How did we choose the yarn for "Seafield" from JSTDesigns?

How did we choose the yarn for "Seafield" from JSTDesigns?

It’s always exciting when designers reach out with discounts for our newsletter subscribers. So when Jen Shiels Toland offered a discount for the Seafield Sweater, we jumped at the chance to make kits. I knew we didn’t carry the yarn Jen used for the design, but I was stumped when we didn’t have a lace/DK combination that I loved for the sweater. Instead of walking away, it was time to think outside of the box.

To select a substitute combination, I considered 4 things:

  • Which yarn would add the haloed, cozy effect that mohair/silk offers?
  • What weight would be best for the 100% merino for the second yarn?
  • Which yarns have colorways that are a near match - even if they are not the same brand?
  • What combination of weights will produce a worsted weight gauge and a fabric with the right texture and drape

With these questions in mind, I headed straight for Rosy Green Wool. Since Rosy’s broad color pallet is available in both sport and DK 100% merino, I knew that one of those would work. For the second yarn I headed for Cirro from The Fibre Co. Cirro is a sport-weight blend including 40% suri alpaca for a lovely, cozy halo. With no mohair, Cirro is an excellent choice for knitters who are sensitive to that fiber.

Next up was finding colors that worked well together. I was delighted to discover that the two lines had several colors that were close enough to pair beautifully. My third question was answered!

Finally, gauge…

Like it or not, swatching is the only sure way to determine whether these two yarns would knit together at the gauge needed for Seafield. I set aside a couple of evenings to swatch and got the best result with Rosy Green Wool’s Cheeky Merino Joy and The Fibre Co. Cirro. It turns out the two sport-weights did achieve the worsted-weight needed for the sweater and the resulting fabric is truly terrific!

The needle size you will need depends on your individual knitting style. However, the recommended needle sizes in the pattern (US7 and US6) are an excellent starting point.

If you’d like to learn more about swatching…

There are loads of articles about swatching and knitting gauge available on the internet. My “go to” source ia Amy Herzog Designs for information on most sweater knitting basics. Here’s a good article from her about swatching.