|"A New Design in Cable Stitch,"|
This idea has led me to the need for a new sweater. Actually, it's the Victoria and Albert Museum's fault--they have made available on their website a number of historic knitting patterns, and there's a darling little cabled cardigan pattern than ran in Women's Weekly in July, 1940. This could be a stunner--knit out of the right yarn, I not only could wear it for WWII "homefront" reenacting but, paired with flannel or tweed slacks, I'd have a nice outfit for vintage "tweed" rides in the winter and spring months. The only downside to this pattern--it's completely unredacted. This means some serious measuring, swatching, and calculating to turn the pattern from a nice little Size 9 sweater into something that will fit my more generous proportions.
The pattern gives me a few clues to work from:
- Needle Size: "Size 8 and Size 12 steel pins"
- Gauge: "8 stitches to the inch with Size 8 pins"
But wait--there's more information! The gauge is 8 stitches to the inch with 4mm needles. Normally, 4mm needles are recommended for DK/light worsted knitting yarns, with 21-24 stitches in a 4-inch piece of stockinette; however, I don't think it would be possible to knit 1x1 ribbing out of DK on 2.75mm needles. I know 2.75mm needles really well, as they are the needles I normally use for knitting socks. Dropping down to a sport-weight yarn would increase the number of stitches per inch on the 4mm needles; additionally, I know from experience that it's possible to knit fine ribbing with sport-weight yarn. So, I need a sport-weight yarn that is readily available, reasonably priced, not too scratchy, and in a color I like.
Ravelry to the rescue! Ravelry has a large database of yarns, so it's pretty easy to put in some parameters and start searching for likely candidates. Most of my usual "go to" yarns are not eligible: Malabrigo Arroyo and Blue Moon STR Medium don't come in solid colors; Nature Spun Sport is scratchy; Cascade 220 Sport is too heavy; Gems Sport is too expensive. A couple possibilities: DROPS Baby Merino, and Cascade Heritage 150. Both are Merino (not scratchy), readily available, not outrageously expensive, and come in a wide variety of possible colors. I'll think about these as I do some preliminary swatching.
CURRENTLY OTN: The second of a pair of blue and green striped stockings, knit out of Louet Gems sock yarn that was hand-dyed with indigo and mullein. After this, I'm done with socks and stockings for a while, as I've also knit 2 additional pairs of socks since the beginning of June.