Tuesday, January 3, 2006

A Swatchin' we will go

Here is what I did last night:
It is upside down because the FLAK sweater is knit top-down. I have not totally deciced whether this will be pullover or cardigan. If I go with a cardigan (my druther), I have already chosen an Enclosed Cable that is about half the size of the Baroque and with a similar center-knot detail that I can use for each of the fronts. I may have to tweak the number of filler stitches (more swatching) to make sure that the altered fronts knit up to the same measurements as the back. No problem!
(The detail pictures are shown as knit.)
Baroque cable on the right is my center motif. It is a very tightly cabled pattern, but I am loving it!! Even though I have not quite finished one repeat of the pattern you can get a good sense of what it's like.
Then we have a Seed Wishbone framed with a 1/1 Serpentine cable followed by an Alternating cable. I'm unsure if I like the Serpentine - I don't really like it in any width and don't know if I'm feeling it here. I even did a small swith part way up the right Serpentine to make these mirror each other. I don't know ... but if I take them out I don't know what I would put in.
I love the Alternating cable!! Just the last few rows I have taken out the single twisted knit stitch to the right of the Alt cable. I just felt like it was giving too muc
h of a compartmentalized look to the pattern.
On to the Lorgnette cable & the Braid cable. The Lorgnette cable on the right is a bit messed up - deliberately! I decided about 15 rows in that I wanted to mirror these 2 and even as anal as I am there was no way I was ripping out 1800+ cabled stitches!! This is a swatch, a learning tool, and I need to be able to reference what I don't like/doesn't work as well as what I do/does. This is what I am telling myself so that I don't go insane looking at a messed up bit. I am not sure that I am entirely pleased with the Braid cable (sorry Janet - I switched all of your other suggested cables, I thought that this one might be a keeper!). It just seems smallish - though perhaps that's because the L cables flanking it are too big - and tight. I know that this is a tight cable pattern, but again, it may be where I've place it but it just doesn't seem right. I may tweak it a bit from a Tight 5-rib to a Loose 5-rib. It has a purl stitch between the ribs to loosen it up and is cabled every 4th row rather than every other row. I also might change the knot in the L cable to more of a proper bobble. I'll see.

PLEASE let me know what you think!!! I may not agree with you or change anything but I would appreciate the feedback. Sometimes I get a sense that something isn't quite right but I don't know exactly how to change it. It may also be that the cable width proportions are out - although we (the FLAKers - that sounds like a bitchin' gang!!) are going to be calculating the cable swatch against our DFM (Desired Finished Measurements) and adding in the filler stich(es) to get what we need. So there may be additional rev st st or seed stitch in some places.

Before I continue with the swatch there is sewing to be done. I feed my children way too well as evidenced by their continued growth. Amanda needs pyjamas and I said "we (the Royal "we" meaning me) can make some cute ones". She picked right up on that and I have this: that is going to be turned into these:
The overall floral is going to be a
night dress and the other two will be the pyjama sets. I was going to make 2 plain pink bottoms but when I was opening up all of the fabrics for a pre-wash I noticed this!!
How old is this bolt of fabric? GDI. Now I have to go back and buy more. I was really hoping to make this some kind of assembly-line thing and be done with it in an afternoon. It's an easy pattern, not too many pieces & if I can convince Kyle to do the edge sewing I can even get some knitting done in between. We never had a serger and my mom always made us taught us to do an overlock stitch around all of the cut pieces so that they wouldn't unravel with washing & wearing. It stuck and I still always do it ... not that I sew a lot. I'll let you know how this goes - if you don't hear about it again then it's best you not ask.
I must say that "stitch'n save" is a bit misleading. I spent almost $80 on the pattern, fabric and notions. After factoring in my time, for 1 nightdress and 2 pairs of pyjamas this does not seem like "saving". LOL I guess it's like knitting - quality materials and workmanship, a one-of-a-kind FO and the joy of a gift well-received is why we do it. Wish me luck - there is no frogging in sewing!!!


  1. First off, I have no idea which cables are which, but I do love them all. Cables are, as you know, my new best friend ... that and top down baby sweaters. LOVE them! :)

    Those jammies are cute! I wish I could sew. I can kind of sew, but not really. I've been trying to find nightgowns for Lily for the summer, but do you think I can find anything in her size? Nope. Can't be found. If I could sew I could make her some ... I have an old old old old singer that was my grandmothers, which is operated via knee press and only does one stitch ... and I don't know if it works anymore, but it's pretty. It worked 12 years ago, and since bringing it here I haven't tried it because the wiring (to plug it it) is old and ratty and Michael won't let me plug it in (he's an electrician and when he says wiring is crap, I believe him!) ... Maybe someday I'll buy a new sewing machine and learn to sew. I think Rhonda could probably teach me. *lol*

  2. I like the Baroque and Lorgnette & Braid cable panels. I do not like the Serpentine and Alternating together. The Serpentine looks a little flat in comparison to all the other larger cable panels in the swatch. I would remove the Serpentine, shift the L&B cables to the right and then put another alternating on the other edge. So it would look like Alter-Lorg-Braid-Lorg-Alter-Baroque. Hopefully that made sense.

    How long did it take you to work up that swatch? I like cables but keeping up with all the charts is a pain.

  3. Love the cables. I'm a cable lover from way back but I don't think I have it in me to design for myself. It's just easier to find a pattern I like and make it.
    Samantha must think I have all the time in the world! There's not enough hours in the day for me to do all the knitting I would like, let alone sewing!!!! I still have a half finished quilt I need to get back to someday. Did you get your package from Julie yet, she gave me a bag of yarn last night with no pattern and said she has to put it on paper yet. Can't wait!

  4. This looks amazing. I love cable patterns but they take a lot of attention. You must have a lot!

    I just love those swirly "s" shaped things. They're beautiful.