My niece’s first birthday is next month, and I had decided to knit her a sweater made from my handspun. Because my sister knows how to take care of nice things, I decided that I wasn’t restricted to just superwash fibers. I selected the organic merino I got in the Spunky Eclectic club in March 2011; the colorway is Little Periwinkles, which is pastels — pink, blue, green, purple with some white. For the pattern, I choose Elizabeth Zimmerman’s February Baby Sweater from The Knitting Almanac. It’s pretty much seamless, with some lace to make it pretty.
I started by spinning up 4 oz, which gave me approximately 194 yards of light worsted yarn. I used about 30 yards knitting a swatch to determine which needle size would be best for the yarn and get me the closest to the gauge listed in the pattern (5 sts/inch). I tested out size 5, 6, and 7 needles. It was hard waiting for the swatch to dry, but in the end it told me that I could get 5 sts/inch on size 6 needles. However, I liked the fabric from the size 7 needles better, and the gauge was only 4.8 sts/inch; close enough, and would allow me to err on the bigger size for the sweater since Miss M is growing quickly.
Unfortunately, the 160-ish yards I had left were not enough to complete the sweater. I got through the yoke, the arm separation, and about 3 inches of the body before I ran out. So, it’s back to the spinning wheel for me to get more yarn for finishing up. I’ve gotten the 4 bobbins of singles done and am just waiting for them to rest a little before getting the plying started.
I must say, the organic merino is a dream to spin. I have more of it in different colors from Spunky Eclectic and am now looking forward to spinning and knitting it up. So soft.