Thursday, July 12, 2007

Swatching Rowan Summer Tweed

I get paid to go to meetings. I don't have to dress like a lawyer, but I should at least attempt to look professional. I'm DONE with suits. I won't wear one unless I absolutely have to. And I'm sick, Sick, SICK of blazers. So the challenge is to find clothes I like that still look professional.

I'm always looking for cardi/jacket patterns I can wear to work. For the most part I like clean lines and a tailored fit. Most people have a favorite sock pattern. I have a favorite jacket pattern - more of a formula really - that I can modify depending on the yarn at hand. That's what I used with the MaggiKnits Linen to make the linen jacket. (Granted, the tassels hid the clean lines on that one.)

While I contemplate my options, I've been swatching Rowan Summer Tweed. The yarn gets mixed reviews from other knitters. It's stiff and not easy on the fingers, but I like the hand and weight of the swatches so far.

I've swatched RST in plain old stockinette stitch,

seed stitch, and

in the stitch from the pattern called "My So Called Scarf."

I really like the stitch from My So Called Scarf because it lies flat and has a woven appearance. I made a jacket using that stitch and Malabrigo worsted weight merino that came out really well. (Dave's not here to take a pic for the blog. Sorry.) The problem with that stitch is that the cast off is wonky. I've experimented some but haven't been able to get a firm cast off using that stitch pattern. The fuzzy, stretchy, self-felting properties of the Malabrigo compensated for the wonky cast off, and the jacket turned out fine. However, RST is cotton and silk. It doesn't have those properties, and I'm afraid that if I attempt a jacket the shoulder seams will look bad.

To my surprise, RST knit in stockinette with size 7 needles gives a really nice hand. The fabric is lighter and airier (is that a word?) than I expected - which is what I'm looking for in a summer/early fall jacket. That could work. Now if I could just settle on a pattern...

Last night was Knit Nite. Vicky hosted the Knit Wits in her lovely garden. I got there late but it didn't begin to get dark until 9:20 p.m. or so, and it was nearly 10:00 p.m. by the time I got home. Ellenmarie began to seam a wool jacket she started last winter, I believe. She used my jacket pattern/formula and some amazing yarn she bought in Ireland. The knitted fabric is gorgeous, and when it's finished we're going to post pics and specs. I can't wait to see it.

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