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!
photo by the wonderful Jeff Roland
This week's Malabrigo Quickie is one of my designs!
Ochos Locos can be worn as either a scarf or belt, and the super-bulky Aquarella works up super-fast.
I loved working with this yarn. It's so many of my favorite things: hand-dyed wool, thick-and-thin, fair trade . . . and gorgeous! The colors are amazing and I had a hard time choosing between them.
I settled on Indy which is described as "Brownish Golden Yellow, Greens, Wet Blues and Violets." Sounds like a walk through the forest after a good rain. The mix of colors looks like watercolors, blending beautifully and flowing into one another. Garter stitch enhances the blending.
Ochos Locos is written to use two balls of yarn at the same time, so you could easily use two different colors. The pattern includes special two-color instructions, as well as variations for rounder holes and longer holes. I had so much fun with this pattern, I couldn't resist cooking up alternate versions.
Thanks to Alex at Malabrigo for yarn support, and Jeff for photography.
The other yarn that came in the Malabrigo shipment is Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce and Terracota. I can't wait to see how this knits up.
The only Malabrigo yarn I've worked with until now is Malabrigo Lace, which is incredibly soft, sticks to itself easily, and comes in the usual Mal range of gorgeous colors.
This sock yarn is cuddlier than most machine washables. I wonder what method of superwashinization they use. Or maybe it's the sheep. Anyway, I'm letting this stay unwound until (at least some of) my deadline work!
This weekend was all about yarn. I got about a bushel in the mail from various sources. Some are secret, but I think I can tell you about the stuff that came from Malabrigo.
The first yarn I'd like to tell you about is the lovely Aquarella, a single ply super bulky wool with 10 "water colored" combinations. I got the "Indy" colorway, described as "brownish golden yellow, greens, wet blues and violets." It's absolutely gorgeous. I asked for two hanks, and as promised, the colors are very different on each.
The project I have in mind for them is perfect because it requires the knitter to use both at once. That's all I'll say about it for now, but I'm so excited about it I won't be at all surprised if I find myself naughtily swatching away at it, ignoring my earlier deadlines.
For one thing, this yarn is "thick and thin" which I love and rarely get a chance to work with these days. For another thing, the colors. And the softness, warmth, and inherent design excitement. And did I mention the colors?
Okay, look, I got carried away and will have to save the other Malabrigo lovelies for tomorrow. Until then . . .
Hi! I'm Kangath---
knit designer, musician, writer, and mother
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