Monday, October 29, 2007

The Princess Arrives!

If you have been waiting for the re-release of Heirloom Knitting's famous Princess shawl, you'll be happy to know that it's out and you can buy it here. Although the first release was a limited edition of 250, I could find no such restriction placed on Princess 2.0, so you can probably request it for a Christmas present. At $40, it's a bit expensive, but worth every penny.

Until the pattern actually arrives here and I can knit an actual sample repeat, I have to be content fooling around with yarn and needle combinations. And of course, there was plenty of fooling this weekend.

The Swatch Party gave me a chance to try out my brand-new KnitPicks Harmony needles. Whoops...one of them broke during swatching. I couldn't believe it--I mean, it's not like yarn this fine can put a strain on the wood. The tip just snapped clean off at the metal collar. In addition, they were so ugly--my goodness! Green, yellow, magenta--hideous with bright red yarn, loathsome with pink, and revolting with blue.

I did things a bit differently this time. I put all the Major Contenders--yarn and needles--on the table and knit the samples sequentially without stopping. This process gave me a better idea of which yarn really handled the best, and which needles were the most appropriate.

The results were a bit of a surprise to me, and might be to you, as well. Below are four of the worked samples, presented in grayscale only to eliminate color preferences. For two of these swatches, I ran out of sample yarn before I could finish the garter-stitch rows at the top of the pattern, so two of the samples are a bit shorter than the other two.



Here's the quiz. The samples range from 11,000 to 7,000 yards/pound, that is, the finest is a 48/2, the heaviest is a 45/3. Can you tell which is the finest and which is the heaviest?

And which one do you prefer visually?

24 comments:

Jody said...

I'm liking the top left but the bottom left might look better on a 1.75mm needle as it looks a bit looser than the others.

I've been staring at the Yubina site today thanks to you. =)

What yarn does Princess want? Oh the question!

Sue said...

I think the bottom left is the finest yarn, but no idea which of the remaining three is the heaviest. Visually, I think the top right looks the nicest, with the bottom left a very close second.

anastasia said...

it looks to me like the bottom left is the finest and the top left is the heaviest. i like the look of the bottom right best, but my lace preferences appear to be out of whack with the rest of the world, so take my opinion with a grain of salt :)

Laritza said...

Top left is the heaviest and bottom left the lightest.
I can't believe you were knitting with NEON needles!

Arachnera said...

I'm not sure which yarn I prefer visually, because something about the photo, whether it's the grey-scale aspect, or something some software or something did to the photo, is causing an odd and unappealing visual effect. However, I do think the Princess looks very appealing.... Project for me.... We'll have to see.

Arachnera said...

Oopsies! I meant to have a question mark after "Project for me" Otherwise it doesn't sound right.

Janice in GA said...

I agree with everyone else that bottom left is finest, but bottom right looks a little heavier than top left to me. Maybe because it's a little fuzzier?

I gotta think for a little before I spend $40 on that pattern. :( If funds were unlimited, no problem....

missalicefaye said...

oh, dear. I actually like them all. :) And I'm just way too excited about this pattern...

Knitting Therapy said...

I like the bottom right the best. There is a nice balance of holiness along with great stitch definition.

I broke a Knit Picks option this weekend also, my second. I was knitting a much heavier project and using the 10.5 needles. This is the second cable that has pulled out. When I told them about the first, they sent a replacement.

I love the convenience but I am not sure the engineering is up to snuff.

nurhanne said...

Bottom left and top right both look nice.

2trees said...

I like the top right best.
Top left, too uneven.
Bottom left, too stringy.
Bottom right, too dense and fuzzy.

But those little sample pics don't tell us how the yarn handles, or if it will let you pick up a dropped stitch.

LittleBerry said...

i think top left heaviest and bottom left finest... and I like the bottom right best... so I'm with anastasia!!!!

Monika said...

I like the last one (second row, right corner) best. I think the thinnest yarn is the one in second row, left corner.

Joy said...

I'm going out on a limb and saying the top right is the thinnest, bottom right thickest. I prefer the consistency of the bottom right but do agree that the grayscale is slightly harder to see. I also have to say that $41.25 plus probably shipping is probably too steep for me to pay for a pattern--and the square Princess needs twice as much yarn (it's a triangle).

Opal said...

I have absolutely no opinion, but I'm pining for the Princess. Just pining!

loribird said...

I guess that the bottom left is the finest, and the bottom right the heaviest - but then, since you said that the results surprised you, I'm probably wrong...
The top right piece pleases my eye best. The stitches seem crisp, but still open.
Sorry to hear about your broken needle!

Kenny said...

bottom left. I like the bottom right actually. different with a lot of people. I don't like my lace very holey poley. have these been blocked and dried?

BadCatDesigns said...

So I think the bottom left is the finest and the bottom right is the heaviest yarn. I am not sure which I like best. Did you block them already? I can't wait to watch you work on the Princess.

z's momma said...

How fun, a quiz! I think the bottom right is lightest and bottom right is heaviest (to my untrained eye). ooh, and the top two are swatched using different needles?

I wish I could afford Princess, but after my Niebling acquisitions, I can't. (sigh)

z's momma said...

oops. I meant that the bottom left is thinnest. This longer daylight savings time is killing me...

fluffbuff said...

They seem to go from finest to thickest clockwise starting from the bottom left swatch (my least favorite in terms of result). The bottom right looks best to me, but it's possible they'll change after washing. I assume they are all unwashed since they are still on the needle.

Jason said...

Oh oh. Harmony snapped. That's what I am afraid of.

I like the bottom right swatch the best! I am guessing that the bottom left is the finest, and the top right is the heaviest.

GretchenX said...

I like the one in the bottom left hand corner best!

Kristen said...

The bottom left looks the finest, and top left is my guess for heaviest. I think top right does the pattern the most justice.