Do you do it? Or do you just dive right into a project?
I’ve been having yarn spun for me for several years now. And one thing I know for sure is that a small mill spun yarn is very hard to get spun in those classic sizes of DK or worsted or sport. I can get a yarn that is on the line between DK and worsted. I can get a yarn that is between sport and fingering. So how are you supposed to use these yarns to make a published pattern?
You need to swatch! And you need to swatch any particular stitches that are in your pattern. If your sweater has a cable, swatch it. If your sweater is in a basket stitch or a double moss stitch, swatch it. What I hear people saying is, it takes time!! It takes extra yarn!! And you may be perfectly lucky and your garment may turn out the right size and shape without it. But what if it doesn’t? Then how much time have your wasted? How much material have your wasted? Will you rip it out or will you just set it aside in disgust?
Here is my current long term project. I want to make my first handspun sweater. I have a pattern in mind. It is a cardigan. It has double moss stitch as the body and the sleeves are cabled. I am using 2 lamb fleeces from my Blue Faced Leicester/Cormo crossed ewes. And I need to figure out if I want a 2 or 3 ply yarn. So I need to sample the yarn AND the sweater. And I need to determine the best way to process this fleece, whther to card or comb. This past Crafternoon, I knit my swatch out of 3 ply. I was also able to really get a grip on how to spin these fleeces to minimize the noils and bits of chaff. I am combing the wool and then spinning off the combs.