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!

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