I'm pretty excited to be a part of the test knit team for Alicia Plummer's new hat design! The pattern called for a DK weight yarn, so I knew right away that I wanted to try Swans Island Washable Wool Collection. Hand-dyed in small batches in Maine, this 100% organic merino wool is completely machine washable. Unlike traditional superwash yarns, which are stripped through a chemical process and coated with a plastic polymer that prevents felting in the washing machine, Swans Island coats their fibers in a certified organic compound using the Eco-Wash process. You get the ease of machine-washable wool without the guilty feeling.
Before my Sunday morning coffee was finished, I knocked out a small swatch in the larger needles, just to make sure I met the pattern gauge, which is 20 stitches x 24 rows = 4" in stockinette. I cast on 24 stitches, and knit the first two rows and the first/last two stitches of each row. This way, I had 20 stitches in between the garter border. Once I knit 24 rows, I finished off the swatch in a couple of garter rows. This gave me a nice, crisp measurement markers, both row and stitch-wise. Pre-blocking, my stitch gauge was spot on, however, my row gauge was a little short. Into the bath it went!
Post soak, I lightly blocked the square to measurements:
Pattern gauge was met! The whole process took about half an hour from start to finish, which is pretty awesome considering how much time goes into knitting a piece. It makes me feel confident that the finished garment will fit just right.
Off we go!