While working on the last few rows of Rosarie's body my thoughts have turned to what I'll knit next. There are two sweaters in my stash that are calling to me, so I pulled out the yarn and decided to swatch. For small projects, like socks and (even) lace, no swatching is done. A sock is small enough that if it doesn't work you know quickly and can start again. But, for a garment that needs to fit and look right, a swatch is a must. I have also learned, the hard way, to wash the swatch the same way the sweater will be. This is especially true if the yarn is from a small grower/producer as yarn of this type is as 'real' as it gets and may change character when washed.
Cara asked if I'd knit the sweater Smith is wearing in Monday's post. Yes, I did...I knit it for ME! There are few knitters who haven't made a garment that turn out too big or too small for the wearer. This just happens to be my worst fitting project ever. It was also the first sweater I knit after taking a hiatus of several years from knitting more than socks or other small projects. I found the yarn while reading a profile of Beaverslide Dry Goods in Knitters Review, and just had to try it. The color I finally decided on was Chokecherry Heather and it arrived within a short period of time. Beaverslide has great customer service and fast shipping.
The sweater was from an older Rowan Magazine and it's knit in a large rib pattern (8x4 or something like that). Right after the swatch was finished I started to knit. The yarn was heavenly, luscious and soft. When the knitting was finished I tried it on and loved the sweater but, as I usually do after finishing a sweater, I washed it and found it really bloomed. In fact it GREW! It was so big I could hardly believe it was the same sweater. Even though it was big I wore it a few times until last year when I lost 25 lbs. It nearly drowns me and is impossible to wear comfortably. So, I had Smith try it on. He loved the color and style (thank goddess) and it fit perfectly, so he is now happy to have a warm and comfy sweater.
The main reason I brought up this sweater (other than Cara's query) is that I love the yarn and have yearned for more. The Neck Down Jacket, that I made as my Everyday Cardi, is also now much to big (I still wear it) and it's time to knit another simple cardigan. While checking the Beaverslide site last week I clicked "What's New" and found this gorgeous color. Kim, our StashAlong host, has given us Valentine's Day off so we can indulge ourselves if we feel the need for more yarn. I have been good and actually enjoyed not acquiring more for my stash. In fact, I've been giving some of it away and have a couple more items ready to knit. It feels good to have control of the big yarn desire (to some degree). Anyway, the Woods Rose has been on my mind and just won't leave. It wants to live at my place and grow up to be a lovely, warm cardigan. I'm up in the air as to whether I want to succumb or stick it out until April. What's a grrl to do?