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Evenstar. Part I of ??

So I'm finally doing some "real" knitting (pronounced like the real part of realpolitik). And I think I'm going to do some "real" knit blogging about it.

I'm challenging myself after a long, long period of comfort knitting. I have begun my Evenstar and it has returned my Christmas joy.

In the past week I have

a) chosen the pattern I hope to enter into the 2011 Topsfield Fair
b) knit two (read it and weep lazy knittahs! not one but two!) swatches of the star pattern
c) found the perfect yarn in my stash!!! (Ergo, I'm frugal AND I can start on the project while my excitement burns brightest!)
d) analyzed my yarn for the optimal order in which to knit the skeins
e) begun project; and finally
f) continue to bask in the glow of my accomplishments to date!

So first up in this "real" blogging event: the swatches.

Swatch 1:


The swatches are knit in spare Lana Grossa Meilenweit 50 Seta/Cashmere, leftovers from my first pair of La Digitessas. I had two 48 gram balls leftover from the original skeins and they knit up perfectly into the two swatches.

My main thought on this fingering weight yarn while knitting the swatches is how friggin' splitty the yarn is. I can't even imagine how I got through the sixty thousand twisted and a bazillian gillian twisted CABLED stitches of the Digitessa pattern. Using much larger needles than the yarn calls for, it was splitting like it's life depended on it. Imagine using US0s, which is the size I began the Digitessa's on? Madness. Twisted, splitty madness.

So the above is an in-progress shot of the first swatch, knit using US7s. The swatch was dry blocked. The Evenstar stitch is knitted in the first suggested version of what the author, Susan Pandorf, calls the INCR7 K3tog stitch. It's like a tiny little fist, tense and ready for action.

Swatch 1 was knit lightening fast, with little problem. Swatch 2? Notsomuch.

Swatch 2:


I knit a second swatch to try out the two alternate methods of the Evenstar stitch. The swatch was knit on US8s and was soaked before blocking. The center version I butchered and did not go back and fix b/c I knew I had two more tries. Here are close ups of the designers version 2 and version 3, respectively, of the Evenstar stitch pattern.



For once luck was on my side. I really prefer the look of version 3, the one that doesn't look like a fist, and version 3 is the easiest of the three to knit.

With that done I was chomping at the bit to begin!

But that's a whole 'nother story.

See ya next time Kiddies! Remember, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing very loud for all to hear.