Ok, so I do like to swatch with new yarns, just to get an idea of how they knit up, what sort of fabric they create, what the gauge is with a particular needle size. I wouldn't quite say that I find swatching joyous but I have had the garment Joy buzzing around like a bee in my bonnet for a long time now. So I decided to just swatch up for it, in the yarn that I would like to use, following the chart, in the shape of a sleeve, just to see how it turns out.
So, I've got a sleeve and I'm calling this one finished for the moment.
The Vital Statistics
Pattern: Joy by Kim Hargreaves from the Rowan publication Vintage Knits.
Size: Bizarrely enough, I knitted the xs size sleeve and it seems to be just fine for me.
Yarn: This is recycled yarn, 80 per cent wool and 20 per cent cashmere, a purple/russet/burgundy tweed - it truly depends on the light. I recycled it from a Talbots twin set that I bought at Goodwill in Tukwila - a long sleeve cardigan and a short-sleeve top so no worries about there being enough yarn - hooray!
Needles: 3mm bamboo straights.
Start to finish: 19 August 2009 to 17 October 2009.
Comments: The major change that I made to this knit (like many other knitters) is that I didn't use beads on it. The original calls for some 5000 small beads to be placed to form the chevron pattern. No thank you - how onerous to knit, how heavy, how expensive and how would you wash it. Instead I purled on the right side (where the bead shoul have been placed) and knit on the wrong side. The resulting chevron pattern is evident but subtle. I really like the effect.
Verdict: I'm very happy with this sleeve and I am putting it away for the moment. I haven't even yet compared it to one of my favourite commercially produced cardigans to check the sleeve cap size. I know that the sleeve is long enough and wide enough because I knit it that way. I have concerns about how a size extra small sleeve cap would fit into a medium size front and back if that was what I ended up knitting for torso fit. But that's all for later.