For my second foray into Sweater Land, I decided I wanted to knit the Suzy pattern from the Rowan Big Wool book. But since I was less than confident about my abilities, I didn't want to use expensive yarn. So I ended up using Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick. Which started me on a gauge nightmare. So I ended up ditching most of the pattern and using the Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns' raglan instructions, and just added on the collar from the Rowan Pattern.
Needles: US 13 Yarn: about 5 balls Lion Brand Wool Ease T+Q Time to Knit: a couple weeks, maybe You can see a pic of the original pattern here: http://www.awesomeewe.com/16809.htm
I was on a Rebecca magazine kick a few months ago, and I just now got access to a camera to post pics. Here is my version of the ruffled skirt from Rebecca 25. The only changes I made were I did only one stripe instead of making the whole skirt striped, and I bound off in knit (instead of in pattern) to make the ruffle more bouncy. The top I made up to match when I realized that I didn't have anything that went really well with the skirt. I just knit a st stitch rectangle that was big enough to go around my chest, and then added a constrasting button band and i-cord straps. Yarn: Lion Brand Cottonease in Licorice, and burgundy Lily Sugar n' Cream Time to knit: about a month
I finished this a while ago, but I finally found my pictures of it, so I thought I would share. It's a pretty easy sweater pattern (it was my first foray into sweater land). You can find it here: http://www.rebecca-online.com/cgi-bin/dl/download.pl?file=heft_14_anl_12.pdf. Yarn: Lion Brand Homespun, maybe 8 balls? It was actually a decent substitute for the GGH stuff. Needles: US 8 It took me knitting on and off for two years to do this, but that was just because I was scared of seeing the finished product. Actual knit time was more like a few weeks.
I was surfing around today looking for reviews of yarn, and I thought I would like to hear other's thoughts on which yarns they like. I often find that I like working with a yarn and then don't enjoy the way it wears. Or that the gauge recommendations on the ball bands are deceptive. So, what have you worked with? What is the fiber content and yardage? What gauge do you get (on what needles, doing st stitch)? What have you made with it? How has it worn (after washing or repeated use)? Were there any problems (like lots of knots or slubs)? How much was it?
I'll start with something I used a couple months ago: Schoeller Stahl Volare 1) 51% Merino Wool, 49% Acrylic, 54 yards per ball 2) I got 3 st stitches per inch on US 11's. 3) I made a cabled sweater from VK Holiday 2004, using 14 balls. 4) I have worn the sweater several (about 10) times, and it has not pilled. The cables still look well-defined, and the fabric is fine next to the skin (but not super soft). 5) No knots, etc. But I would recommend using something else for seaming, as it gets stretchy after you sew with it for awhile. 6) $3.25 per ball at Elann, list price is $6.50.
This is my version of Knitty's Not Your Grandma's Double Knit Hat (http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall02/PATTdkhat.html). I pretty much followed the pattern, but I made it about 1.5 inches shorter, so that I wouldn't have to fold it up. It's pretty warm, and has become one of my favorite hats. The hand-warmers are just plain old ribbed rectangles sewed up, leaving a hole for the thumb. I figured I ought to do something with the yarn leftover from the hat. Yarn: Lion Brand Wool-ease Chunky, in Charcoal (152) and some unknown discontinued color Needles: US 10 Time it took: a few weeks, knitting on and off
I love the Rowan Big Wool pattern books. The designs just look so nice! However, I am a bit of a cheapster, so I don't want to spend $12-$14 per skein of yarn, especially when those cute sweaters call for five or more balls.
So I tried substituting Lion Brand Woolease T+Q, but my gauge was horribly off. The patterns call for less than 2 sts per inch on US 19, while I was getting 3.5 sts. And I hated the way the swatch looked on those size needles, so I didn't want to use larger ones. I went to my LYS to see if Big Wool looked to be a really different thickness from T+Q, and it didn't seem to be.
Long story short, does anyone know of any other cheap subsitutes for Big Wool? Something that costs about $6 or less per 100 yards? Something that can actually get 2 sts. per inch on US 15-19?