I have a new design in the works: Barn Door Pullover. This saddle-shoulder sweater will feature the large X seen on many barn doors emblazoned on its front in traveling rib. The saddles, cuffs, and collar are a combination of seed stitch and twisted rib.
After much deliberation, I chose Malabrigo Mecha for this design. It's a little weightier than I originally conceived for Barn Door, but it meets my requirements of color (Malabrigo rocks!) and responsibility (I try to feature fair-trade and/or organic yarns in my designs).
For color choice, I narrowed it down to Archangel or Volcan. Archangel is a medley of eggplant and roasted carrot with all the intermediary shades plus occasional pale glimmers of cream and celery. Volcan is a melange of browns---chocolate, chestnut, caramel, and ginger. While both are beautiful, I've been longing to work with Archangel for a long time, so that's what I chose. Then came the choice of needle size.
I decided to start with the needles I already owned: US sizes 9, 10 1/2, and 13 (5.5, 6.5, and 9 mm). Although lovely, none achieved the result I was after. I had been warned that Mecha was not as thick as many chunky yarns, and this proved true. So I doubled the yarn to see what would happen.
Instantly the dimensionality improved. I bought some new needles and tried the motif in US sizes 15, 17, and 19 (10, 12, and 15 mm). As you can see, the smallest needles yield a rather firm result and the largest swatch is too loose. The middle size, while not quite Goldilocks-perfect, has potential.
Since this yarn is hard to match from skein to skein even within the same dye lot, I will be knitting in the round. My gauge tends to be a little tighter in the round, so I imagine the middle swatch, which seems a tiny bit loose to me, will be just right in the final version. The next step is to knit a swatch in the round with the middle size needles. I say middle size, but for someone used to working with US sizes 000 - 2, these suckers are huge.
I get the feeling that once these preliminaries are sorted out, the sweater will fly off my needles!
Hi! I'm Kangath---
knit designer, musician, writer, and mother
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