The Expressive Creatrix (and Hobbyist)

{June 21, 2011}   So it begins

Swirl Quest 2011 officially began yesterday with the swatch!  Yep, true to my word, I started swatching last evening.  I started with the recommended US size 7 needles.  A few inches into it, I was getting a gauge of 18.5-19 stitches/4″, and the pattern gauge is 17 stitches/4″.  Yes, the yarn I’m using contains mohair and wool (in addition to the primary content of silk), so I expect it’ll bloom a bit with washing and drying, so perhaps it would’ve blocked out at the correct gauge, but . . . well, I guess I decided I’d try US 8s instead since I tend to knit on the tight size and often have to go up in needle size, so I frogged and am trying it again with the 8s.  We’ll see.

I must say I LOVE the Noro Silk Garden.  I’ve read that Noro is one of those “love it or hate it” yarns.  So far, I am firmly in the “love” group.   At first the slight scratchiness of the yarn put me off a bit, and the fuzzyness was a concern. I was worried that I would struggle with knitting with it like I did with the Crystal Palace Mini Mochi (which I attempted to use for my Harry Shawl but quickly gave up).  However, after a couple of rows, neither the feel nor the fuzzyness is a problem.  I’m told that the yarn will wash to a great softness, and I find that the fuzzyness doesn’t necessarily make the yarn hard to knit with.  In fact, it is very forgiving.  If you want crisp stitch definition, then obviously this wouldn’t be the yarn to use, but on a project like this and for a newbie knitter like myself, the yarn is wonderful at making “not so perfect” stitches not noticeable!  Yea!  I find the yarn is quick to knit with, and it seems to have a nice bounce with a good amount of give to it.  It also looks gorgeous knit up.  I can see why Noro has its legions of fans!

I am just so excited about this project. I’ve been kind of apprehensive about it, but it’s definitely do-able now. I know that.  The more I look through the pattern and instructions, the clearer my understanding.  Now that I’ve worked with the yarn, I know that the yarn isn’t going to give me difficulties.  And, at first I was a bit unsure as to exactly how to swatch (the pattern wasn’t clicking, and I have to do the swatch flat when the project is actually knit in the round), but upon some consideration, I figured it out.  It was a total “aha’ moment!  I love those.  This project is definitely going to be something I can do and something I will love doing!

So, that’s where I’m at.  I’ll be back to post the results of the swatching.


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