Last week on Friday was a wonderful mail day - three skeins of Rowan Pure Wool 4ply in Eau de Nil arrived from a fellow Raveller, as well as a skein of Vintage and a skein of Debbie Bliss Rialto in shade 26 (the yellow). Having all of my materials assembled to make Nine Lives, I proceeded to swatch. And how do you swatch for a shawl? Well really, you just start knitting it. I have completed the plain stocking stitch section and am up to the first lace chart, but it's hibernation time for this as I have other things to work on (oh, the restraint!)
Here's something else I've been testing out: Annie Blatt Fine Kid which is a sport-weight/5ply blend of 51 per cent wool and 49 per cent mohair. It was on sale at Weaving Works and I found myself with five balls (that was all they had, ok). Now the question is, what to do with it? I know that many beautiful shawls are made with Rowan's Kidsilk Haze (which is actually somewhat finer) but I have a pretty full plate of shawls at the moment. I would actually like to make a garment with it, maybe just a short-sleeved raglan t-shirt, seamless, deep scoop neck to wear as a layer when it is cold.
So of course the next question is, what pattern? I'm thinking along the lines of Veera Välimäki's Folded or Lisa Richardson's Analise (seventh image down). Or maybe Kim Hargreaves Mae, but with sleeves. There are gauge issues and shaping issues and details issues with all of these though - Folded is seamless but the neckline is not deep enough; the neckline on Analise is great but the gauge and yarn are totally different and it is knit flat and seamed and not long enough; Mae is a lovely shape but doesn't have enough sleeve and is also not knit seamlessly.
The sensible response to this is indeed to just customise the pattern or develop my own. Hunh, just? That is way more thinking and maths than my brain is currently capable of. In fact, the prospect turns me right off knitting something which defeats the purpose. Any suggestions would be very welcome.
Oh and yes, the swatch there is done with 3.75mm needles and then 5mm needles (any excuse to use my Lantern Moon needles). The fabric is too loose on the these though and I found the fabric produced by the 3.75mm needles to be quite dense (although it was only 20 stitches to 10 centimetres).
Finally, the Filatura di Crosa Gioiello knit up into a 'swatch', also known as the beginnings of Carina Spencer's Whippoorwill. It won't be actually because on 4mm needles I found this fabric too loose. I'll try again on 3.5mm or 3.75mm. I tried striping it with a plain yarn - no, didn't like the effect at all and remain uncommitted to the Gioiello itself. I will need to see a larger piece of fabric before I decide whether that gold strand works or not. Again, your thoughts?