April 21, 2005
This entry is a difficult one for me to write, and probably for you to fully understand, because I'll be talking about tactile things. Sometimes I wish there was another dimension to this blogging thing :).
I swatched for my Fibo, and it was not fabulous. Here's the breakdown:
Lang Jawoll, 75% wool, 18% polyamid, 7% acrylic, teal:
- Working with this yarn was awful! My one and only thought during the knitting process was, "There's no way I'm knitting an entire sweater with this stuff."
- The yarn felt stiff, like plastic, and split very easily. I suppose all worsted yarns have some tendency to split, but Jawoll didn't want to snap back into shape at all.
- At the gauge I'm aiming for, 28 sts/4 inches, the fabric is too loose and holey. This yarn has a semblance of normalcy when knit tighter, at 30 sts or more, but if I'm going to stoop down to that gauge, I might as well use the fabulous Baby Ull (I'm sorry, Betsy, I know you hate it).
- This yarn hurt my left elbow :(. I'm really freaked out by this... So far I've had no indication that my knitting is hurting my body in any way. Until now. I felt a nagging pain in my left elbow during and after knitting the Jawoll swatch. And it's now been 2 days since the swatching and the elbow still hurts, when I'm knitting and when I'm not!
- Oh, and did I mention the yarn is not colorfast? Evidence: the sink during blocking, filled with ice-cold water, and the now-ruined towel I used for swatch-drying. Sigh.
Jaeger Matchmaker 4-ply , 100% wool, strawberry:
- Working with this yarn was pretty good, I can see myself knitting an entire sweater out of it.
- Same as Jawoll, the fabric is too loose and holey at 28 sts/4 inches.
- A bigger problem is that the resulting fabric is stiff and has no drape.. If I hold the swatch by one corner, it just floats there, does not flop over, all stiff and stuff.
- I think this yarn will be too itchy for me, especially for the Fibo, which will have to be worn right next to the body.
- At least this yarn is colorfast! For the record, here's a picture of the swatch:
And so, the search for the perfect Fibo yarn continues. For the record, the pattern is written for a basic Rowan 4-ply wool. I can't imagine buying any yarn which I haven't touched myself, and seen the color card with my own two eyes. Yes, I'm being very picky, but I don't think I'm unreasonable because I also swatched with a fingering weight wool/alpaca blend that I have in my stash, and although the gauge is off (30 sts/4 inches), and the color is totally wrong (oatmeal), I did learn that the drape I desire is achievable. So, my mental list of Fibo yarn requirements is as follows:
- Fabulous, saturated colors.
- Gauge between 26-28 sts/4 inches.
- Excellent drape. If the yarn is 100% wool, it will need to be a heavier wool to basically buckle under its own weight. Most likely the Fibo yarn will need to contain some silk, alpaca, tencel, or other manmade fiber to achieve proper drape.
- Cotton blends are fine, and welcome, but 100% cotton is out because my left elbow said so.
- No mohair and no angora content.
- No doubling of lace-weight yarn because stringing beads onto one strand is painful enough.
I'm dealing with this roadblock by furiously knitting away my AV sweater. I'll post a picture next time.