see these in person.

Also, I love that you finally put pics of "yarn buts" on your website. I giggled and giggled and they still do look like "butt openings." (I was trying to put it nicely) :P

verylisa said...

I like the kiwi version. And if I ever had another baby, it would be excellent to have some black in a baby blanket. Not all black (unless you're a New Zealander), but certainly a hefty dose of it is cool.

RC said...

#2 ! must have that bit of kiwi or it will be too purpley
I'm undecided about the black even though you have made up your mind...hhmmm

how about something from knitpicks? superwash? great prices!

RobynR said...

heh. Majority rules! I too like the second colourway.

FYI the first hand made baby blanket I ever gave anyone was a beautifully crocheted forest green/aubergine/cream blanket that my then boyfriends mother made on my behalf. It was beautiful and not at all "baby" like. The now seven year old recipient still uses it.

Rhett said...

SECOND! oh those are such CUTE colors. I want to make a blanket with them too - and you can see the softness from here! Too much fun. :)