As some of you may know, I've been conducting a wee test of my Frosted Espresso Cardigan, which publishing rights have reverted back to me and I'll be releasing it once the test is complete. This cardigan is comprised of two different lace patterns - one very open (on the upper sleeves and back) and a puff-based design along the sleeve bottoms and front/neck. This design was intentional - my goal was to have pretty lace in the back and something slightly warmer in the front and along the sleeve openings, where (at least I) find that a little extra warmth is a good thing. For the sample, I used a duo of Rowan yarns held together: Rowan Fine Art (with a fiber makeup of: Merino Wool: 45%, Mohair: 20%, Silk: 10%, Polyamide: 25%), and Rowan Kidsilk Haze which is 70% Mohair and 30% silk. It produced a great looking sample. (Go here to see my previous blog entry about the Rowan yarns.)
Because two different lace/patterns are used, gauge is important, as well as good blocking abilities. I've provided photos of my two original swatches (and I do apologize for the less than spectacular shots, but you get the idea).
I wanted the back and upper sleeve lace sections to open up when blocked. Because of the fair amount of wool content in the Rowan Fine Art, not only did my sample swatches block nicely, but there's still some give to both of them (although, admittedly, I was more aggressive with the lace swatch than the puff-based swatch).
|Andean mist from my stash in colorway Chaiten|
Fast forward to now, and one of my testers has brought to my attention that perhaps more of the open lace repeats should be included in the pattern, since she really needed to block the h&%# out of her shrug ("to within an inch of its life" were her exact words). While I am willing to tinker (and have pursuant to her request), I do feel this is also a case of even though one achieves gauge (which my tester did with the Andean Mist and an H hook), that perhaps a fiber with some wool in it might have behaved better for her, and I have photos of a little test I did to illustrate the point ... which I'll share in the second installment of this blog post, which will occur in a few days. Stay tuned.