Gonna start me a new project because it WON'T STOP SNOWING and the lack of sunlight is slowly driving me crazy. So here's the details:
I've had in my posession (for YEARS, mind you) a huge bag of 13 balls of KnitPicks Andean Silk yarn in Chocolate, which is a gorgeous color. Originally I had planned to make a sweater I'd seen in Interweave, and it was beeeautiful with a cable running diagonally up the front and around to make the collar and it was just...yeah. There were, however, a few problems with this plan.
1) I'd picked out this sweater because it was in a section about larger-sized garments and curvy knits and such, and while I am still extremely curvy, I have actually lost quite a bit of weight since originally seeing said pattern and it probably wouldn't work out.
2) The yarn, while totally gorgeous, is about Half Alpaca, with the rest of it being made up by Silk and Merino. And many of the comments on the ravelry warn unscrupulous knitters to wash their damn swatches before they make a whole honking sweater out of it, because this stuff GROWS. handy-dandy Knitter's Book Of Yarn backs them up on this, since both alpaca and silk have very little memory.
3) The original pattern I'd looked at was, horror, piecemeal. This was before I'd gotten to the circus-tent realization about that cardigan from days of yore that took up almost the entire dining room table after we'd washed the pieces. Basically I never want to knit anything flat and have to seam it again. Because that blows.
SO: a new pattern was found, one that has a similar style but is, importantly, seamless and available for free on the interwebs instead of in a back issue of interweave that I'd have to track down. I'm going to be knitting Amused, which is gorgeous and by some miracle of science and magic is, judging by the Rav project pictures, a raglan sweater that is flattering on busty ladies like myself. GASP! it's awesome!
Still though, that is a lot of cables, and cables can make Andean Silk droopy (droopier?) so I am swatching the hell out of this yarn. The pattern calls for a gauge of 16sts and 24 rows/4" and unlike the pattern, I could not nearly get that with size 9 needles. I got it with size 8 needles though, BUT!! just because I am paranoid, I added a panel to the swatch with 7s, and I am washing it as we speak and then we'll see how much this sucker grows, and whether I should knit this sweater with 7s or, gasp, something even smaller. I'm thinking that'll be the case.
Additionally I'm going to be knitting the small size rather than medium, and I may have to modify it as I go if the yarn is going to grow so much. I'm taking precautions. But I feel good about it, overall, and I can't wait to get started. the yarn is BUTTERY SOFT and the shine is just...ugh. gorgeous. it'll make a lovely sweater.
UPDATE: washed and dried, the gauge on the section knit with 7s is 14 sts/4" OH JOY. Soooo I've unraveled that and I will simply have to do another swatch, this time with size 6 tips. Perhaps that and a section with 5s, just in case. god, sweater. You will be so worth it. but this is...tedious. Ounce of preparation, and all that. siiiiigh. onwards. In the meantime, gonna work on Triinu some more.