Maintaining project monogamy gives me a much better chance of finishing a project. So I am sticking to the Nanner socks, though I am dying to start another project. One issue with feeling this way is that I obsess over particular future projects so much that by the time I am ready to cast on for the next project I am sick of it. Irony, I has it. But there are always other projects-in-waiting. In the meantime, I swatched two new yarns. Swatching, for the muggles reading this, means knitting a small piece, either in basic stockinette or, if you have already chosen a project, in the stitch to be used in the project. This lets you decide what size needle you need to get the gauge the pattern calls for, to see if the fabric that results is good at that gauge, to see what it is like working with that yarn before casting on 200 stitches and knitting the hem on a pullover. Swatching is good, but there is a pattern of knitters hating to swatch, or skipping that step -- and then of course getting nasty surprises as they complete their projects. Like discovering that after washing the yarn stretches and your sweater is now 5 sizes too big. Because you always treat the swatch the way you intend to treat the finished project.
Anyway, another good reason to swatch is that it lets me work with another yarn while sticking to finishing the existing project. So yesterday I swatched two yarns:
This is Brooks Farm Yarns Acero, a gorgeous mix of wool, rayon and silk. The color is not as bright as in this picture -- imagine it a bit darker, heathery. Gorgeous. I like the fabric I got on a size 5 needle, and that means I like it at 6 stitches to the inch. That's the section on the left. See how useful swatching can be?
This yarn is Louisa Harding (the brand) Ianthe. 50% merino, 50% cotton, purchased at a great sale. Each section of that swatch was knit with different size needles, as a way of determining which fabric I like best. The one done on the largest needle (on the left) is of course the most drapey, but is it too loose? Will it stretch? The one done on the smallest needle is too stiff. So I will need to decide on either the middle or the top one. The white threads, by the way, are sales tags. I mark the sections with the size needle I used. No point in swatching without taking notes. Mystery swatches, I have them.
So while I have the two or three cardigan patterns I have been contemplating while finishing the socks, I also found this pattern today, which I like very much. And no sleeves, which makes it a fast project. Sleeves take up one third of the yarn in a sweater project, and go on forever when you are knitting them. So I began to shop for appropriate yarns...
As I was browsing online yarn selections, familiar names began to appear. So I left the computer and went to the yarn closet. It turns out that I have at least 5 batches of yarn -- in the right kinds of fibers, in colors I (of course) like, in the right weights -- sitting in the yarn closet waiting to be chosen. FIVE. In fact, make that six, because the Acero I swatched above would be great for this pattern. No yarn shopping for me. Probably for years. Maybe forever. In fact, I am going to pass up the 6th Annual Hill Country Yarn Crawl. During the crawl, you can either individually or on a bus visit 10 yarn stores from San Antonio to the northwest edges of Austin on east to Paige and New Braunfels, Texas. There are special events and door prizes and raffles. I have loved doing it on my own, when I did it by car, and I was thinking of doing it on the bus this year for the social part of it. But. I. must. not. buy. more. yarn. And I am not sure I could enjoy the trip without falling face first into something gorgeous. So it would be smarter not to go, right? Right?
But it would be fun to do the trip with other local knitters. Maybe I should do what my sister used to do before heading to Barnes and Noble: she put a $5 bill and her keys into a pocket, left her credit cards and checkbook home, frisked herself to make sure she wasn't carrying a mode of purchase, and only then let herself go to the bookstore. That might actually be a very good way for me to go on this trip.
I only have about an inch of the leg left to do on the second sock, and then some ribbing at the top. At that point I will post a picture of some finished blue and purple Nanners.