It's April and that means it's time for our new yarn of the month, Scrumptious 4ply!
...... And that means new swatches :)
We covered lots of different types of stitches this time and the yarn handled them all really well. But first of all we thought we'd start with a bit of crochet:
I love a little crochet motif square (this one is a design in progress, so watch this space) so I fiddled around with a few trebles and clusters and came up with this:
Scrumptious is lovely and soft to crochet with and makes really lovely clusters (from my other swatches I think it would make great bobbles too). The thing I find most annoying when crocheting is splitty yarn, but this didn't cause me any problems.
I used a 3mm hook for this square, but I think a smaller size such as 2.5mm would work well if you wanted a firmer fabric. I don't think you'd get such a nice effect with a larger hook though, so I'd be inclined to use a 3mm or smaller, depending on how tightly you tend to work (tension is such a personal thing). I used soft pastels (Baby Pink and Natural for this swatch) for all the swatches here, but there are some gorgeous bright jewel tones and rich darker shades which would look amazing too (Azure and Dandelion and Burdock would really pop in a square like this).
Next on to some simple lace:
This swatch (knitted in Flying saucer on 3.25mm needles) is knitted in an easy cloverleaf eyelet pattern and has a lovely drape, which would be perfect for a shawl or cowl. However if I was going to knit a garment, I think I might want a slightly denser fabric (using a smaller needle to get a harder wearing fabric) if I was intending to wear the sweater a lot. But the stocking stitch fabric in between the eyelets is neat and consistent with a small amount of elasticity.
Now on to some more complex patterns.....
This little swatch is probably my favourite:
This stitch is from one of my Japanese stitch dictionaries, although worked the undulating columns of knit stitches through the back of the loop because I wanted to show how amazing Scrumptious 4ply is when worked in twisted stitches. I used Glisten with a 2.75mm needle for this swatch as I wanted a really nice crisp result (twisted stitches tend to work best when worked to a firmer tension). I love the stitch definition of this swatch, it's so clear and crisp! The sheen of the silk in Scrumptious helps the textures stand out too (look at those little bobbles)!
Now for a fun combination of cables and lace:
This stitch pattern is really unusual (it's from another of my Japanese stitch dictionaries) combining lace and cables and showing off two of the best properties of the yarn, beautiful stitch definition and the shine from the silk, making cables which really pop and lace which blocks out beautifully. I knitted this swatch in Baby Pink using a 3.25mm needle, you could use a slightly smaller needle, but not too much as the cabled sections in a stitch pattern like this are quite dense. These textures are pretty bold, so probably best kept to accessories or an accent of a garment, but in the right piece it would be amazing!
Next, we thought we'd show you Rachel Coopey's Divelish mittens from Scrumptious Collection Volume 3:
These mittens are knitted using Slate and Natural on 2.5mm needles which gives a lovely even, stable fabric, despite the silk content of the yarn which could cause some looser stitches if a smaller needle was used, as it doesn't stick to itself in the way a 100% wool yarn would. The key to this is using a smaller needle, creating denser fabric and holding the yarns firmly in place. The other advantage of this is that it creates a lovely cosy fabric that keeps out even the coldest drafts!
Last but not least, I knitted up a swatch using Scrumptious 4ply and Cumulus held together (here it is next to the simple lace swatch so you can see the difference in tension):
This knits up to a double knit tension (22 sts to 10cm) on a 4mm needle... oh the possibilities! (Time to start plotting now :)
We hope this has given you some inspiration for using Scrumptious!
For those who want to know, here are all the yarn details:
Content: 45% Silk, 55% Merino Wool
Recommended needle size: 2.5 - 3.25mm (US 1.5 - 3)
Tension (gauge): 28 - 24.5 sts and 37 rows to 10cm (4") over stocking stitch
Number of metres per skein: 365 metres (399 yards) per 100g skein
Washing instructions: Machine wash at 30°C on wool cycle