Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Damson: Yarn Selection

Hi, everyone! Since Damson is the first pattern in the collection, we'll be casting on for it tomorrow. Claire, Lindsey, and I will be knitting this pattern, so feel free to join in! First, I want to talk a bit about yarn selection. One of the great advantages to Ravelry is that you can click on the "yarn ideas" tab on any pattern for some inspiration. Malabrigo Sock, Dream in Color Smooshy, and Madelinetosh Sock are all popular options because they're soft, bouncy 100% merino yarns. Here's what you should consider:
  • Gauge. This pattern was written for a fingering weight sock yarn. Some laceweight yarns may work, but you might end up with a smaller shawl or a more open look.

  • Fiber content. This choice affects two major components: size and drape. Wool yarns (especially merino) are a great option because they block well while having some stitch memory. Sock yarns work well here. This is the perfect opportunity to explore luxury sock yarns that are blended with cashmere, alpaca, or even silver! 100% cotton and alpaca yarns have the tendency to grow a lot, so be careful when using them.

  • Softness. It seems obvious, but the yarn's hand is super important, especially in a project that will be touching your neck. Try rubbing your yarn on your neck and the inside of your wrist to see how it'll feel.

Somehow, Claire, Lindsey, and I all decided on the same yarn without even discussing it: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light. It's an incredibly soft single-ply merino yarn with an excellent drape, so it'll be great for this pattern. Here are our color choices!

Tosh Merino Light

The one disadvantage is that the put up recently changed from 440 yards (the amount required for the pattern) to 420 yards, so we'll have to get a little creative. There are basically 3 options for us: make the body in stockinette instead of garter, do fewer pattern increases, or use more yarn (either the same yarn or a contrasting color). We'll each let you know which changes we're making as we go along. I can't wait to cast on and share my progress!

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Pre-Game Show

Welcome to our Whimsical Little Knit-Along blog - we're a group of knitterly friends who like to go to brunch and talk about all things knitting because we just can't stay away from the topic. We talk in what must seem like code about MadTosh yarn and favorite patterns, and feel no shame in bringing out our knitting to work on as we drag out brunch as long as possible.

Sadly, however, our little group is getting a bit splintered and I wanted a way to keep our knitting connection alive, so it is with a common love for the designer Ysolda Teague and her many beautiful designs that we are embarking on a blogging knit-along through the pattern book Whimsical Little Knits 2. The patterns are all small accessories that seem perfect for summer knitting and a great way to use up some stash (or an excuse to enhance it further...) You'll be hearing from all of us over the next few months as we share our yarn choices, progress, pictures, and any helpful hints about the projects. I'm particularly hopeful that as the instigator of this project I'm able to keep up - my knit-along track record would suggest otherwise but I'm excited nonetheless!

Tune in tomorrow for our inaugural yarn post as we start on the first pattern of the knit-along: Damson!

Thank you to Ysolda Teague and her associate Sarah for giving us permission for this blog - we're really excited about making it great and appreciate the opportunity!