New design sneak peek: swatching time!

New design sneak peek: swatching time!

The past few months I’ve been working on a lot of secret projects, and finally I get to show you a little sneak peek of the next upcoming design! I started this design this past March, and boy did it take some swatching! In the picture above you can see the yarns I used for the actual design sample. Lush aren’t they? Scheepjes Whirl Sea Breeze Tease on the left, and Scheepjes Maxi Sweet Treat Chrystalline on the right.

design swatches

Before I could actually start using them, I had to make some swatches using test yarn. With test yarn, I mean scraps of the same brand and range of yarn, but maybe in a different colour to the yarn I will use for the actual project. I love designing patterns for gradient yarns or colourpacks as you might have gathered from my previous designs. For those yarns, I simply can’t use them for the swatch as I don’t want to break into the gradient or use up a colour of the colour pack. I usually make several swatches, and the larger the better! So when it comes to gradient yarns or colourpacks of yarns, I want to save all of that yarn for the actual project.

So, long story short, that was also the case for this project! I wanted to design a shawl for Scheepjes Whirl, one of the gradient yarn cakes I was telling you about, and I wanted to stripe it with mohair. Luckily I had a ball of Scheepjes Whirlette, which is the same weight as Whirl but a solid colour, and I had some mohair in my stash so I used that for the first swatches.

For some swatches I actually used two shades of Whirlette because with all the ripping back it was just much easier to do that without the mohair. You can see an example of that in the 2nd picture from the top.

Then.. I decided to do not one row per stripe, but two rows, so I could go back and forth with the same yarn and not have to cut it. I didn’t like the fringe on this shawl design too much so it was perfect to change it to two rows. In the swatch pictured above you can see I started it with 1 row per colour and adding fringe at the side, and then I transitioned to 2 rows per colour.

And then.. I heard that the magazine issue I was designing this shawl for was actually going to be a summer-themed issue, so mohair wouldn’t be too fitting. Luckily I had some Scheepjes Sweet Treat in my stash too, which also acts as a laceweight but is a 100% mercerised cotton yarn. Much more summer appropriate than mohair! I was so happy that I had found this yarn in my stash, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have thought of using it instead of a mohair. It’s so perfect!

Side note: as it turns out, because of Corona the publishing industry was hit very hard which caused some magazines to postpone their issues, so the one featuring this particular design isn’t technically a summer issue anymore. But still, I am so happy with the combination I found that it simply had to be this way!

And then… after weeks of swatching.. I could finally move on to the actual yarn I would use for the shawl.

That moment when you can finally move on to work on THE sample with THE yarn. Sigh.. it’s truly one of the best moments of my designing process. Almost magical. Especially after having made so many swatches in different yarns, it was so delightful to finally use the yarn I intended for this design.

To see the two yarns come together was so fulfilling! Although swatches give me an idea of which stitch count I should use and the gauge I want to go for, the colours were very different. And then to finally use the yarn in the colours I had intended, mmm!! Oh yes I could talk about it all day, haha.

And there it is! On the cover of issue 128 of Inside Crochet, in the bottom right corner. I love it sooo much and can’t wait to show you more photos and share more details. In addition to the pattern, I also have a column on using different yarn weights together and how to do it successfully. Want to purchase the digital version of this issue and get crocheting right away? Click here. If you prefer to have the hardcopy version instead, you can click here. Or would you like to get a subscription instead? You can find those options here. Please note, I think in case of a subscription that the first issue you would receive is issue 129, but…. I also have patterns and columns coming up in Issue 129 and 130 😉 Just a hint!

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  1. Nathalie
    September 18, 2020 at 11:32 am — Reply

    Well I was really loving that one with the mohair. I love doubling my fingering weight yarn with a bit of mohair. It makes it so fluffy! I love crochet magazines. I will probably get that issue. Lovely shawl!

    • September 18, 2020 at 11:39 am — Reply

      Thank you so much! You can of course still use the mohair 🙂 It’ll have an even prettier solid-and-sheer effect I think. Be aware though that ripping back isn’t so fun with mohair 😉

  2. September 18, 2020 at 9:30 pm — Reply

    Wat een gepuzzel om de juiste garen te vinden voor jouw prachtige sjaal. Echt een mooie combinatie voor lente en zomer.

    Groetjes en fijn weekend, Margaret

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New design sneak peek: swatching time!