Best. Swatch. Ever.

Best. Swatch. Ever.

You all know I’ve had Channel on the brain (and the approved knitting list!) since trying it on back in March, but my fever escalated around the time of Squam. I was packing for that trip, knowing it would be cool nights and mornings, and was shocked to have nothing suitable: no sweatshirt and only super wooly sweaters that I could not bring myself to put into a suitcase in June. What I wanted and needed was my Channel cardigan — the one I’m planning to knit in this fantastic O-Wool Balance, which is an organic, washable, cotton-wool blend that knits up into a light, airy, not-too-warm fabric. I.e., the perfect all-seasons cardigan. I have two more trips this summer that all but require this sweater, except of course the sweater does not yet exist. But behold my swatch! The best swatch of all time.

I wanted to practice the charted stitch pattern, and particularly the English Rib portion, which is a little conflictingly described in the pattern. The chart includes the two ribbed sections and the chevrons in between, and I added five stitches of moss stitch on each end, since that’s what happens in the sweater. However, gauge for the sweater is actually given over moss stitch, not the charted stitches, so after knitting a few repeats of the chart, I switched to moss for a couple of inches, which gave me the necessary four vertical inches of moss to measure my gauge. The swatch has since been machine washed (it came out practically dry! damn, I love this yarn) and measured, and I appear to be spot on pattern gauge. And the fabric couldn’t be better for what I’m wanting. I had a blast knitting this, so I’m as eager as can be to cast on.

Of those two upcoming trips I really want this sweater for, one of them is next week. And though it’s not an opportunity to wear it, I hope to do a meaningful amount of knitting on it. I’m traveling with my entire family (in celebration of my parents’ 50th anniversary) to a retreat place somewhere in the mountains of NC, where I’m told reception is spotty, at best. I’ve got blog posts queued up for you, but:

IMPORTANT SHOP NOTE: I’ll be packing orders this weekend and will drop them at the PO Monday morning on our way out of town. The rest of the orders from Sunday through Friday will ship during a special session on Saturday the 26th. So if you’ve got something you know you need next week, get your order in today!

20 thoughts on “Best. Swatch. Ever.

  1. I have been working on this pattern! Progress has slowed a bit due to quick summer knits (washcloths, anyone?), but I have the sleeves done and am now onto the cardigan body. I REALLY want to wear mine this winter. I’m using Shepherd’s Wool in Raspberry :) I look forward to your sharing of your project :)

  2. I loved knitting this’s not a quick knit, but really engaging! I also had the same experience reading the charts for the English rib, but once I got it, it’s a fun stitch! of my favs in both knitting and wearing!

  3. If you make it to Black Mountain, NC I highly recommend their yarn shop! It’s absolutely lovely and they carry lots of beautiful hand dyed yarn from the south. (There’s also a great bar right next door where you can enjoy the 70 degree nights and knit on the porch with a micro brew in hand.)

  4. Yeah…I could see myself just living in that sweater day after day. What beautiful texture! I love the anticipation of a project. Sometimes I just get butterflies in my stomach I’m so excited. Right now I’m working on a bottom up pullover sweater. I now have the body up to the arms done, and the right arm done. I started the left arm, and seeing all the pieces there together I just had to squeal a little bit because it’s turning out SO PERFECT. That excitement is difficult to describe. Projects like these make me feel almost sad that it’s done, and I comfort myself with wearing it. ;)

  5. This yarn and swatch is so beautiful (its been machine washed?!!) that I had to order several beautiful skeins in a variety of colors for hats, maybe mitts. Those colors! Hard to choose, I wanted all of them. Can only imagine what your Channel sweater will look like, Karen!

  6. I made this sweater in the winter and I lived in it. It was a joy to knit. Jared is a genius in every way and he hit the jackpot with this sweater.

  7. My Channel cardigan is now my everyday winter jacket: it’s perfect for Melbourne winters. As someone says upthread, it’s not a quick knit by any means, but it is so worth it. I’d love to knit a second one in a dark blue or charcoal, perhaps replacing the chevron pattern with something else.

  8. I’ve been eying off this yarn since you first posted about it…how does it rate on the softness scale? I love the heathered look of some of the colours and for some reason in my brain heather translates to scratchy?

    • I never know what to say about softness — everyone has such a different idea of what “soft” is. It’s merino (soft) and cotton (cottony) and I find it perfectly soft.

  9. Your cardi is going to be fabulous! I hope you have a wonderful time in the mountains with your family. Congratulations to your parents!

  10. Pingback: New Favorites: Lena Samsoe’s fisherman cardigan | Fringe Association

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