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The Muse speaks (gauge) April 2, 2013

Every year, it seems, in early winter, I get spring fever.

A little early you might ask?

Perhaps, but this is the time my little knitting Muse begins whispering in my ear and it seems I keep having visions of filigree and eyelets and lovely lace…

Maybe seeing party wear is a trigger. Holiday fashion is more daring, more elegant, more bare…

And I almost always want to make a shawl. And sometimes, I’ve tried.

But it’s been proven over & over in my KIP basket that these lanquish and run out of steam for me.

It seems I prefer something with shoulders – still a cover-up but still slightly sheer and fancy.

Such was the case with BRYNNA.

This would be a piece that would look lovely on most figures over a dress (or top) and be open enough not to be too heavy – a great transitional piece, an easy take-along for travel.

Choosing the yarn for Brynna was a lot of fun!

Chic Knits Brynna

on the top of the mannequin:
Citrine then Turquoise HEMPATHY

from l. to r. clockwise on the body:
Golden Rod MERLIN SPORT; (top) Granite SILKY WOOL; (bottom) Driftwood LINSEY; Curry SERENA; more Turquoise HEMPATHY

For many openwork designs, a range of similar yarns can bridge conventional gauges.

The gauge for this style is 5.5 sts per inch (DK) but some of these yarns are either sport or light worsted.

For this type of fabric in this style, we’re looking for slight drape and openness, with good stitch definition.

The best stitch definition was the LINSEY yarn – but as you can see, it produces a larger swatch, with equal cast on. Very nice body too, would love to find this blend in a DK. (But no worries, it’s now morphed into a different design. Swatches ALWAYS earn their keep here at Studio Chic Knits!)

The HEMPATHY (used in the pattern photos) was wonderful for this design. It is a blend of hemp, cotton, and modal (synthetic) that has all of the characteristics from above, with the addition of a slight sheen that makes it look a little more formal, a little more “dressy”.

Currently, on my needles, is a Brynna wip using the SERENA yarn. It is a blend of baby alpaca and cotton that is lovely! Because of the alpaca’s halo, this sportweight can function as a bridge gauge – that is, instead of 6 sts per inch, it can be knit at 5.5 sts per inch, easily. The cotton gives it the stitch definition, the alpaca gives it body.

So, the bottom line is, start with yarns that have the characteristics described above in the DK range, but if you find a sportweight you love, swatch over the lace pattern to see if it delivers the goods: gauge, hand & body. Double your fun!

One response to “The Muse speaks (gauge) April 2, 2013”

  1. Melissa says:

    Oooh I love the swatches!, pretty enough to even adorn towels or as edging for plain tees or tanks!. Beautiful photo! ^_^

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