Fibra Natura Kingston Tweed | Swatching for the lacey Arum Shawl

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about my new project, a lacey shawl using the Fibra Natura Kingston Tweed – Ochre.

I chose the Arum Shawl free pattern, a lacey shawl pattern written for the Kingston Tweed yarn. This is how the pattern describes the finished object:

“Warm, yet lightweight and airy, this shawl is optimal for mildly cool days. Kingston Tweed adds a touch of rustic texture.”

I can’t wait to start this project and to see it grow into a lovely shawl. But there’s more to do before casting on.

First things first. I must make a swatch. You’ll probably ask, why do I need to make a swatch for a shawl? The pattern is written exactly for this yarn, so why go through the trouble of swatching?

Well, the pattern asks for US Size 7 [4.5mm] needles, the band on the Kingston Tweed skeins recommends US size 4-6 [3.5 – 4mm] needles, and I’m a little bit of a loose knitter, so the swatch will help me choose the needle size.

Also, this is a lace pattern so it’s good to get used to the pattern before starting the shawl.

I start to work in stockinette stitch to evaluate the density of the fabric and use different size needles. Once I get a result I like, I swatch the lace pattern. It doesn’t take long to get the swatch done. Then I steam it and let it rest for a few hours.

The swatch for the shawl using different size needles

I insert a reversed stockinette row between sections knitted with different-sized needles and mark the size of the needles on the swatch; I use one eyelet for the mm size of needles and a purl for each 0.25 fraction of the size. This way I don’t have to tag the swatch and I can always read the size of the needles used.

For example, if the needle size is 3.75mm, I mark it with 3 eyelets (for the 3mm) and 3 purls (for the .75) in the stockinette fabric.

Swatch close-up showing the eyelets and purls marking the needle size

After measuring the swatch, it turns out my number of stitches matches the number required in the pattern if I use US size 6 (4mm) needles. However, the number of rows is off (is there a mistake in the pattern?). Based on the swatch, I can go ahead and start my project

I cast on and set up the lace pattern. I use stitch markers for each repeat in the lace pattern, this will help me keep track of the pattern.

Started shawl on needles

Join me tomorrow when I’ll talk more about knitting lace and keeping track of the row count. I’ll also show you the progress I’m making on my project.

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: Fibra Natura Kingston Tweed | Learning more about this yarn

Go to part 3: The Arum Shawl | Knitting a lace pattern

Related posts

Blocking a lacey shawl makes the shawl spectacular!

Fibra Natura Kingston Tweed | A lifeline for knitting lace

The Arum Shawl | Knitting a lace pattern