Noses and needles

If I had bothered to look further than the length of my nose, I would have been able to answer my own question about Catania from my previous post.

Can you remember this dress from last year?

GJJ - 006

Well, I crocheted this with exactly 6 skeins of Catania cotton and the end result wasn’t too heavy for my then 4-year-old goddaughter, who isn’t exactly the largest child of her age.
So yeah, against the general advise received here, I think I will take my changes on knitting the summer dress with Catania. You’ll definitely hear about it here and I will make a note for future reference if Catania should be used in such projects or not. I think some of you are curious about the verdict as well, no?

Okay, that’s that decision ;) But then I needed something else to be able to get started, namely the right needles.
The pattern asks for circular needles of 60cm in 2 sizes for the top and skirt. As I would like to knit the Catania with a 3mm needle, I need circulars of 3mm and 4mm with a cable of 60cm.

When I started to get serious about knitting and it was already clear that long, straight needles to tuck beneath the armpit were nothing for me, I decided to invest in circular needles. Before that I used my mother’s needles, but she only uses straight needles and those are a true danger for me and the people surrounding me.
First I bought individual needles from shops like Wibra or Veritas, but the cable lengths there are almost always 80cm. When I first bought those needles, I hadn’t really considered why the 80cm was mentioned on the pakkets, but when I started my first knitted dress, I realised that some circular knits require different cable lengths. That’s when I decided to spend some money to invest in interchangeable circular needles by knitpro.

NBN 001   NBN 008

Now I almost exclusively use those needles to knit and I’m very happy with them. They are good in my hands, they could perhaps be a little shorter to be perfect, but they are much better than the other needles I have. The cables are of a whole different level than those of my Wibra needles, which curl annoyingly and keep getting in the way of my hands. Attaching the cable to the selected needle points is also a piece of cake. Very simple and very handy.

NBN 002b

The set I bought contains 8 sets of needle points going from 3.5mm to 8mm, and 4 cables, one of 100cm, 2 of 80cm and one of 60cm. Additionally to the set, I also bought extra cables of 100cm and 40cm.

And now you can already guess what comes next, no?
As mentioned above, for the dress I want to make, I need 60cm circulars of 3mm and 4mm. The latter can be made from my set, but the former is missing.
So I searched Google for an expansion of my set.

My current set is of the type Nova, which are metallic needles. When I bought this set, I could find these needles practically in every webshop that sold knitpro, but now the Nova proves more difficult to find in Belgian or Dutch shops. Most shops now carry the Symphony needles, which are made of wood.

I’ve always worked with metallic needles, both for crocheting and knitting, so I don’t know if I’ll like the wooden type. That’s why I kept searching for metallics. Eventually I found some in a Dutch webshop. They also carry the Symphony and after some hesitation I decided to also try a set of those. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right?

NBN 008

I bought a Nova and Symphony set of 3mm and some extra cables of 60cm and 100cm.

NBN 009

When the needles arrived, I immediatly notices that they were shorter than my current needles. I still have to try them out, but I think they’ll fit my hands even better!

And that’s it. I think I now finally have all I need to be able to start ^_^ You’ll hear all about it here!


Summer yarn question


Good morning all! Have a nice Pentecostal Monday ^_^

In reaction to my previous post, Myriam asked me if Catania cotton is well suited to make summery clothes with. I had always assumed it is. It can’t only be meant for amigurumi, right? But due to another reaction, by Marianne, I’m starting to have doubts. Marianne asked if clothing made with 100% cotton wouldn’t be too heavy. :huh: Weeeeell, to be honest, I never even considered that. Another thing to add to my undecided mind: Will a dress of 300g be too heavy for a child? No idea.

So dear people, I have two questions for you:

  1. Will a childs dress in Catania cotton be too heavy?
  2. What’s your favourite yarn to make summer items with?


The Queue experiment

After my last yarn splurge resulting into 32 new skeins for my already substantial stash, I started working with the QUEUE option on Ravelry. I walked through my stash, trying to link each skein to a pattern I could and want to make with it, hoping I could reduce that stash.

While looking for the ideal pattern for these skeins of Catania cotton, I stumbled upon a little treasure.

Catania Aqua

I don’t remember how I found it, but I do remember it was love at first sight for this super cute, whimsical summer dress.

The swishing skirt, the colours, the neckline, I love everything about this dress. So I immediatly bought the pattern, fully intending to make it with the aforementioned stashed yarn.

But then I realised I made a crucial mistake. The pattern requires a DK weight yarn, while my yarn is only a Sports weight. Woops…
For a moment there I didn’t know what to do, but then I realised that I could just knit a bigger size than the size I wanted to end up with. Then with the finer yarn and smaller needle, the bigger size would then turn out smaller, right? Good idea!

First step was now decide which size I wanted to make. Therefore I consulted with my sister in law to know the chest sizes of her daughters, because yes, of course this pattern is meant for one of my nieces. I can already picture them twirling the skirt around! I needed the chest sizes, because the pattern recommends do base the knitted size on that and not on the age of the recipient.

Then I whipped out my Catania and knitting needles to make gauge swatches. I discovered that train trips are ideal to knit these up!

Gauge swatch 1 was knit with 3.5mm en I really dislike the resulting fabric.

Catania 3,5mm

The stitches are uneven and I’m prone to making mistakes. The end result is however very stretchy, which could mean that the dress could be worn longer by one child.

Gauge swatch 2 was knit with a smaller needle, 3mm, and I already like the look of this one much more.

Catania 3mm

The stitches are fairly uniform and the fabric is a little denser, but still airy. The stretchiness is somewhat reduced, but it still streches quite a bit.

And then it was time for some math!
The pattern asks for a gauge of 22 stitches for 4 inches. Swatch 1 gives me a gauge of 24 stitches, while swatch 2 gets 28 stitches for 4 inches.

Because I prefer the look of swatch 2, I continued calculating with that gauge.
If I would make the dress for my god-daughter, then I should knit the 4y size, provided I had the same gauge as the pattern. To start this size, I should cast on 50 stitches.
50 stitches at a gauge of 22st/4in would give me a cast on of 9.09 inches (50 divided by 22 multiplied by 4). Recalculating this to my gauge of 28st/4in would mean I had to cast on a rounded number of 64 stitches.

Then I looked back at the pattern to see if there was a size described with a CO of 64 stitches. The biggest size however described in the pattern only casts on 60 stitches, so that’s 4 stitches short with my 3mm knitting needle.

Now, I could of course repeat the exercise for the larger gauge swatch. Then I could CO 55 stitches for the chosen size. In the patter size 7y starts with 54 stitches, so this could be good. But I’m really opposed to knitting this yarn with the larger needle, because I really dislike the fabric it knits up.

So now I have several options to choose from:

  1. Or I could just knit up the largest possible size in the pattern with the 3mm needles and see how large the dress becomes. If it doesn’t fit my god-daughter, who’s the eldest of 3 girls, it could definitely fit one of her sisters in time.
  2. Or I do knit with the larger needles of 3.5mm, with the possibility that I dislike the end product, but the certainty that the dress will fit my god-daughter.
  3. Or I could just make the dress immediately for sister 2, for which I could knit the second to largest dress based on chest size and my gauge at 3mm.
  4. Or I could just not knit this dress with the stash yarn and buy a yarn in a suitable thickness for this pattern. Hah!

At the moment I’m partial to option 1.
Option 4 does look like fun – Jeij, another excuse to buy yarn! – but it would mean that my QUEUE-project has failed before it really began.
Option 1 thus remains the best option when thinking rationally.

And you? What would you do?