Mrs. McSwatchyPants

Some yarns require more whispering than others.  When you start with one named "Quite Contrary" it should be evident that you are in for a challenge.  I know that I want this to become a sweater.  And I know that I want it to have lots of texture.  Beyond that, I don't know what I'm going to learn. Join me on my journey of Swatchitude!

  Swatch 1

Swatch 1

I started small.  This is the same cable I just used on my Japanese pullover, so I thought it would be fun to see what it would look like at a smaller gauge.  I could tell immediately that the scale was too little for a sweater, and the cable definition was totally lost in the complicated yarn.  But I did like what the holes were doing for the yarn.

  Swatch 2

Swatch 2

So then I made more holes.  Still combined with cables, and still too small, but more holes were even better.  This would be great for a sock.
 

  Swatch 3

Swatch 3

Then I went for acreage.  I wanted a better feel for how the stripes would repeat, and since they are horizontal, I introduced a strong vertical influence, both with arrows, and with fatter cables.  I also played with letting the cable splay be part of the design, which effect I always love.  After blocking this, though, it felt like there was too much space between elements, and the textures were at war with the pattern in the yarn, rather than working together.

  Swatch 4

Swatch 4

I decided I needed to bend those horizontal bands of color.  The stitch pattern is still obliterated by the yarn pattern, and the scale is still not robust enough, but it felt like I was getting closer.  I really liked the wave effect, and the holes, and the scallopy edge.

  Swatch 5

Swatch 5

This one combines cables and lace and bendy stripes, Oh, My!  There's a lot going on here, but it seems more cohesive to my eye.  I like the way the purl bumps highlight the sparkly silk, while they also seem to hold the holes open.  If only I didn't dislike knitting Garter rows so much.  And the scale is still not quite there.

  Swatch 6

Swatch 6

Here's one without the garter rows, and at a larger, better scale for a sweater.  The sparkle is not as great as with the garter bumps, and the holes are not as open, but it is a lot more fun to knit.

Weigh in, Gentle Readers!  Which is your favorite?